MALVERN'S Country Market will be celebrating its centenary this month with three weeks of promotions.

The country market movement was founded in 1919 by the Women’s Institute in response to food shortages in many parts of Britain.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary, the Malvern market is running promotions for three consecutive Fridays, starting on May 17.

During this time customers who spend £10 or more will be given a free country markets centenary jute bag.

On Friday, May 17, the cooks will be offering free tasters of cakes and more.

The following Friday, the market will highlight plants, produce and craft, when there will be a craft demonstration, advice from horticulturalists and recipes for using the fresh produce.

And on May 31, preserves and fruit juice will be featured, with tasters available.

The market is held every Friday from 9am to noon in the Lyttelton Rooms, Church Street.

Market manager Philippa Lowe said: “Food miles are a maximum of five for most producers – it’s really local, although the bees may fly slightly further.”

She says everything is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Goods have minimal packaging, and this year they have even introduced compostable packaging.

Visitors to the market can find cakes and baked goods - both sweet and savoury, with favourites including lemon drizzle cakes, fruit cakes, cheese scones and quiches.

Also popular are seasonal items, from Simnel cakes and hot cross buns at Easter to Christmas cakes, and specials such as Philippa’s own gingerbread houses which range in size from cottages that fit on the palm of your hand, to table centrepieces, all with sweets inside them.

Other produce includes honey from near Leigh Sinton and reserves made using local fruit, with varieties including Malvern medley jam, butternut squash and carrot chutney, seriously hot apple chutney and a wide range of marmalades.

Add to these the free range eggs from Castlemorton Common, and locally home-grown vegetables and fruit - from asparagus to leeks, apples, cherries, mulberries, walnuts and salad vegetables.

Craft items are also made to order by wood-turner David Deacon, who also offers knife and scissor sharpening.

Hand-made greetings cards, needlecraft and knitted craft are on sale too, and knits for babies, toddlers and beyond.

Mrs Lowe said: “The market has a convivial and welcoming atmosphere. There’s also consistent quality and traceability, and all cooks have appropriate food hygiene training”.

New producers, especially cooks and vegetable growers are always welcome and can contact 01684 891340.