Sunday, 25 October 2009

Hobart Farmers Market

And a huge welcome this morning to the first genuine Farmers Market for Hobart, held at the Melville St car park.

It has long been my dream to see a central Farmers Market survive here in our capital city. Everyone round the country has them, so how come we, with the ‘food bowl’ mentality of our Premier, have never managed to sustain such a simple-sounding concept?

My fervent hope is that today will be the start of something as sustainable as Salamanca market, but without the ‘tat’ that has made Salamanca the unappealing venue I currently see it to be.

Nellie, the kids and I arrived round 7.30 (it was due to open at 8.00 am), and took a bit of a wander around to see exactly what was on offer there. Yes, it was small-ish but there is huge promise and potential in that germ of a start today. As we left (around 8.30) there was an appreciable crowd milling round all stalls, and I would be very surprised if all present today didn’t sell out of what produce they had.

The usual suspects (Nick Haddow, Ross and Matt Evans from Bruny Island Cheese and Rare Food; Dianne Rae from Grandvewe Cheese etc) were present and there were some small but class acts amongst all booths.

The environment was relaxed and friendly; the goods all, as required, grown and produced in Tasmania and sold by that person. I truly can’t believe we have had to wait this long for it to happen but am overjoyed Tassie has finally stepped, albeit belatedly, into the 19th Century! I’m hesitant to say this (detesting crowds as I do) but we all need to get behind this in order for it to succeed and be an ongoing market scenario for us purists.

I don’t know Maddi Peattie, the instigator of this market, but I’m recommending her for an OBE or equivalent at the next awards ceremony if this comes off!
(Link to Elaine Reeves article in The Mercury last Wednesday here as well)

Posted on by Rita


sir grumpy said...

I just go to Coles, Rita. Open every day for hours, no worries.
Bit rough that ``tat'' call for Salamanca. What do you consider ``tat''. Spit it out old girl.
Mind you I hate markets, so they could have all the tat in the world, I won't see it!
Good on them all the same at the farmers market.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this Rita?

stephen said...

I like you am thrilled Rita and very sorry I didn't get there this morning being very sleepy after the TSO Ball. But we will be supporting it. Crazy that it has taken so long to arrive and congratulations to the organisers.

Anonymous said...

One of the best reasons for markets is free choice. Its a place where the large chain supermarkets can not strangle out the smaller producers. I'm sure if the big two had their way they would find a way to stop them.
I say more markets, give the producers an alternative way to retail their products at a decent price.


Rita said...

Sir G - I realise you're probably trying to bait me, but STOP going to Coles for your fruit and veg! Get your butt along to the Farmers Market and give your hard-earned cash directly to the growers PLEASE.
'Tat' is what I describe all the stuff at Salamanca Market that is not edible! "Old girl" !!?? WTF?
Thanks Anon 5.31 for the link.
It will be good for you to support it Stephen. Hope to see you there one day soon...
Cartouche - couldn't agree with you more, and also great that you're still out there in blogland, and still reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

In the Bruny Cheese safe to eat now?

lottos said...

Congratulations and long live the farmer's markets!

chocmagpie said...

Congratulations to the organiser. This had to happen because it would be impossible for growers to even take their produce to Salamanca in their seasons, because Salamanca Market has become over-governed with rules and even casual stall-holders, who could once ring up for an occasional stall are now subjected to ridiculous red tape and have to be approved and registered by the Council, so Salamanca is not going to change until some of the old stallholders die and fade away!

Hazel said...

We got there at 8.30 and it was buzzing- there's definitely the demand for a market like this in Hobart. I must say personally I was hoping for some more fresh vegetables and fruit, we only bought a little jar of honey. It is a welcome addition to Hobart and hope it continues to grow.

lemon curd said...

Notice the link from the Muckery website to this blog Rita?

Rita said...

Anon 2.26 - I would say that BIC is definitely safe to eat. No way would they be allowed to produce and distribute if there was any kind of question about it at all..
Hi and welsome Lottos and Chocmagpie. Interesting comment you made about the red tape involved nowadays at Sala Market, Chocmagpie. If that's the way of things there, it looks like the Sunday farmers market might become way more popular a lot faster than predicted?
Hazel - as I already had a fridge full of goodies I also only bought a few magnificent pies from Matt and Ross at Rare Foods, so don't feel guilty. And it really isn't a peak producing time for fruit and veg but it soon will be, so we need the market up and successfully running by then.
There was rhubarb, and the micro-herb people, but you're right, that was bascially your lot as regards yesterdays Fruit & veg offerings. Nellie's observation when we were there was that she would have liked to see the Hmongs there maybe, with their range of F&V.
I'm sure there will be a lot more on offer in a months time.
Hi LC - no I haven't noticed the link yet but Elaine R did tell me that it would be added last night.

sir grumpy said...

