New Year’s Day, 2013 marked the first SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya. It was a significant day of new beginnings, particularly, the beginning of a local movement whose sole purpose and passion is to provide locally grown produce to the community.
The success of January and February’s trial markets led to the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s unanimous approval of the SAGE Farmers Market Moruya to continue on a permanent basis.
This exemplifies the Australia-wide groundswell of demand for farmers markets which offer only locally grown food (vegetables, seafood, meats) and value-added food (like honey, bread, milk and cheese). It makes sense to finally have a farmers market in Moruya, which was once the ‘food bowl’ of Sydney.
Although having a market in the afternoon and mid week is quiet unusual, it was decided that customers needed the opportunity to buy produce at a time that was convenient to them (after school and after work), on a day that produce is freshly picked, mid-way between the regular Saturday Moruya Markets, where many growers have stalls.
The Tuesday farmers market has about 22 stallholders and is attracting additional producers that do not usually sell their produce at the Saturday market.
The market hosts growers of all types, from big backyards to 100 hectare farms, from conventional horticulture to ‘spray-free’, bio-farming to certified organic. Growers come from Eurobodalla and beyond, with the closest commercial growers being a mere 500m from the markets on the fertile river flats.
The benefits of creating an ‘outlet’ for local producers to sell their produce are: – a stronger local economy; money stays in the community; significant income for local family enterprises; encourages local producers to invest in their land; customers can buy quality food at its peak freshness and nutrient availability; a healthier community; lower transport costs and fuel emissions; local food security; employment; food is low mileage; fair prices for farmers; an opportunity to build relationships; learn and experience healthy eating; providing your families with best available food; eating seasonally; creating a community experience; proving to be very social; encouraging farming as financially viable profession.
In addition to being able to buy locally grown and produced food at the market there is usually local talent providing live entertainment.
The SAGE Farmers Markets are held every Tuesday from 3pm – 6pm at Riverside Park, Moruya. We hope to see you there!