Monday, September 07, 2009


Part 2

The Farmers Market

Recently there has been some pressure to open up our quarantine regime to allow for the importation of more produce. It is felt that our tourist visitors do not always appreciate the seasonality of our produce supplies, and would dearly love to have access to the range of things they can enjoy on the mainland. Our government is going to trial the importation of apples, because they are, indeed, one of the things that do not grow really well here.

However, there is strong local opposition to going any further than that. Many have quarantine concerns. Others strongly believe this fertile little island is capable of producing all we really need. Many agree it is much better to eat what is local and seasonal.
A recently formed group, called "Sustainable Norfolk" decided to establish a Farmer's Market outside of our local hall on Saturday mornings, so we can not only see what really is available, but to bring the public into closer contact with the growers themselves. It is also great for small backyard producers to have the chance to bring their excess for sale and earn some pocketmoney.

Lovely fresh herbs are quickly sold.

These carrots and bananas may not be the smooth and symmetrical items you see displayed in neat rows on the mainland - but they taste much better!!

This has been a wonderful success, although we hope there will be more taking part in the future. It is an opportunity for growers to bring along their fresh (very) produce and sell it direct to their customers. It is also providing a means of finding out just what people like to buy and try, and perhaps grow new things for those of us who really appreciate good healthy food.

And one thing I have sensed, as we have faced a degree of financial hardship in recent times, is that more people are striving to make their mealtimes more special, and are savouring the special delights on offer in the food lines. The bigger luxuries may have to wait, but there is no reason why we should not be making the most of the small ones!

Anyone who comes along to the Saturday markets cannot fail to feel the "good vibes" there. It has become a great social occasion, a chance to meet up and chat, and perhaps even share recipes and ways of preparing the vegetables.

There is a "no plastic bag" policy at the Farmers Market - another sensible and sustainable practice. I am sure, that others, like me, have taken great delight in bringing out the special baskets they may have had at home, lying unused.

As well as fruit and veges, people have been selling home made pasta and sushi, baked goods and jams, even boxes of firewood kindling.

This last week, Parks and Wildlife had masses of Norfolk Island native trees available for people who presented vouchers they had received in the mail. This was most popular!

Next year, I think I will make a special effort to produce enough marmalade to sell from time to time.

A little lamb came to market on Saturday - much to everyone's delight.

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