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Farmers’ market off to a great start

Media Advisory

Farmers’ market off to a great start

6 February, 2006

Hamilton’s new “gate to plate” fresh produce market got off to a roaring start at the weekend (Sunday, February 5).

Organisers estimate that approximately 2000 people went through the market over the four hours of trading from 8am until 12pm and said they were definitely there to shop.

“Most of the stalls were sold out within the first couple of hours and our stallholders had to go back for more stock,” said Hamilton Farmers’ Market Trust chairperson Tracey Lowndes.

“The corn was all gone by 8.20am. They made four trips back for more loads and still sold it all. The wonderful thing is that they weren’t just picking up new produce, they were picking it. Farmers’ markets are all about freshness and local quality food and you can’t get fresher than that.”

Stallholders at the inaugural Hamilton Farmers’ Market were selling eggs, fruit, vegetables, cured meats, preserves and relishes, plants, herbs and coffee from around the Waikato. More seasonal produce like melons, greens and apples will be available as it comes on line.

The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is held on the first and third Sunday of every month on the Wintec carpark at the corner of Tristram and Collingwood Streets. The market opens at 8am, with no trading until that time, finishes at 12pm and runs rain or shine. The next market is on Sunday, February 19.
Ms Lowndes said the market information stall attracted a steady flow of potential stallholders and the organisers were keen to hear from anyone interested in having a stall. They’d particularly like to hear from bakers and cheesemakers but all enquries are welcome and the more seasonal produce the better.

The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is a food only market selling primary produce like fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry and fish, and added value products like preserves, wine and oils. The only exceptions are seedlings, cut flowers, compost and fertilisers.

The market’s goal is to encourage local growing and local buying and the rules make that clear, with only growers or food-makers able to take a stall and no re-selling allowed.

Community Radio supplied music for the first market and the organisers would also like to hear from buskers and other music groups.

- Stallholders who might like to comment: Jonathan & Sarah Walker, Soggy Bottom (meat), 07 824 8383; Andrew Miller, Kentucky Meadows (eggs), 07 823 5061; Philippa Stevenson (plums), 021 778386

- The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is held on Sunday February 5 from 8am until 12pm on the corner of Tristram and Collingwood Streets, Hamilton. The site has been provided by Wintec in support of the market. Anyone interested in selling at the market or supporting The Hamilton Farmers’ Market Trust should contact Tracey Lowndes on 07 855 4384, 027 428 9358 or tlowndes@xtra.co.nz or Market Manager Rachael Voyce at 06 868 8220 or rachael@tourismtactics.co.nz.

- The growing interest in setting up new markets and the popularity of existing markets has led to establishment of the New Zealand Farmers’ Market Association. New Zealand has around 15 farmers’ markets to date, while Australia has 50 and the US 3500.

ENDS

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