Market milestone

By David Rak

A large crowd gathered in Tallarook last week to celebrate the Tallarook Farmers’ Market’s 10th birthday.

Starting as a general market in the Tallarook Mechanics Institute Hall in 2009, the farmers’ market has grown to become the only Victoria Farmers’ Markets Association accredited market in Mitchell Shire.

The accreditation means everyone selling goods at the market has to be the grower, producer or farmer of the product.

Market manager Cynthia Lim said the accreditation was important because a lot of people wanted to cut out big corporations and go straight to the producer.

‘‘A lot of people want to cut out the middle man and see local producers rewarded for their effort. They also like the market because it’s important to know where your food comes from,’’ she said.

‘‘We have no resellers at the market. Everything being sold was produced by the people you’re buying it from.’’

Ms Lim said the market had gone from strength to strength and was attracting more visitors from out of town.

‘‘At the recent market, a lot of the regulars said they didn’t recognise most of the faces, which is fantastic because it means people are going out of their way to support local people,’’ she said.

‘‘But because Tallarook is a very small community, the market serves as more than just a place to do your monthly food shopping.

‘‘People use the market as a time to catch up with their friends and family and find out what is happening in town and around the district.’’

Like most things in small communities, Ms Lim said the market would not be possible without the dedication of volunteers.

‘‘We are very proud to have been going for 10 years,’’ she said.

‘‘Volunteers like Tallarook Mechanics Institute secretary Colin Davidson and the rest of the committee do an amazing amount of work to run the market.

‘‘We owe a big thanks to all the volunteers and stallholders because we couldn’t do it without them. They provide so much high-quality product that the community keep coming back for.

‘‘Thanks to Cherry Tree Wind Farm for their donation for the produce bag giveaways and thanks to all the businesses who made donations to the monster raffle.

‘‘It’s good to see people believing in and supporting the market and we hope to be going for another 10 years.’’