Farmers called to market produce
MORE than 2000 people attended the inaugural Whitsunday Farmers' Market on Sunday but only 15 of the 25-30 expected stall-holders showed up.
Queensland Farmers' Market director Shane Stanley said in some cases crops or food licenses were simply not ready in time and in others it was a matter of farmers being cautious about the level of public support
"This is the proof the public are here to support them. The call has to go out to farmers now to take this opportunity. Everyone has said they will keep supporting it if the produce is here," Mr Stanley said.
John and Ely Murphy from Euri Creek were among those farmers who did attend, bringing homegrown flowers, eggplants, tomatoes and silverbeet from both their own and other Euri Creek farms.
"Everything's fresh. None of our stuff has been in cool rooms. It's straight out of the farm to here," Mr Murphy said.
Whitsundays Marketing and Development acting chief executive officer Danielle Seymour said the farmer's market was something the community has wanted for a long time, with the concept identified in 2006.
"Following this, the former Enterprise Whitsundays obtained grant funding in order for Shane Stanley to come to the region and complete a feasibility study on the project," Ms Seymour said.
"It has been great to see the passion and assistance of the team at Whitsunday Gold Coffee to offer their land as a base for the markets and it was very exciting to attend the first ever markets on Sunday and see that most farmers had a successful morning," she said. Held at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee plantation on the Bruce Highway just north of Proserpine, the Whitsunday farmers' market is the only one in Queensland to take place on a working farm. The next market is scheduled for Sunday August 19. For more information phone Shane Stanley on 0458 321 644.