In May 2003, The Ham&High reported that a farmers' market had been approved in a Marylebone car park.

A gathering of 40 stalls would line up between Moxon and Cramer Street, with the first day of business pegged for Sunday June 22.

It was not the first of the markets set up by American-born food writer Nina Planck - inspired by selling produce from her family farm at local markets in Virginia.

Ham & High: How the Ham&High reported the arrival of the farmers' marketHow the Ham&High reported the arrival of the farmers' market (Image: LFM)

First came Islington in 1999 - still running in Chapel Market on Sundays - swiftly followed by Notting Hill, Blackheath and Swiss Cottage.

It was part of a food revolution that brought independent artisan producers within a 100-mile radius of London to the capital's neighbourhoods - promoting sustainable growers and makers and providing access to fresh seasonal produce.

The Sunday Marylebone market became a huge draw for an area that was a burgeoning foodie destination. The likes of Patisserie Valerie, La Fromagerie, and The Ginger Pig were already in situ, with traders welcoming "the buzz" the market would bring to the area.

Ham & High: Wild Country Organics are among the hero producers who are Marylebone regularsWild Country Organics are among the hero producers who are Marylebone regulars (Image: LFM)

Two decades on, it is home to a slew of top eateries, from Chiltern Firehouse to Aubaine and Trishna, even as the original site is being redeveloped into the luxury Marylebone Square.

Operator London Farmers Markets (LFM) continues to run 20 farmers' markets, including Parliament Hill, West Hampstead and the award-winning Queen's Park.

On June 4 Marylebone Farmers Market - now based in Ayrbrook Street - will celebrate its milestone anniversary with "merriment, cake and prizes".

Ham & High: Customers browse Akiki Organics veg stallCustomers browse Akiki Organics veg stall (Image: LFM)

Seasonal fruit and veg, bread from local bakeries, handmade cheese and rare breed meats will be among the stalls, with hero producers including Wild Country Organics, which grows salad leaves near Cambridge in glasshouses without artificial heating.

Other LFM producers who sell at selected markets include The Peckham family - Simon, Fabienne and their children - of Galileo Farm in Warwickshire who rear geese, chickens, beef, lamp and pork to the highest possible welfare standards; Backyard Apiary from Swanley in Kent, and social enterprise bakery The Dusty Knuckle, which is run out of a renovated shipping container in a Hackney car park and works with young offenders and early school leavers.

Ian Smith from London Farmers Markets said: "Marylebone is one of our flagship markets. Customers do their weekly shop, it's a social event to meet friends and neighbours, and farmers and stallholders consider many of their customers to be dear friends as they watch their children grow.Ham & High: A bread stall at Marylebone Farmers' MarketA bread stall at Marylebone Farmers' Market (Image: LFM)

"Our farmers market has become a part of the social fabric of Marylebone and as it celebrates this anniversary, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on the positive impact it has had on the community and to look ahead to the future. We are pleased to say with strong support from the local community, that the market will be retaining its position on Ayrbrook Street once the Marylebone Square development is complete.

"With continued support from the community and a commitment to sustainability and local food, the Marylebone Farmers Market can continue to thrive for many years, come rain or shine!"

Ham & High: With community support the market will now be based permanently on Ayrbrook Street after its original site was redevelopedWith community support the market will now be based permanently on Ayrbrook Street after its original site was redeveloped (Image: LFM)

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