Home' Smart Farmer : September 2012 Contents September 2012
of fruit and vegetables are harvested
every year and we wanted to show-
case the quality and abundance of
fresh produce we have right here in
The first market was held at
Wirrabara's in 2005, just nine
months after the idea was raised at a
Dedicated locals pooled their
skills to get the market off the
ground quickly. Coming up to its
eighth year, the market has more
than doubled its number of stalls
It is called a producers' market as
only a small percentage of non-food
items such as arts, craft, woodwork
and clothes are sold.
"We don't allow people to sell any-
thing that hasn't been made, grown
or caught themselves; no re-sellers
or repackaging is allowed," Ms
The market has about 20 stalls
serving quality local fruit and veg-
etables, seafood, baked goods,
organic meats, eggs, sauces, jams,
chutneys, plants and chooks.
Students from the Wirrabara and
Booleroo Centre district schools
have a stall at the market where they
showcase fresh produce that they
have learnt to grow, dish out cre-
ations from their kitchens and gar-
dens, and brush-up on their
Ms O'Reilly said the beauty of a
community market was bringing
together people from all walks of life.
"In towns, there can be groups in
sports clubs, churches or hotels, but
they all come to the market," she
"It is as much a social outlet as
"The market has been a major
boost for the town, built enthusiasm
for the region and driven communi-
Mr Pech said stallholders had
become more professional in their
packaging and presentation over the
"The community has shown a lot
of confidence in the future of the
market and this year, we have
invested $4000 in television adver-
tising and upgraded infrastructure,
including the expansion of the cof-
fee shop," he said.
The advertising seems to be pay-
ing off, as crowds continue to swell,
buoyed by curious first-timers from
The Wirrabara Progress
Association owns the site on which
the market is held -- a positive
investment that has paid-off and
seen its land value increase.
Mr Pech said that before the local
market took shape, many growers
were sending their produce to
"Now local growers -- the flagship
of the producers' market -- have a
local outlet to sell," he said.
"A local outlet encourages growers
to try new things, such as the pista-
chio crops being grown.
"The market encourages people to
value-add to their produce. We have
seen growers make tomato sauce,
pickles and chutneys.
"There is so much more to the
market than just selling fruit and
"We encourage healthy eating and
sustainable living habits, social ben-
efits, well-being and the develop-
ment of young people."
The next market will be held on
Sunday, September 16.
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uplifts small farmers
Wirrabara farmers Greg and Di Pech say the monthly market has made small
holdings in the region much more viable.
BIODYNAMIC farmers Ian and Kay
Jaeschke (pictured with Kay's mother
Pat Sargeant, Bordertown, and grand-
daughter Denise Preist, Jamestown, at
August's Wirrabara Producers Market)
have farmed in the Upper North for
more than 20 years, growing cereal
crops and White Suffolk prime lambs.
Most lambs are sold at Dublin, but
with the market's growing consumer
base, the Jaeschkes ventured into pro-
ducing their own branded lamb prod-
uct for local sale.
Their Appila Plains Biodynamic meat
products are now a familiar sight at the
A small number of lambs are slaugh-
tered and processed monthly at the
"Without the markets here, we prob-
ably wouldn't be value-adding to our
product," Ian said.
The couple have always farmed bio-
dynamically, which is essentially an
enhanced form of organic farming that
does not use chemicals or artificial fer-
Ian used biodynamic sprays -- made
up of natural components such as sea-
weed and fish emulsions -- on his
They mainly supply biodynamic feed
barley for renowned biodynamic dairy
Paris Creek, in the Adelaide Hills.
Ian said that while some discerning
consumers actively seek-out the biody-
namic brand, it was still only a "small
"It can be a struggle sometimes to
compete for a consumer base that are
only interested in prices, and don't real-
ly care what they are eating," he said.
Ian encouraged smallscale producers
or hobby farmers interested in pursuing
an idea to "go for it".
"Just make sure your have a good
outlet for marketing the product," he
Biodynamic lamb gains brand advantage
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