Markets have certainly captured the mood of the moment.

In this age of austerity, we have all been doing our bit by tightening our belts and finding bargains where we can. More have taken to growing their own vegetables and markets are thriving as people turn to traditional, local sources of fresh food and much more.

Dorchester has a thriving market industry, with a weekly Wednesday market at Fairfields, a farmers’ market that runs the length of South Street on the last Saturday morning of the month and another that takes over Queen Mother’s Square in Poundbury on the first Saturday of the month.

Not as large, well publicised or, sadly, patronised as these three is the town’s weekly Country Market, and those not in the know are missing out on a weekly treat of wonderfully fresh and lovingly created food, plants and crafts.

Dorchester Country Market started life as the WI Market almost 100 years ago but took on its current form as a commercial concern when the WI became a charity.

It takes place at Dorchester’s Corn Exchange every Friday from 8.30am to 11am apart from the Friday closest to Christmas. During Easter Week, it is held on Maundy Thursday instead of Good Friday – April 17 this year.

Two rooms in the historic building are given over to the market tables. In the first room you can buy carefully nurtured garden plants, gorgeous home-made jams, marmalades and preserves and mouthwatering cakes, biscuits and savoury pies and bakes.

You can also buy delicate hand-made cards for every occasion and the most wonderful array of handicrafts including jewellery, knitted bedsocks and hot water bottle covers, colourful aprons and toasty gloves and mittens.

Now the committee, which includes manager Stella Knight, treasurer Shirley Bartlett and chairman Maureen Bond, is hoping that more people will come along to market, not just to buy the fabulous crafts and produce available, but also to sell their own wares.

“We need more customers and more people to sell their goods,” said Stella.

“My parents used to come to the market when it was down at the United Church in South Street, my mother used to cook and my father used to grow and sell his vegetables.

“When my youngest son was 18 and off to university I made the rash promise that I would bake cakes for the market – I’m still doing it and he’s 43 now!”

Stella added: “I know there are a lot of people out there growing vegetables and it would be nice to see them in here selling some of the fruits of their labours.

“There are 25 of us taking part in the market and none of us are getting any younger, so it would be lovely to see some new faces joining us.”

Anyone interested in joining the Country Market should pop into the Corn Exchange on a Friday morning and say hello to Stella. If you are planning on selling anything edible, you will need a food hygiene certificate.

And if you are looking for delicious cakes, jammy preserves, flourishing plants, lovingly hand-crafted woollens and much more, then pop into the Country Market and see what you can find.