On the anniversary (this Saturday, August 12) of Kyogle Farmers Market, Joan Hayman writes about how it all began.
Sixteen years ago, two Kyogle Tidy Towns members had a dream.
They realised there was a need for a place where local producers could sell the products of their labour. They wanted to the town to see what was produced locally and to decrease the food miles their food travels and helping the planet.
From the start, the market proved popular with residents providing a place where they could buy weekly supplies, socialise and catch up with family and friends.
It was not long before people were travelling from outlying areas to go to the farmers market.
Buskers were brought in and started to perform every week from the town band, Lismore Pipe Band and others.
During 16 years of the market, community groups have had stalls for fundraising.
The Farmers Market through Tidy Towns has worked with the Kyogle District Chamber of Commerce to promote local businesses.
The Farmers Market management has been aware of difficulties that have affected the local business community which have influenced their profit margins.
These difficulties included the impact of bushfires, covid and floods.
These have impacted the markets with a decline in stallholders, range of produce available and fewer shoppers.
Through all of this the market continued offering a constant in the lives of the Kyogle community. Money has been raised through raffles, the Lucky Shopper program and a portion of the stallholder fees.
These fees have been redirected to many causes. Some of them are:
• The creation of a town map, copies of which can be seen at the Post Office, the Visitor Information Centre and the bus shelter in Summerland Way.
• The original community notice board at the Visitor Information Centre – two small noticeboards were put on the Kyogle Memorial Institute Hall and at the IGA.
• Donations were made to the Historical Society to assist with funding the museum, Growing Kyogle to buy a digital projector, excursion costs for schools, the local Aboriginal Land Council with a Find your Music Program, Kyogle Fishing Club to purchase fingerlings for Toonumbar Dam, Girl Guides, Bonalbo Hospital, Kyogle Bowling Club and Bonalbo Show Society.
• Funds have been given to young sports people who have competed overseas, Kyogle Community Kitchen, Food Bank and Kyogle Lions Club projects.
This Saturday marks the official opening of the Kyogle Farmers Market 16 years ago. Join the celebration of market manager Ann Reardon and stallholder Ms Pedersen who have freely served the market for 16 years.
At Stratheden St, Kyogle 8am-noon, every Saturday.