Growers wanted for new fresh food market in Mary Valley
Dagun has cast the net out for people who grow or would like to grow produce, meat and cheese products in the Mary Valley.
If that could be you, come along to the Dagun Growers Market information day on Sunday, March 27, at 1.30pm at the Dagun Railway Station.
Organiser Elaine Bradley said the info day was the first public step towards re-starting the Dagun Growers Market later this year.
"A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to get to this point," Ms Bradley said.
"The Dagun market was a popular one until it closed over two years ago, but now there is a renewed push for people to buy and eat locally grown fruit and vegetables, and we have the opportunity to provide them.
"There are numerous advantages of running a co-operative, local fresh produce stall at a venue," she said.
"This doesn't need a full, large-scale 'Farmers Market' to make that happen.
"At present, there would not be either the productive capacity or the clientele for a large scale farmers market to be viable in the Mary Valley. But it has the potential to grow into a large event.
"The Dagun Growers Market can be viable and sustainable from the outset, and can develop a regular, ongoing personal relationship between the growers and the customers."
Larger growers could also have their own stall at the Growers Market as the restriction is that the produce must be grown in the local area, preferably within 50 kilometre radius.
Ms Bradley said the market would be "from the garden, for the garden".
"As well as fresh produce, we will also have plants for sale - seedlings, native plants, herbs, bushfoods, and so on."
The info day will begin with a half-hour presentation by Elaine and her organising committee, and will give participants a chance to be at the station when the Valley Rattler steam train pulls in to off-load its passengers.
"The station is a great location because it catches the train passenger as well as being a local destination for valley residents," Ms Bradley said.
If people commit to supplying the market with produce, they could have the opportunity to participate in certified horticulture courses and could also qualify to use the CareFarmed accreditation created by the Dagun market.
"The CareFarmed logo identifies locally grown organic produce," Ms Bradley said.
It is a registered trademark which supports produce that:
* comes from healthy plants grown in healthy soil - care is taken to ensure that no toxic chemicals or sprays are used in the soil or on the plants;
* is fresh local produce coming directly from the grower - care is taken to minimize handling, storage and transport to maximize freshness and nutritional value;
* is grown sustainably - care is taken to continually improve and maintain the state of the soil and the local environment.
"Local growers can benefit from the Dagun market and the CareFarmed system because it allows them to supply a rapidly growing and currently under-supplied local market for organic produce while reducing the cost and effort expended by individual members in marketing their produce.
Contact Ms Bradley on 5484 3749 if you have an inquiry about the info day and development of the Dagun Growers Market, or email email@example.com
FRESH FROM THE FARM: Local produce will soon be available from the re-vitalised Dagun Growers Market in the Mary Valley.
Dagun Railway Station, Dagun
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