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Are Farmers Markets Really Farmers Markets?

By pepmeup - 9 May 2009 45

G’day all,

Just a quick question are the Farmers Markets in Canberra really Farmers Markets?

It seems every winter there is very little change in whats available to purchase!

I struggle to grown anything in my little veggie patch during the colder months. Can the variety offered really come from local farmers?

What’s Your opinion?


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45 Responses to
Are Farmers Markets Really Farmers Markets?
Hells_Bells74 10:24 am 10 May 09

che said :

Choku Bai Jo are local farmers from outside of Hall with they’re own shop at north lyneham. Plus the owner was also the one to organise the EPIC farmers markets through Hall Rotary. EPIC has/had 2 sheds selling produce, one for local farmers and one for wholesalers driving down from Sydney. Haven’t been in a while so not sure if that is still the case.

PS, if the Chokubaijo folks ever want to let us know when they are going to hold an open day at the farm we’d love to hear about it here at RiotACT.

Good to hear. I never even think to check out those markets, my bad no doubt.

ant 10:23 am 10 May 09

Fyshwick “markets” are retail shops, the same as woolies or any other purveyor of fruit and veggies. The shop owners get their stuff from the Sydney markets, which are where the growers bring their stuff to market and sell it through various brokers.

In the past, a certain entity controlled the quality of the f and v that was sold in Canberra, so that we all were paying 1st grade prices for 2nd grade produce. Any retailers who tried bringing in good stuff soon learned their lesson (trucks run off the road, shops burned etc). That entity is no longer as powerful as it was, so things are better now.

But the Fyshwick (and Belconnen) “markets” might as well be shops in the mall.

MelonHead 9:52 am 10 May 09

Hey ant which part of ” the so-called fyshwick markets are a rort ” are we missing?

It is a place that sells stuff, therefore could be seen as a market.

It is located somewhat east of Kingston, therefore is in Fyshwick.

Where is the rort?

che 9:16 am 10 May 09

Choku Bai Jo are local farmers from outside of Hall with they’re own shop at north lyneham. Plus the owner was also the one to organise the EPIC farmers markets through Hall Rotary. EPIC has/had 2 sheds selling produce, one for local farmers and one for wholesalers driving down from Sydney. Haven’t been in a while so not sure if that is still the case.

PS, if the Chokubaijo folks ever want to let us know when they are going to hold an open day at the farm we’d love to hear about it here at RiotACT.

Hells_Bells74 8:18 am 10 May 09

I bought a mouse once at the Farmers Market. Probably the only local things in the place huh? Belconnen Markets are ok, but I still tend to get most of it from Woolies. Don’t see why with all our rural land going begging sometimes we can’t grow more seasonal stuff in Canberra ourselves but I know that’s a pipe dream. The CSIRO (or whoever owns that reserve land on Owen Dixon Drive) grows apples at the end of my street and sells them (or at least used to) in season at the gates. I liked that!

ant 10:32 pm 09 May 09

Yeah, the so-called fyshwick markets are a rort. You won’t find any local produce there. Also, they often sell 2nd grade stuff at first grade prices, although that hasn’t been as bad lately as the bad old days when a certain family ensured that this happened. The only people who could bring in first grade stuff were restaurants.

When I see apples being sold at “farmers’ markets” in spring, I lift a very big eyebrow. Farmer with a good cold store, maybe.

canberra bureaucrat 8:49 pm 09 May 09

Of course it’s a farmer’s market. Farmers grew the produce. Oh, Canberra farmers? See #1 for the answer to that one.

Seriously, the reason you find the same old stuff across Canberra is becuase the smaller guys (e.g. belconnen and fyshwick markets) source from regional wholesale markets, e.g. Sydney. In turn wholesalers can only get what is in season and in the market that day, which is not much right now.

You need to go to the big retailers for a bit more variety, as they can source from across the country. Even that won’t get you everything, and quality can be lower.

I am interested to know if Rioters like farmer’s markets? Why?

trevar 6:50 pm 09 May 09

I go to the Southside Farmers Markets and the produce available changes constantly. I have also noticed a bit of a drop off in the number of stalls in the last few weeks.

MelonHead 6:43 pm 09 May 09

Who would have thought:

” It seems every winter there is very little change in whats available to purchase! “

Does this mean every winter, or just the winters you go there?

I believe one of the attractions of these markets is the choice of NOT buying Bowen (Qld) tomatoes, Kiwifruit grown in Italy, and garlic from China. Sure, the quality and availability varies. A bit like, well, the weather! Could this be the origin of the term “seasonal produce”? Surely not.

And, as mentioned earlier, ASK.

Also, greenhouse.

josh 4:06 pm 09 May 09

When I was there (once), I talked to a few farmers (there was garlic from Braidwood, for intstance). But another stall, I asked something like “is it all organic? Or only the items labelled as such?” and the response was along the lines of “it dependss from whom we get it that week.. sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t”

But like you say, if they have the same thing most weeks, it’s unlikely they’re actually producing it. The easiest way to tell is to ask 🙂

RuffnReady 3:28 pm 09 May 09

Yes and no.

There certainly are farmers from the local region there, but there are also some from all over the state. Ask the stall owners where they come from, and if it’s not their produce, where it comes from.

MrPC 2:53 pm 09 May 09

I occasionally shop for F&V at Choku Bai Jo in North Lyneham, and it’s pretty clear that what it stocks is seasonal. Often it looks like garbage if it’s barely seasonal (though if you cut the bad bits off it’s usually still edible and tastes gooooood).

Farmers markets, well, yeah, sometimes you have to wonder.

darakat 1:07 pm 09 May 09

Its called a greenhouse

jjoking 1:05 pm 09 May 09

I would say its impossible to grow ginger and sweet potato locally but you can buy them at inflated prices at thwe show ground markets. so I agree with economiccrisis’s answer

economicrisis09 1:01 pm 09 May 09

No

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