Farmers Market & Huntly Crafters

Farmers Market

On Hairst Saturday we grow the Farmers Market significantly with over 50 stalls showcasing and selling locally grown, reared, made or caught produce. The stall holders pride themselves in the high quality of their product sharing the provenance while you make your purchases.

Some of these stalls will also visit Leith Hall on the Sunday for the Big Picnic. The Big Picnic focuses on where our food comes from so stall holders take a different approach to the Saturday; for example, our Honey stall holder brings interesting, educational and interactive learning tools to explain how honey is made as well as being able to purchase honey.

Huntly Crafters

As with the farmers market the Craft Fair has a different feel, the crafters are sharing their product origins and how they go through the making process, often crafters set up fun tasks for kids to try to help them remember what they have learnt.

Huntly Crafters are a group of people who either earn a living or have a hobby crafting in the Huntly area. The group is a way to bring people together to share learnings and also to hold craft fairs on a regular basis to be able to sell some of the individual pieces of work. Check out Huntly Crafters on Facebook.

Kids Activities

Something that everyone enjoys about Leith Hall is the lovely nature walks around the pond and through the woods. There are three waymarked trails to see a brilliant variety of wildlife. On the day of the Big Picnic there will be a special fun nature walk for kids to complete costing £3 per child.

Leith Hall will have crafting tables where children can have a go at lots of making things activities, these will be free of charge.

As Leith Hall have lots of open green spaces there is plenty of room for families to bring their own games to play after their picnic in the sun.

Live Music

There will be musical entertainment throughout the day with visiting musicians from the local area.

Foraging Sessions

Foraging is about more than just trying to find a bit of free food. Its about making a connection to the wild world, reminding us that all food begins with growing things, nurtured by soil, sunlight and water.

Foraging is an age old process that has increased in popularity in recent years, becoming a trendy activity for some and a complete lifestyle for others, as a result of raising awareness about eating organic and local fresh ingredients.

Rare Breeds of North East Scotland

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the only charity in Britain dedicated to the conservation of rare or native breeds of livestock. At the Big Picnic the Rare Breed sheep, pigs and horses will be on display so children can ask questions and be interactive with the animals. This is a great starting point for discussions on the origins of food. The volunteers have great knowledge to share and look forward to talking to anyone who has an interest in their animals.

Each year the RBST produces a watchlist, this categorises the breeds based on the numbers of registered breeding females in the UK. This list includes; sheep, cattle, equine, pigs, goats and poultry. Visit their website to gain a better understanding of what they do or even give a donation to support their work

Farmers Market & Street Food

Farmers Market

A Farmers Market is held once a month in The Square Huntly. The Hairst gives us the opportunity to grow the market significantly with over 50 stalls showcasing and selling locally grown, reared, made or caught produce. The stall holders pride themselves in the high quality of their product sharing the provenance while you make your purchases.

Produce stalls will be selling locally farmed meat and game, fish, freshly made breads, condiments, fresh vegetables, eggs, cheese, fresh pasta, honey, preserves, tea, gin, cakes and much more.

Apply for a Market Stall

If you would like to apply for a Market Stall please click on the applicable link below and complete the online application form (Street Food Stall applications can be found further down this page):

Street Food

With the growth of food offering on Hairst day we also offer a superb range of Street Food; ready to eat food made locally to enjoy for your lunch on the day. This includes pizza, bbq, hog roasts, barista coffee, homemade pancakes and award winning ice cream.

Many stall holders and street vendors offer food choices tailored to those with food intolerances, please ask each vendor for details before you buy. (Huntly Hairst can make no guarantees that food has been produced in an allergy safe environment).

Apply for a Street Food Stall

If you would like to apply for a Street Food Stall please click on the link below and complete the online application form:

Producers who took part in the 2019 Huntly Hairst

With the current Government guidelines we are unable to hold farmers markets, click the logos below to visit our virtual stallholders and use their services, as they too are trying to keep trading going in these challenging conditions.

Food Producers

Other Market Stalls

Street Food vendors who took part in the 2019 Huntly Hairst

Craft Stalls

The Huntly Hairst and Huntly Crafters come together to put on a Craft Fair showcasing the best of our local crafters in the Aberdeenshire area. Due to popular demand we will have more crafters this year than ever before.

Small businesses like these survive through regular craft fairs, please continue to support them by clicking the images below to visit their business sites where you can purchase their unique, individual products.

Apply for a Craft Stall

If you would like to apply for a Craft Stall please click on the link below and complete the online application form:

Huntly Crafters

World Stovies Championship

Huntly Hairst has been hosting the World Stovies Championships for the past 7 years as part of the North East food and drink culture. Contestants come from far and wide to present their version of Stovies in competition for the Championship title. This year we want to highlight the total eating experience of Stovies, so will be introducing both Pickled Beetroot and Oatcakes into our food competitions. People in the past have made exotic twists on the Stovies recipe but we have gone back to basics and ask contestants to give us their Traditional Stovies only. This still allows for a great deal of scope, should they include meat and potatoes? Which vegetables are right for Stovies? Should the burnt bit from the bottom of the pan be regarded as a plus or a minus? Which meat makes the best Stovies?

Come to the Stewarts Hall on the afternoon of Hairst Day to see all the Stovies entries and sample the delights of Stovies made by a local chef.

