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Smart farmers' markets
By JULIE PAUL
HE enthusiasm with which
shoppers have embraced the
concept of farmers' markets
has been nothing short of spectacu-
lar, with new markets bobbing up at
more and more locations around the
The Riverland holds its Saturday
market at Berri, in the Senior
Citizens' Hall on Crawford Terrace,
from 7.30am to 11.30am.
The market promotes a
real sense of community
and is a meet-
ing place to share ideas, recipes and
advice on local products.
The emphasis is on 'local' -- not
food that has travelled many kilo-
metres to get to its market destina-
tion, but the fruit and vegetables
grown down the road, fresh bakery
items straight from the oven, and
The Riverland market reflects its
wide multicultural population base.
Prominent among its produce are
Greek, Indian and Italian deli-
cacies, along with organically-
produced capers, olive oils,
and the more traditional
Riverland fare such as fresh citrus
fruit, vegetables, meats, smallgoods,
condiments, poultry, eggs, sweets
A highlight of the morning is the
Market Breakfast of freshly squeezed
orange juice, barbecued bacon-and-
egg rolls with tea, hot chocolate or
some of the best coffee in the dis-
With free customer parking right
next door, it is a great way to spend
a Saturday morning.
• Need to know more?
08 8582 4862
Market goes multicultural with ZANNIE FLANAGAN, CEO Adelaide Showground
Food on political agenda
AN experiment to find a suitable use for
a half-hectare of unused land in a patch
of Mallee scrub, has turned into a busi-
ness enterprise that has Barry Porter and
Helen Jones capering with delight.
With the establishment of Kolophon
Capers near Berri, they are producing a
high-value crop from a small patch of
otherwise unprofitable land.
Conditions in the Riverland are ideal
for growing capers.
"They can put up with most condi-
tions really, as long as they have a bit of
water, good drainage and slightly alka-
line soil," Barry said. "But the hotter it
is, the more they produce, and with
about one-eighth of the amount of
water used by grapevines."
Once established, the caper bushes
are productive for six months of the
year. Harvest takes place continually
from November to April and the best
bushes can produce 2-3 kilograms each
There is a large demand for the capers
in their various forms: pickled with salts
or wine vinegar, or sun-dried and
Marketing has largely taken care of
"We started off doing a bit ourselves,
but there was so much interest that vari-
ous papers and journals wrote about us,
chefs began using our product, and the
word just spread by itself. We've
been surprised by the demand,"
"The best thing about the
farmers' market is the cus-
tomer feedback and the peo-
ple you meet."
"You never know who's going to
caterer or someone from an inter-
state restaurant, and the next
thing you know, there is a phone
call from Sydney and a new cus-
"It's all part of the fun."
• Need to know more?
08 8588 2737
What a caper for Riverland producers
NOELLE and Ian Tolley (pictured) show skill in planting and
management, and their innovation in value-adding has
seen the development of a remarkably successful
kumquat business that began with just a few small fruit
The Kumquatery works on optimal production from
minimal work and trees are grown in large terracotta
"Ian and I are both in our eighties and we don't plan to
climb any ladders for picking, so we keep the trees to a small,
square size," Noelle said. "It is totally intensive production."
Although the fruit is much sought-after, Noelle's foresight in
value-adding has had a big influence on the success of the busi-
ness. A particular favourite is Kumquat Krumble, in great demand
from chefs of the calibre of Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant, who
are both dedicated customers of The Kumquatery.
Noelle said the Riverland Farmers' Market provided opportunities
for local producers to develop ideas and expand their business.
"Everyone in the community benefits," she said.
• Need to know more?
Reaping fruits of labour
Barry Porter says
are ideal for caper
THE formation of a South Australian
Farmers Market Association would aim
to give assurance to stallholders and
community members that their local
farmers' market is a genuine, farmer-
direct, community-based market.
People need to know that their
membership fees are going into the
running of a community market with a
long-term future; not into private
pockets. As a not for profit incorporat-
ed entity, organisations are required
by law to have their accounts audited
annually and presented at the organi-
sation's annual general meeting.
If the interim results from a recent
research project, conducted by PIRSA
in association with Adelaide
Showground Farmers Market is any-
thing to go by, there is overwhelming
support from stallholders for such a
SA recently hosted a number of rep-
resentatives from a Victorian
Parliamentary Committee undertaking
a formal inquiry into farmers' markets
at the request of the Victorian State
The terms of reference for their
inquiry were very specific and includ-
• To examine the history, growth
structure and potential of farmers'
• To examine their structures, codes
of practice, strategic planning and
economic viability and
• To look at any barriers or impedi-
ments to the development and long
term growth of farmers' markets in
peri urban areas of Victoria.
The Committee visited farmers' mar-
kets in Victor Harbour, Willunga and at
the Showground to talk to organisers
and to see first-hand how the mem-
bership systems, implemented by all of
three markets, work.
The Victorian Government clearly
sees farmers' markets as part of their
policy strategy to help protect the via-
bility of small farming enterprises and
has provided considerable financial
support in the recent past to support
and help develop the sector. It has
funded the State Association's devel-
opment of a market authentication
system and provided funds for a pro-
ject officer, to help increase both the
number and the long-term viability of
markets throughout the State.
" We believe that supporting mar-
kets will help maintain agricultural
activity and the viability of small hold-
ings, thereby helping to preserve farm-
land in peri urban areas," said a
representative of the Victorian govern-
Whilst farmers' markets do con-
tribute to economic and sustainable
regional development, a big picture
vision embedded within a comprehen-
sive food policy, is necessary.
At a national level, a National Food
Policy was debated and promised dur-
ing the election by a number of the
As the report states, let's hope that
such a policy will eventuate sooner
rather than later and will help deliver
"a food system that is healthy, fair,
economically viable and environmen-
Meet the customer,
earn retail prices
Willunga Town Square
8am - 12.30pm
Now accepting applications
to trade from Fleurieu Peninsula
based primary producers
Enquiries 8556 4297
Would you like
the fruit and
grow to feed
Would you like
to meet the
people who eat
what you grow?
Would you like
to receive retail
returns for your
customers are waiting
for you! Contact us now!
(08) 8231 8155
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