Oamaru Farmers’ Market needs your vote

If you’ve got a favourite Farmers’  Market you can vote for it in the  Taste Farmers Market Awards.

The annual Taste Farmers’ Markets Awardshave officially begun to Taste the nation’s best independent Farmers’ Market food producers and let localvore’s vote for the Farmers’ Markets that have turned the weekly shop into thriving community events. One lucky voter will also be jetting off to Melbourne for their own private tour of Victoria’s Authentic Farmers’ Markets over a mouthwatering long weekend.

Farmers’ Market food producers will also compete in their categories (kitchen bench, water, butchery, paddock and dairy), judged by Masterchef Nadia Lim and Jonny Schwass, recently named Restaurant Personality of the Year. Last year Canterbury stole the show, winning four out of the five categories and Otago Farmers’ Market won the consumers local votes. Schwass, a Canterbury localvore at heart, felt the real importance of supporting local producers after the Christchurch earthquakes: “It supports the small farmers and gives them and their families a future. Ultimately it just tastes better to cook with food sourced as close to the stove as possible.”

Oamaru Farmers’ Market opened on vacant land in Tyne Street, near the harbour, last spring and has been an outstanding success.

It allows local producers to showcase their produce and provides high quality food at reasonable prices for locals and visitors.

It’s usually held on Sunday morning but there was a special twilight market on Thursday.

Among the stall holders were:

Alma Acres
Asta la Pasta
Biddy’s Breakfast
Brydone Growers

Campbell’s Butchery
Free Range Fresh Eggs

Get Saucy
Harbour St Bakery
Harwarden Organics
Keen’s Berry Farm

Kurow Winery
Leo’s on Arun
Matsinger Berry Farm

Mean Greens
Mostly Natives
Papas Cordial
Pasquale Wine
Passion Sucree

Real Good Fudge
Sea Breeze Free Range Eggs & Produce

Sue’s Java Express
The Loan & Mercantile
Toby’s Fresh Fish Shop
Vinbrux Biscuits
Waitaki Bacon & Ham
Whitestone Cheese

The market hasn’t just been good for people buying and selling, it’s also brought more life to the neighbouring historic precinct.

There were doubts about the viability of an outdoor market this far south in cooler weather. But those doubts have been quashed by the announcement the market is moving into the Loan and Merc building where it will be warm over winter.

The market has attracted a wide range of stalls and it gets good crowds but it will be difficult to compete for votes in the Taste Awards against those from more populous areas.

So if you don’t have a favourite market of your own, take my word, Oamaru is worth a vote and it could win you a long foodie weekend in Melbourne.

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