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Community Farmers Market

{Guest Post by Sally Waites}

 

I Started A Community Farmers Market

 

Community Farmers Market

This post is the first of a series over the coming weeks on Farmers Markets.

This post is written by Sally Waites, a stay at home mum, a self confessed foodie and local community enthusiast. Sally started the Bellarine Community Farmers Market in January this year (2012). The Bellarine Community Farmers’ Market is located at Ocean Grove Park in the heart of the town. The  area was saved from development over 15 years ago by a group of dedicated volunteers, who still maintain the park via fundraising events.

If you are a regular reader of A Fresh Legacy you will know that I love to visit my local Farmers Market and support local producers. Fresh produce sends me into a creative whirlwind and my kitchen into mayhem. I can’t wait to use the produce I have collected and may start cooking numerous meals at once.  

I met Sally via a local networking group and I have visited her market a number of times over the previous months.  I love that the market is larger each time I visit. I also admire the passion that Sally displays for sourcing and promoting local fresh produce and community initiatives. Be sure to visit and like the Bellarine Community Farmer’s Market Facebook page to keep up to date with stall holders and market information. And of course if you are in the area drop in to collect some goodies.

This post is Sally’s account of starting the market.

Hi, I am Sally. I started the Bellarine Community Farmers Market in January 2012. It is a genuine produce only market that specialises in local Bellarine produce.

I had the good fortune to grow up in a small, tight knit country town and those simple, care-free beginnings are still deep rooted in my life. We were free- range kids – everyone knew each other and kept an eye out for their neighbours. My mum was a stay at home mum and a great baker. We grew veggies, had fruit trees and a house cow and chooks. I often raided our neighbours place for nuts and mulberries. I grew up surrounded by beautiful home grown produce. I loved the Saturday morning shop with Mum, walking down the street to the butcher, the baker, the fruit and veg shop and the grocery store. It usually took most of the morning as we would stop and talk to everyone.

After leaving my home town I lived and worked in a variety of places, both interstate and overseas. My jobs were many and varied, but the ones I loved most included – a cook, office manager of a catering company, cruise hostess and a sales assistant in a bakery.  I didn’t realise it until recently but the draw card was always food. I was happiest around people and around food.

The Market Origins:

I moved to the Bellarine Peninsula and started a family. It is a fantastic family area with a strong community focus. I have found children definitely change your thinking. As a mother I began to realise the parts of my life that I was most passionate about were:

  • Family and friends
  • Community
  • The environment
  • Health and food

These are the principles I have based the market on. I wanted a job that I would love where I could still be with the kids and I kept coming back to this idea.

Ocean Grove Park is surrounded by native Bellarine gums. It includes a walking and exercise track with children’s playground, and large oval at it’s heart. The park is a fantastic community space and fits in perfectly with the markets philosophies. I am very pleased we are able to support it’s future in some small way and am full of admiration for it’s history and the environmental ethics of the people who run it.

The Market Supports and Sells:

The Bellarine Community Farmer’s Market supports the local community with several initiatives designed to “give-back”, including a free Sausage Sizzle and “Shout Out” Stalls, available to any not-for-profit local community group to run. There  is also a shared Community Stall. It is specifically for the local lobby farmers or backyard growers who have a glut of seasonal produce (but not enough to have their own stall). Everyone has an opportunity to be involved.

As well as smaller producers, the market also has representation from food based businesses, school kitchen gardens, local community gardens and larger producers. We have a selection of fruit, vegetables, honey, eggs, olive oils, organic meat, cheese, baked savoury and sweet goods, popcorn, coffee, preserves and condiments, plants, herbs and flowers and the list of stall holders continues to grow each month.

Come and visit us and see for yourself!

 Community Farmers Market

When:

Bellarine Community Farmer’s Market: A great family day out for your traditional Saturday morning shop.

The market is on every third Saturday of the month 9am – 1 pm at Ocean Grove Park.

Find out More or Contact:

Find us on Facebook for the latest information.  All enquiries can be made to: Sally Waites – 0418 141 208

Thank you Sally for sharing your inspirational story of starting the Bellarine Community Farmers Market. I look forward to visiting the market each month to discover new stalls and local produce. See you at the next market!

*The image at the top of this page and not watermarked A Fresh Legacy, is copyright and courtesy of Bellarine Farmers Market.

 

 

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