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By CATHERINE MILLER
VACANT South East church
and hall has been given a new
lease of life as the home of a
weekly Kalangadoo farmers' market.
It is the latest in a growing number
across the State and was the brain-
child of Sandra Young, who wanted
to see the more than 100-year-old
building -- built for the local commu-
nity -- again used by its residents.
"The market has been designed to
create a suitable environment for the
successful trading of locally-pro-
duced food to promote a thriving
industry in our region and also
showcase local art and craft," she
"We are trying to reduce our food
miles. The market encourages people
to buy their
when it is
region, so instead of people buying
bananas from Queensland they can
come get their pears, apples and
quinces which are in season at the
Mrs Young and her late husband
Forrest had been members of the
Uniting Church congregation for 26
years. She was a former Sunday
But in the past
dwindled and it
was put on the
market in mid-
2009. As fate
the original sale fell through,
enabling Mrs Young to buy the prop-
erty in November last year.
"It was a big part of our family's life
so I thought if it was reasonably
priced I would buy it. The next thing
was to work out what to do with it,
since I didn't want to turn it into a
house," she said.
"I have always loved farmers' mar-
kets, so I thought why not have one
Mrs Young said she had undertak-
en considerable research at other
thriving farmers' markets, such as the
Adelaide Showground Farmers
Market and the Willunga Farmers
Market. She hoped to replicate their
"They suggested we needed to be
weekly rain, hail or shine so that is
what we are doing," Mrs Young said.
After months of hard work by a
dedicated committee of five, the first
Saturday market was held early last
month with about eight stallholders
While the hall houses food stalls,
Mrs Young and her committee have
designated the church to more spiri-
tual life and included local art and
plants. There is also a designated area
near the altar for reflection.
The market is open every Saturday
between 10am and 2pm.
Annual membership $35 a family
or business, which entitles members
to 10pc discount on all produce,
• Need to know more?
Kalangadoo keeps faith
Showcase of rich agricultural
Aim to make local produce readily
Range of products: food, plants
and local art
By AMANDA MCINERNEY
I LIKE to think I am a sensible woman.
I always wear my seatbelt, drink
eight glasses of water a day, shake
out my boots before I put them on
and don't stick cotton buds too far
down my ears.
I'm never rash, imprudent nor
impractical -- dead boring really.
So what was it about the recent trip
through a small country town, whose
only shop and pub had both just shut
down, that had me busily drawing
up business plans in my mind?
I have family in this small town
and so knew that these two enter-
prises had folded because of a lack
of business acumen on the part of
the respective owners, although in
another town it may just as easily
have been because of a big super-
Living in a small town in the
Onkaparinga Valley, I know the value
of having healthy local businesses,
not only for the local economy, but
also to maintain the social fabric of
People within a community need
to have some central point of con-
tact and, for those who don't attend
church, the pub and local shop form
the hub of this activity.
My heart just broke for this tiny
town -- population about 250 -- with
its main street silent and still at 6pm
on a Friday night.
No bustle of local teens getting a
carb and fat fix at the shop, no buzz
of conversation and laughter spilling
from the doors and windows of the
historic bar and the light of employ-
ment opportunities fading.
It is just over the border in Victoria
and one of that State's oldest towns.
I doubt that its -- at present --
healthy football club is going to be
enough to sustain the neighbour-
hood social life, although the towns-
folk are trying their hardest to come
up with a way to get the pub open
So far, to no avail.
Eventually, after a mad day or so
trying to figure out how to get it
reopened, I had to agree with my
husband that the costs and logistics
of running a family and a small farm,
while at the same time learning the
pub business and managing one
more than 360km away, would be, to
put it mildly, just a bit tricky.
Maybe it is a little dearer to shop
in the local store and possibly our
pub does take a little too long to
rotate its menu, but at least they are
here and thriving.
It is difficult to pop into our shops
quickly as I nearly always run into
someone and end up stopping for a
chat -- and that is one of the things I
love about living in a small commu-
I guess that is why I feel so much
for the loss the people of that small
Victorian town have suffered.
Without that social contact, commu-
nities eventually just wither away.
I know I will remember that next
time I think about buying cheaper
• Need to know more?
Heart breaks for soul of town
Kalangadoo farmers' market organiser Sandra Young with Michelle McColl,
from Kalangadoo Organics, at the first weekly market last month.
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