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Farnham wishes farmers’ market stalwarts a fond farewell

Female presents a gift to a couple.

A popular husband and wife team who are among the longest standing traders at Farnham Farmers’ Market have hung up their aprons and put away their butcher’s block for the last time, as they head into retirement after serving their final customers. 

Hunts Hill Farm, run by John and Georgina Emerson, joined the farmers’ market 20 years ago as one of the inaugural stallholders. In recognition of their contribution, Councillor Pat Evans, Lead Member for Tourism and Leisure, presented them with a gift from the town at a recent producers’ meeting. 

Councillor Evans said: “John and Georgina will be greatly missed from Farnham Farmers’ Market, but they leave a great legacy. The market is successful because of experienced, regular traders such as Hunts Hill Farm and we are very grateful for their involvement. Many a Sunday roast served in homes in Farnham over the past couple of decades will have featured their excellent beef, pork, chicken or lamb.”

Since joining the market, the farm’s reputation for high quality produce grew from strength to strength and, as farmers’ market regulars, the Emersons generously shared the benefits of their experience and knowledge with new traders. They also helped nurture other successful farmers’ markets in the south east, being part of the steering group that started the South West Surrey Farmers’ Market and chairing the cooperative that took on the running of the market and the Surrey Farmers’ Market Steering Group. The group organised other markets including Cranleigh, Milford and Haslemere and additional markets in Godalming. 

Councillor Evans continued: “Customers and fellow traders are indebted to John and Georgina. As well as helping to shape the farmers’ market, they demonstrated the importance of resilience in running an independent business, most notably when coping with the consequences of the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. We are sad to say goodbye to John and Georgina but thanks to them and their advice and support, they leave behind a popular and thriving farmers’ market.”

As well as running cattle for beef – mainly Aberdeen Angus – Hunts Hill bred its own saddleback pigs for pork, bacon and award-winning sausages and reared its own sheep for lamb, hoggett and mutton, and poultry such as chicken, duck and goose and turkeys. They also sold from a farm shop which they opened on their farm and which was much appreciated by the local community during COVID. John and Georgina Emerson officially retired in October.

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