Last night our Farmers Market was voted delicious! Magazine’s Most Outstanding Farmers Market. In Australia. Our small town that almost no-one has heard of, won a national award.
It’s a pretty big thing but not that which initially seems obvious which would be along the lines of “that’s great! More people will come to our market” and that may happen but that’s not why this is a big thing. Bear with me.
I dont know who votes on these things. There are some pretty big “food world” names thrown around, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Christine Mansfield to name a few. I can’t say what swayed their judgment towards us as opposed to the other great markets in the mix. But I can offer a couple of reasons why I think we won. Read More »
On the 1st January 2013 we set up a Farmers Market to provide a direct outlet for farmers/growers and to provide fresh local produce to the community. It has been a great success and continues to grow. But that’s another story.
What became quickly apparent back then was that demand far outstripped supply particularly in the vegetable department and most of us vegie growers were selling out in 25 minutes which became an issue. So what to do, we thought.As there was no prospective growers in the area at that time we realised that we probably need to train one up. After thinking about that we thought that probably a lot of areas were short of growers and it might be worthwhile diving in the deep end to see if it was something that would work anywhere.
The SAGE community garden site in Moruya has 600sqm of bed space which is very, very small in market gardening terms but perfect really for budding farmers without a decent sized plot to get their hands in the dirt and experience and learn the ins and outs of commercial growing to gain enough skills to be able to set up their own operation. And that in turn should add to the amount of good quality food available to that person’s community.
So dive in the deep we did and after a process we met Kyle.
February. Hot. Dry. Gardening is quite challenging in these conditions. But it is Summer and soon it’ll break (fingers crossed) and we’ll be into Autumn and regular readers will know how I feel about Autumn. Love. Autumn.
Our house supply of water-what we cook, drink, wash our veg for market, brush our teeth and shower under is drying up. It happens from time to time. We’ve only bought water twice in the time we’ve been here though. When the tank gets half full we watch our consumption. When it gets to a quarter, where it got to last week, we tighten up. The kids get 1 minute in the shower. And I wash in the dam.
And this might sound like an inconvenience or an impost on a “regular” way of life. But actually it’s lovely and I wonder why I don’t do it all the time. At the end of a stinking day, covered in dust and sweat and grime, to slip into the water leaves the day behind.
The kids are asleep in bed, dinner’s been done, the sun has set and there’s a beautiful tranquility. I can hear the chickens fussing up in the paddock as they sort out their roosting arrangements for the night. I can hear the black cockies calling to each other as they fly back to wherever they sleep at night. The frogs start croaking and calling. Little bats start flitting at the edge of sight, picking up mosquitoes as they twist and turn silently. The first stars appear and soon there is no noise apart from the frogs and the splashing of water as I move my arms and legs to stay afloat. Magical.
I often get asked why we do it. Why we live where we live and do what we do. On a hot summers day in the fields with everything roasting and drying out and baking off and dying, I ask myself the same question. Every day I get a different answer. Today the answer is in the dam.
“The school of thought which believes that farmers should not have holidays may skip this chapter. To them we tender our apologies, and trust they find excellent value for their money in the rest of this book” So begins Chapter 10 in George Henderson’s excellent summary of his farming practice in “The Farming Ladder”
Dear George then goes on to describe how he worked for 5 years, 80 hours a week with only a stroll down the driveway on Sundays to break it up. He eventually takes 8 days a year when he goes climbing mountains and on other adventures. Our man George was an inspired bloke. His success was built entirely upon his effort. The guy was a legend. Read More »