Adventures in Birmingham: 24 Carrots Farmers Market

For you out of towners, 24 Carrots is the very local Farmers market in my neighbourhood, the Jewellery Quarter.

I was first introduced to it at @Likemind (via Twitter) and then as I was recommended the Bolivian coffee from Beans and Leaves by Katy, I go along. Not being a cook (I can cook but won’t cook) I have no need for carrots unless they come chopped and ready flavoured via St Michael, the patron saint of food. I do however, have a regular need, or at least desire for coffee.

My catalyst for my first visit though comes via an invitation from Kiss Me Cup Cakes. I figure if they’re there, there’s at least one more thing for me to buy that isn’t a vegetable.

The surprise when I get to the Big Peg (now that I know that this is a building and not a giant sculpture of something that pins clothes up) is there is not a hint of carrot but plenty of cakes, every type of coffee you could wish for as well as jams from the wonderfully named Mr & Mrs Preserve. Nowadays the vegetable stall is a refreshing regular – and it sells carrots of the orange kind rather than precious metal.

Since then, I have persuaded many regulars who I now meet up with and introduce to my regular fixes:

I’ve not been a fan of hot chocolate (not a big eater of chocolate, not because I don’t like it but because it’s one vice I can live without). However, a year down the line I find myself addicted to this hot chocolate. It all started as there was never a coffee around but now that my regular home-from-home Urban Coffee have finally arrived in the Quarter, I still choose the chocolate on 24 Carrot occasions, due to loyalty, tradition but also because it’s irresistible. I still don’t drink hot chocolate at any other time.

Next up is a chat and regular order of Kiss Me Cupcakes, vanilla & lemon, but many more if I’m due to visit any friends in the next 24 hours. Then it’s seeing what new delights Beans & Leaves and Mrs Preserve have on their stalls, I go with whatever they recommend and it’s always great. Most definitely there’ll be some hot samosas to pick up and quite often fresh eggs and gorgeous beeswax candles in primary colours on the same stall.

If needed I’ll buy some detectable flavours of cheese from the lovely ladies on Vee’s Deli. Of course you can decide on the famous carrots, pies, ready-made meals, honey, bread, homemade toiletries and much more. If we’re lucky, there’s some great music to keep us entertained which guarantees I stay for a second hot chocolate.

24 Carrots has become an institution in the Quarter. Come and say ‘hi’ if you’re going, we’re normally hovering between Kiss Me Cupcakes and More Cocoa for most of the time.

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