The first ever Gaia Farmers Markets went off with a bang last Thursday at the Civic Centre. The lawn opposite the harbour was thrumming with patrons and most vendors sold out within the first half hour.

Bridging the geographical gap between the Kiama Farmers Market and the SAGE Farmers Markets in Moruya, Gaia promises to become a stalwart part of the local food economy. Using the framework of these two brilliant markets and guidance from members of both committees, Val and Simi have brought together an incredible cohort of local producers. The SAGE representatives there on the day couldn’t have been more impressed (check out their great article on here).

Em Reid was in charge of the kid’s activities, and boy did she deliver. Working with Saxon from Willow and Fleur, she set up a veritable harem of rugs in the middle of the market. The kids swarmed them in droves, learning how to make a grass-head pots, paint rocks and plant seeds. Saxon ran workshops on flower crown-making, and every single little girl ran around bedecked like a fairy princess. She even decorated Costa’s luxurious beard. Their combined efforts meant that parents could peruse the stalls at their leisure.

And what a range of stalls there were:

Claydon Park – Phil and Karen Riley were there with baskets full of seasonal veg produced by Head Gardener Peter Becke.

Gumley Gourmet – Delicious grapeseed oil salad dressings from Clyde Ridge

Milkhaus – Local baked goods straight from the Milkhaus kitchen

Local Grub –  Delicious fresh pies and pastries

Mogendoura Farm Moruya – Galloway beef

Mahbrook Organics – Fresh seasonal produce from Albion Park

Rhondda’s Country Kitchen – Seasonal meats, preserves and delicious farmhouse treats by Rhondda

Hropric’s Seafood – Emil and Esmay Hropic with fresh local fish and prawns from Bateman’s Bay

The Branch – Beautiful local flowers by  Luci (instagram @the_branch_)

Tallwood – Delicious fresh food from Matt and the Tallwood crew

Citrus Catering – Jonny and Rachel’s trademark fragrant curries

South Coast Dairy – Local milk and Highland Organic cheeses

Shoalhaven City Council’s Sustainability Workshops, including Wade’s composting initiative

Cupitt’s Winery – Local award-winning wines and cheeses

And me, Milton Mushrooms – with fresh oyster mushrooms and grow kits.

Plus much, much more.

If you want fresh produce, local meats and fish, then Gaia is the place to be every Thursday. Make it a part of your weekly shopping routine. Eat local, eat seasonal, and eat well. The more we invest in our community, the more we work towards restoring a sustainable food system. Give the grocery magnates Coles and Woolies the flick and get as much of your food as you can from your friends and neighbours. It’s a new beginning. I’m looking forward to moving forward with you. We’re in good company, now.



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