The Recipe of a Champion

In 2014 the multi-award winning writer and passionate hobby chef Stuart MacBride won the Stovies Championships (most people might know him better for his books). In a 2018 Interview with the Press & Journal Stuart is quoted as saying:

“I was crowned World Stovies Champion in 2014 at a competition in Huntly. Not to sound bigheaded but I’ve won a couple of things over the years from the writing, but the only trophy on my desk is the Stovies Champion one. It’s the tiniest plastic cup but has started more fights than I’ve ever had in my life. Everyone thinks their granny makes the best stovies – but do they have a trophy to prove it?”

He kindly makes the winning stovies recipe available on his website.

Poetry Competition

To celebrate the life of the Huntly Writers poet Brian Nisbet a poetry competition was set up in his name. In its fifth year this event is open to everyone to have a go.

Prizes will be given for the best poem on the theme of ‘VISION’


  • Poems should be between 4 and 40 lines long and with the theme ‘vision’.
  • Poems can be in Doric or English language.
  • 6 Different Categories – 3 for Doric, 3 for English
    • up to and including 12 years
    • age 13 – 17 years
    • 18 years and over
  • Please state whether your poem has previously been published.
  • Entries must be submitted with name, category and contact information attached separately, to Orbs community bookshop, Deveron St, Huntly or by email to
  • Entries to be submitted by mid-day 16th August 2020.
  • One entry per person.
  • Entry is free.

Prizes will be awarded at the Huntly Hairst. The venue will be confirmed on the Huntly Hairst Facebook page closer to the date.

Please note that in entering you agree to your poem being used at the Huntly Writers Group National poetry day event on 1st October 2020.

2019 winning poems on the subject of Truth

CATEGORY: Age 12 and under

1st: Linden Stewart for “The Truth About Truth”
2nd: Annabelle Rose Medler for “Soul of the Planet”
3rd: Aiden Grant for “Truth”
Highly commended:
Alfie Gordon for “Truth”
Joshua McNeil for “The Truth About Guinea Pigs”

The Truth About Truth by Linden Stewart

The importance of being honest
And always telling the truth
Is something grown-ups like to remind us
And drum into the youth.

If you pull a funny face
They resort to their favourite trick:
“Don’t go around with that face on,
“If the wind changes, it’ll stick!”

Or if you’re watching the telly
Relaxing, without a care
It’s, “don’t watch too much TV-
“It’ll make your eyes go square!”

Or if you leave your crusts at lunchtime
Although you’ve eaten all the rest
They’ll only go and tell you,
“But they’ll put hairs on your chest!”

Not to mention their magical creatures
Rainbows ending in pots of gold
If the truth is really out there
It is not spoken by the old.

Sometimes people tell you
That the truth is plain to see
But you’re told so much in your lifetime
It’s hard to choose what to believe.

CATEGORY: Age 13-17

1st: Erin Knox for “Truth and Lies”
2nd: Kirsty Beaumont for “In the deepest darkest corners”
3rd: Charis Connell for “Where Truth Lives”

Truth and Lies by Erin Knox

Truth is like a labyrinth
a twisting series of ever warping lies
The lies are like flaming vipers,
lashing out as you pass through the corridor

The journey to the truth is hard
you can be seduced by lies prospects
the walls are black and white,
merging together to form false ideals

but should you know the way,
or have the smallest map,
you can find your way through the confusion,
and to the sweet reward

Truth is like an apple tree
In full blossom
yet the apples are restricted
until you know all

The apples vary in flavours
Some sweet, some sour
but a few are laced with poison,
as the truth is often harmful

be wary of truth
for it hides behind a mask of lies
know only its true form
and not regret the price

For truth is a double edged sword
For those who control it
They can change its form

but nevertheless, be wary of its blade
It may swing one way,
but karma will also swing it the other

So when looking for truth
Heed caution – be wary
It is a dangerous weapon
In the wrong hands

CATEGORY: Unpublished over 18

1st: Dawn Finch for “Catching Time”
2nd: Emily White for “Dad’s Handwriting”
3rd: Nick May for “I’ve Lost Truth”
Highly commended:
Robert Morrison for “Truth?”
Rosemary MacLeod for “I May Now Lay”

Catching Time by Dawn Finch

My hands caught time without me realising
The years crept across them leaving freckled footprints
brown pressed on paper-thin
tissue-like, drawn tight
Decades pasted upon knuckle bones
The lines of palm that in my youth
were sharp, and deep
and spoke of truth
of future hopes and things to come
now speak more of years long gone
A craquelure of wet
and cold
and faster years
and growing old
When I was small and pink of fist
with life to come and nothing missed
my grandmother’s stern hands reigned
Oven-red, bleach-sore
sausage-fingered, berry-stained
white and sweet with flour and sugar
rose-scratched, earthy raw
steadying and strong
At her bedside as the lights of her life dimmed
I saw the tissue of her skin
thin-laced over knotted bones
pulse stutter
Her grip a mere moth-like flutter

I laid my hands over hers as she neared a century old
and wondered if she’d felt the years unfold
if she, in her time, had also thought
of all the years her hands had caught
and if she too had mused on how much they
had accidently let slip away.

CATEGORY: Published over 18

1st: Cara Stevens for “Circular Truth”

Circular Truth by Cara Stevens

My mother told me
I must never tell lies
And I believed her.
But psychologists say
That seventy per cent of us lie
Ninety per cent of the time,
Yet ninety per cent of us
Always believe
What we are told.
A mismatch is apparent.
We lie, yet assume others
Are telling the truth.
We are both gullible
And deceitful in turn.
I still value truth
And seek it out,
Ask for evidence
To support any claim,
But if we aren’t truthful
In our output
How can we demand
Truth in return?

To my children I say
Nobody likes finding out
They’ve been lied to.
You must never tell lies.

(Please note that the author does not claim accurate representation of psychologists’ findings.)