With the fantastic buzz of vendors and visitors in the Elmfield Estate courtyards each month, it is hard to believe that Elmfield Wholefood and Wellbeing Market has only been going for one year.
Yet it was June 2021 that saw the launch of a wonderful new addition to the Visit Armagh portfolio of visitor experiences and so, on Saturday, June 11, Elmfield Market celebrated its first birthday.
For those who haven’t yet visited Elmfield Market in Gilford, County Down, it is a thriving collection of over 40 high quality producers and makers selling locally produced wholefoods and sustainable living crafts all supporting the wellbeing of ourselves and our environment.
It was psychologist and international educator Jane Shaw who had the vision to create an experience of health and wellbeing through the celebration of local healthy produce as part of her larger wellbeing enterprise.
Her vision attracted the attention of Royal visitors last September when the Duke and Duchess of Wessex made an unexpected visit.
She said: “I travelled the world looking for a property to set up a wellness centre before realising my childhood home Elmfield was the perfect sanctuary, and although it may have taken me many years to realise this vision for the estate, the Royal visit deepened my belief that what we are doing here is something very special.
“As society opens up after the pandemic, taking care of our health has never been so important.
“Our vision for Elmfield Market is to create a place that not only celebrates the wonderful local whole foods, home-grown produce and artisan producers but also shares knowledge of traditional healthy living.
“The purity of our traders’ produce and their natural, sustainable ethos, combined with my experience of bringing together experts in mind and body health, I believe we are creating something exceptionally exciting.”
In the early 1960s Jane’s parents, Derek and Ann Shaw, rescued the estate from near dereliction.
They spent the following decades restoring the house, gardens and farm in its entirety.
The wholefood market makes for a perfect blend of Derek’s local and international farming and agribusiness history, with Jane’s diversification from farming to wellbeing.
Derek and Ann are still very much involved in the running of the estate and its business, including supporting Jane as the driving force in renovating the estate’s courtyards.
Jane and her family brought Joanne McErlain, of Babble Marketing, on board and she was instrumental in getting the market going.
Joanne has a fantastic track record and experience in setting up successful markets and working with local artisan producers in general, with the result that Elmfield Market now has a vibrant community of high quality vendors.
The market attracts both regular local visitors wanting to refill their kitchen with fresh produce, including healthy organic microgreens Moocha Kombucha, fresh vegetables and salad, and delicious Spontaneous Deuce speciality breads, as well as travellers from further afield looking for a family day out.
Visitors to the market in the historic estate can take time to browse the stalls, enjoy a coffee and sweet treat with friends, sample tasty street food, while listening to live music in the cobbled courtyard, or take their dog for a stroll around the lakeside gardens.
The market is perfect for those foodie summer months. Whether wanting to create a grazing platter or barbeque for your sunny Saturday evening, you can find cheese from Ballylisk of Armagh, cured meats from Ispini Cured Meats, Tom and Ollie’s mezze olives and hummus delights, fresh oysters and smoked salmon from The Oyster Catcher, fresh Four Leaf salad for which Burrren Balsamics will provide the dressing, as well as a selection of quality organic meats.
Or if you’re looking for a few gifts for yourself or your friends there are luxury candles, organic self-care products, beautiful ceramics, exquisite hand craft wood gifts, stunning eco jewellery and home grown plants.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.