The importance of local food systems Part 2
"A Farmers’ Market is predominantly a fresh food market... that provides an environment for farmers and specialty food producers to sell farm-origin and associated value-added specialty foods..., and plant products, directly to customers.” Australian Farmers market Association
The Braidwood Farmers Market has been operating since November 2013 and is possibly if not the first, cold climate Farmer’s Market that began operating in the region. The SAGE markets in Moruya commenced in early 2013 but located on the coast it is not within our climate zone. The Southern Harvest Markets in Bungendore did not commence until 2015.
The Braidwood Farmers market has very basic rules with a primary focus on local food production. These include that, all produce should be sold by the principal producer; Re-sellers are not permitted; value added produce is to be... derived primarily from the vendors property or from within the geographic boundaries; and cooked/processed foods should... preferable utilise local produce and where possible, obtained from other stallholders. While many other markets across the region have become increasingly dominated by ready to eat food vendors with no connection to food that is grown in the region Braidwood Farmers Market has remained essentially a local food producers market.
Between these three vegetable produces Braidwood Farmers Market has an extensive range of seasonal produce, that ensures market goers can source all their weekly vegetable needs.
Another little known fact is that the Araluen valley, a unique pocket of temperate climate is located within our LGA. The Harrison’s farm is in the Araluen Valley and this ensures that Bradiwood Farmers Market always has a range of produce available well ahead of their cool climate colleagues. Harrisons also operate the last large peach orchard in the valley and for that matter the district.
Braidwood Farmers market is certainly fulfilling its role in the local food economy and provides an excellent opportunity for co-producers (consumers) not only to have a direct link and role in the agricultural process but to purchase an incredible range of truly local food.
The Braidwood Farmers Market is on this Saturday at the National Theater. It operates the first & third Saturday of the month from 8.30 to 12.30.
Bronwyn Richards has cared for animals and has been growing vegetables successfully all her adult life. She is principle gardener for Wynlen House Farm