SAGE NSW will celebrate 10 years of connecting Eurobodalla residents with locally-grown produce through the SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya this month.
What started as a four-week trial with 12 stalls in January 2013 is now a Moruya institution, attracting up to 30 growers and artisans selling their produce each Tuesday at Moruya’s Riverside Park.
SAGE NSW founding committee member Stuart Whitelaw said the markets had the basic principle of “if you grow it within 160km of Moruya, you can sell it at the market”.
“From the very beginning the Eurobodalla community strongly supported the market and attendance for the first two markets were huge. Stalls were emptied within half an hour,” Mr Whitelaw said.
“It started with a good mix of produce, including vegetables, seafood, bread, eggs, fruit, baked goods, preserves, dairy and meat.
“At the third market, then Mayor Lindsay Brown told us we had to keep it going as it was too popular. And we did.”
Vendor and customer numbers continued to grow. Soon, some growers reported they no longer needed an off-farm income. Value-added enterprises also sprang up using the readily available local produce.
Within two years the market took out the prestigious delicious! magazine award for the 'most outstanding farmers market in Australia'. It won the award again in 2017 and continues to be one of Australia’s most renown farmers markets.
“The SAGE Farmers Market is now a key element of the local food system, and continues to provide local farmers, growers and artisans with a place to sell their wares to a hungry public,” Mr Whitelaw said.
“The diversity of produce which made the market such a community favourite in 2013 continues 10 years later.”
The SAGE Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday afternoon from 3pm at Riverside Park, Moruya.
For more information about SAGE and the SAGE Farmers Market visit https://www.sageproject.org.au/
Above: SAGE secretary Susan Heyward, Penny Cook, Martha Ansara (seated) and Ian Peters from Twin Gallows Gin at this Tuesday’s SAGE Farmers Market.