This year’s Christmas market was larger than ever at the Organic College on Sunday, with a variety of stalls offering college grown garlic, potatoes, herbs and salads as well as preserves, chutneys, jams, honey, cordials, home made soaps, creams, soft toys and a large range of quality locally made jewellery.

The market also celebrated Terra Madre Mother Earth Day which is an annual feature of the Slow Food Movement to which the college is affiliated. This movement has branches in over one hundred countries around the world, its theme this year is celebrating local food cultures.

Kate Carmody, an award winning cheese maker from Beál, Ballybunion, told the gathering that building community markets like this one is the way to deal with the current recession. The quality and diversity of the produce, she said, was first class and every Euro spent in this market would have a multiplier effect in the locality far greater than any spent in a supermarket.

The principles of slow food she reminded everyone, are go for quality, clean, fair and where possible local produce. People right across Europe she said were facing a recession, and were turning more to primary produce from their own area and adding value to it in the home and on the farm.

Organic Irish produce she claimed  is among the best in the world and small businesses and co-operatives are the key to building communities that will have a stable secure food supply, will generate and retain money locally.

Martin Maher, a first year student from Tipperary, said the market was a unique experience, he thanked the public for their support and their feed back at the stalls which he said was priceless in developing products for the future.

Judy Beck, a diploma student from Limerick,  said the market experience over the past two years had been most encouraging. There was she said a joy in creating new products that had taste, quality, were presented well and were at a fair price. She thanked all who had helped set up the market and reminded people if they missed it the college weekly market is in the Square, Dromcollogher on Friday from 9-2p.m.  Slow Food Ireland may be contacted at

Celebrating Christmas with taste in Dromcollogher.