>When I started to look for farmer’s markets I found that nearly every village or town in Kent had one. In theory, it looked as though you could make a living travelling from one to the next, without the commitment and overheads of a shop. But so much depended on the fickleness of the crowd: their decision on whether to go, and their frame of mind if they did, were vital to my profit margin. Negotiating with market organisers wasn’t easy either: with most I had to wait to be invited. It's quite easy for the molluscs and me to get an invitation as we’re offering something unique, but the fees are often too high to be able to make a profit. So next time you dine out on free samples, think for a moment about the poor stall holder who probably had to get up at 5am and is just trying to make a living.

I have pitched my stall in every unsuitable place and ghastly weather imaginable: by a cliff top bandstand in a force seven, in muddy puddles and snowdrifts, alongside a filthy gutter full of cigarette ends, on cobbles outside a strip club in Soho and on a pebbly car park in the pouring rain behind a village pub. But is it any better on sunny days? Sun brings the crowds out but if you are selling perishable goods, hot weather can be more of a problem than cold. And the snails don’t like it hot and dry. The molluscs always come with me and join in the jolly fun but by midday we’ve usually both had enough and just want to curl up and go back to sleep. But every time I think this is going to be the one where the customers want to buy my wares. So it’s off to Beckenham this Saturday to Copers Cope Market on the Green, with car loaded to the roof again and fingers firmly crossed.

http://coperscope.wordpress.com/market-on-the-green/ with 34 stalls, a fun fair and free entertainment from 10am to 4pm Saturday 3 August