Making the farmers market a place to be

Gloucester Business Chamber's Sarah Fulton and Caitlin Tonelli are the new market coordinators. Photo supplied

Gloucester Business Chamber's Sarah Fulton and Caitlin Tonelli are the new market coordinators. Photo supplied

When Gloucester Business Chamber found out that MidCoast Council was looking for someone to take over the running of Gloucester Farmers Market, it saw a great opportunity to build on the legacy.

After being successful in their application to take over the council-run markets, chamber member's Caitlin Tonelli and Sarah Fulton took on the role of market coordinators.

"This is such a privilege for both chamber and us personally, to continue to nourish and develop this local venture," Sarah said.

"It incorporates the chamber's objectives of valuing and supporting our local economy by showcasing our very own incredible fresh local produce and the growers themselves as they sell their produce directly to the community."

Part of their idea to nourish and develop the farmers market, is looking at ways to attract new and diverse stallholders, and increase foot traffic from both locals and visitors.

They want to make it a 'must attend' market every second Saturday of the month by amping up the traditional country farmers market feel through the offering of locally grown fruit and vegetables, grass-fed beef, baked goods, cheeses, olive oils, fresh flowers and a unique selection of artisan-based produce.

"This is what we're passionate about; incredible fresh seasonal produce that comes from this beautiful corner of the world that we are lucky enough to call home," Sarah smiled.

The markets will still include great live entertainment and will explore new elements such as interactive recycling options, demonstrations and guest speakers.

To get things started, the next market held on Saturday, October 12, will see the host of River Cottage Australia, Paul West front up as a guest speaker.

Paul has transitioned from chef to a self-sustainable farmer who contends with seasons, planting, livestock and getting to know his local community.

"Paul is so passionate about sustainable and regional living as well as being an invaluable advocate for growing your own food," Sarah explained.

The Gloucester Farmers Markets are held on the second Saturday of every month from 8am - noon at Gloucester Billabong Park.

Did you know?

A farmers market can help maintain important social ties within a community, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbours in mutually rewarding exchange.

By providing outlets for local products, a farmers market helps create distinction and uniqueness, which can increase pride and encourage visitors to return.