It was all over too quick for an old geezer like me, Rita.
Why would I drive all the way from my southern suburb paradise to a shit-hole carpark where it would be hope rather than reality to pick up anything I NEEDED.
8.30? What, in the morning, good gracious, why would I get up at say 7.30am for anything like that?
I can get my fruit and veg round the corner, not a Coles or Woolies, 1 minute in the car (don't even bother telling me I can walk and save the planet).
Old girl is a term of endearment, Rita. I will stop using it if it feathers your ruffles.

Rita said...

Sir G - please don't take me seriously when I tongue in cheek said that about your 'old girl' comment. This is a time when the written word simply doesn't convey the tone of voice I'm afraid! As if I'd be pissed off with you saying that!

sir grumpy said...

Yes, I suspected that Rita, but you might have been having (God forbid) a bad day.
Like most blokes (I believe), I get wary of using terms such as ``love', ``darlin' '' and ``dear'' etc, for fear of offending. Which is a shame, I think.
I know many lady pals who call me those and I don't feel threatened or belittled, I feel chuffed.
Of course they have called me many things not so complimentary!
I also hate it when I let a female into a lift before me, or hold a door open for them, to be met with a cold stare and/or a grunt that signifies they are thinking I am treating them as a mere woman!
What to do.
Mind you, I've been bundled out the way at Hill Street Grocery by a woman in a hurry to get into pole position in that narrow lane along the fruit section.
Goodness knows what it was like in the wee small hours of Sunday morning as they battled for leafy greens!

Tassiegal said...

I think its needed and will be supporting it as much as possible. I got some lovely lamb, some micro herbs and some falfel mix for just over 20 bucks. For a single person who generally works weekends from 10, an 8am start to pick up food for the week on the way to work, works really well. Parking is much easier than at Salamanca as well.
I hope that it prospers and grows really quickly. I know the monthly one near my Mums in Brisbane is packed out at 7am from a 6am start, and it takes over a whole suburban street as well as the surrounding car parks.
I'd MUCH rather know my money was going to the people selling the stuff than some middle man.

sir grumpy said...

Now its 6am...oh no, I am still sound asleep dreaming of 10.30am bacon and eggs, Tassiegirl.

Unimpressed of Glebe said...

Sit these so called 'farmers' on their arses & demand that they have their market at a more reasonable time like 1pm when everyone MIGHT be awake. Its arrogance like this that will kill this market before its had time to be fully taken advantage of. Bloody pious farmers, grow vegies in more user friendly hours & stop being so self righteous!

Anonymous said...

What an outrageous idea! I'm a strong believer in consumer sovereignty but to call farmers 'self-righteous' and 'pious' is going far past the limit here. Good on the farmers market for being there in the morning. I would prefer to get up, see the morning sun, enjoy some local produce (maybe even for breakfast?) and haev a strole around talking to the stall holders. Coles and Woollies are a cold experience compared to getting to know the people who grow your food. Good on the farmers market, Hobart will be so much better for it.

sir grumpy said...

Now if they can get it back to 1am i have a fighting chance, as I am still up then, but prefer to be in bed by 2.30am.

Rita said...

Sir G - we still are waiting for your comment on the Juiced Up review a few posts back. Your comment was requested by one of my readers, and I'm surprised you haven't added your 10c worth yet!

Barry said...

Sorry but I dont think this market will survive unless there is a shitload more fruit & vege available. If you read the Mercury's comment on line regarding this you see what I mean. In October there is scant produce about & not really until summer when it really kicks off. Sure the sentiment is out there, everyone want it to succeed but people just want fresh seasonal accessable fruit & vege not just expensive value added products for yuppies
Did you trip over Evans & his ever present camera crew, I wonder if he goes to the lav alone or do they film that as well?

sir grumpy said...

You know, I've only ever gotten ice-cream from here. That's because on the days when me and the missus have said let's get into Juiced Up, they've been busy.
But we will get in there. They seem really nice and friendly in there.
In fact, I was pushed for time today, but the missus got me a huge cone, vanilla scoop and mango sorbet there if you must know.
It promises much. Don't know why anybody would be hanging out for my tuppence worth, however.

Anonymous said...

Farmers/Producers/Growers Markets are hugely successful on the mainland even more so than the car boot/bric a brac type markets.

They are not just for yuppies ! but for families/people who want to choose fresh quality local produce. We appreciate those who produce it instead of paying supermarkets huge $ mark ups for old stock & who in turn pay farmers/producers next to nothing.

Tassie really hasn't cottoned on the the huge potential yet. With good management & marketing farmers/producers markets can be very successful. Passion, positivity & persistence must prevail, I wish you well. And yes, hundreds of supporters coffee/tea in hand turn up religiously @ 7am & all day once a good reputation is cemented.

Anonymous said...

they've been tried in Hobart a few times. This latest incarnation is the best but its success is a combo of timing, more people and growing awareness and of course the efforts and tenacity of Maddie.
IMO they tend to work better in big cities where people are more disconnected to where food comes from. Here in Tas there is maybe only two degrees of seperation to the land so its not such a big deal here.