Community markets not only support our farmers and traders but are also a fun day out for the whole family. We speak to the committee of the Nabiac Farmers Market about the benefits of buying local.
Can you tell us a little history about the market; when and why did they first start?
The Nabiac Farmers Market was founded by local Helen Smith, who was inspired by village markets in Europe and the demand for more fresh, local produce in Nabiac. With a supportive throng of volunteers along the way, the market was launched on the 30th August 2003.
The motto: “Make It! Bake It! Grow It!” has always been the market’s ethos.
Helen’s desire was to connect people with locally grown produce in a convivial atmosphere, creating a place which brings people together. The market also has a positive impact on the local economy. It’s been satisfying to see how many people have started a new business, based on the ready platform of a market stall.
The market continues to flourish, thanks to a motivated market management team, volunteers and members of the local community, who are passionate about the market’s place in the community.
There are a variety of different stalls at the market; can you run us through what’s on offer?
Fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs, cut flowers, edible and ornamental trees, plants, shrubs, bulbs and seedlings. Specialty items: Kombucha, jams, preserves, culinary condiments, olive oil, olive products, nuts, spices, dried herbs, artisan breads, gluten-free cakes, honey and beeswax wraps. Unique garden décor, woodwork, art, pottery, stained glass-work and jewellery. Hand-made apparel, showcasing a range of textiles. Aromatherapy oils, massage, health care and natural skin products. Locally made wine, cheese and beer. Chickens, pasture-raised eggs, duck eggs and meat.
What are some of the benefits for the vendors?
The market supports sustainable agriculture within the region. It links producers with the public, generates employment and creative opportunities, reduces food miles and provides an outlet to earn money from the land and creative pursuits. It embraces traditional food production, art and craft making.
Many vendors consider their market stall to be an integral part of sales and marketing for their business. A market stall enables producers to stay in touch with what customers are looking for.
Nabiac has become a thriving little community. How does the market contribute to this?
The monthly market attracts locals, visitors and people passing through the region. A recent survey revealed that many visitors to the market were travelling through and saw the signs on the highway, which drew them into the village. The survey also revealed that many regulars came from outside the area, including Gloucester and weekenders from Sydney.
Market day enhances trade in the village and creates a social hub of market shopping in a vibrant, friendly atmosphere.
Nabiac Farmers Market financially supports local projects and boosts the local economy.
Why should people support local markets?
Farmers markets are key contributors
Markets give greater access to a variety of locally grown, healthy fresh food and products. They play an integral role in achieving good health and wellbeing.
You’re always looking for new vendors. Is there anything, in particular, you’d like to be able to offer at the markets? How does one become a stallholder?
We welcome new enquiries. Stallholders’ applications are now open. Sites inside and outside the hall are available. Apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants are required to be local and to make, bake or grow their product. There are guidelines, and insurance, which need to be met, to ensure the high-quality standards and ethos of the market. Applications will be reviewed by the market committee, and successful applicants will be notified regarding approval.
For further information, Ph: 0422 177 122 or visit the website.
It’s a fun day out for the family. What’s on offer for the kiddies and adults?
The market boasts around 80 stalls, with a wide variety of goodies for sale. There’s fantastic musical entertainment, both inside the historic hall and outside on the grass. In the heart of the market, it’s lovely to see people dancing to the band, sipping fresh coffee and enjoying a bite to eat from the great selection of food.
People love talking to stallholders about their products and gaining tips on how to use them. They share advice such as: using specialised ingredients, keeping hens, health, and sharing artistic ideas.
Children love seeing their friends and choosing their own plants or gifts. Kids are often inspired to grow, make or bake things for themselves.
Comments from shoppers at the market:
“I love the quality, the freshness and talking to passionate producers. Of course, I really enjoy the great coffee and social time.”
“Our family love the market. We block out the last Saturday of each month to go. There’s great quality and variety, with reasonable prices. The atmosphere is fantastic.”
After the market, shoppers can check out the cattle sales and chattel auction on the other side of the arena. Or, head back to the village to the op-shop, vintage shops, cafés or the pub.
You’ve recently launched a new website. Where can we find it, and what information is available?
We are excited about our new website: nabiacfarmersmarket.com
It contains info such as market dates, how to apply to become a vendor, events and details of our stallholders. We are also active on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nabiacfarmersmarket
What’s the future vision for the Nabiac Markets?
- To celebrate sustainable, regional living and hold special themed events.
- To increase the use of eco-friendly packaging.
- To continue to offer a range of high-quality goods in a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.
- To continue providing a dynamic attraction in Nabiac to boost the township, its businesses and attract tourism.
- To uphold the motto “Make It! Bake It! Grow It!”
And finally, when are the markets held?
On the last Saturday of every month (except December), rain, hail or shine. 8
Ph: 0422 177 122 or visit the website.
Bring your baskets and make a day of it. You’ll be glad you did.
Interview: Bronwyn Davis.