Many of us are making different choices about what we eat, who we buy our food from and how we grow and make our food.
Here in Ohoka we have been making that difference for the past 10 years. This is something to celebrate!
Over the 10 years we have welcomed many different small food artisans some of whom are still doing good business at the market today.
After many years of industrial corporate food production and the accompanying factory farming we are becoming increasingly concerned that ‘conventional’ farming has in fact caused many problems not just overseas but right here in New Zealand.
Farmers Market have shaken up the food system and as a result today we can be confident that with customers support we can access the fresh, local, ethical, sustainable and nutritious foods we deserve from the markets.
So we here at the market, are redefining and challenging the existing food system by supporting those small producers. We are changing the mindset that has for so long allowed these counterproductive and damaging methods of food production become the norm. This is the food revolution and it’s happening at a local level. Farmers markets are about the new farmers.
An alternative food system starts with the growers, farmers and producers and ends in the markets, independent shops, food boxes, CSA's, food hubs and community gardens. It encompasses everything from the soil we grow our foods in to the businesses we trade with. These businesses encourage food sovereignty and food resilience in our communities.
Making the right choices about our food is not always easy when you have a culture that promotes, encourages and supports an industry that is often counterproductive to healthy lives. Making the right choices about food starts with having the right mind set. Farmers Markets provide people with the ability to become informed about their local growers and what food is available.
Growers and producers have been making this transition to a fairer food system by joining their local farmers markets for many years. They are the small food businesses that make up the market and they sign up to the market objectives which are based around 3 principles: Social well being, environmental sustainability and hopefully economic viability. This is a form of social enterprise at work.
It is no easy task to take on the dominant industrial food system which dictates governmental food policies, what most people eat, what growers can grow, how land is treated and how animals are farmed. But change is in the air; smart farmers and food producers around the world are embracing the opportunities that this food revolution offers.
Regenerative farming is showing ‘conventional farming’ how to do it better.
Congratulations to our thousands of supporters from Friends of the market, to regular customers to all our visitors from afar! Congratulations too, to those enlightened farmers and food producers. You are all making a difference every time time you choose to buy from your local growers and food artisans at the market.
Every year we aim to share the farmers market ethos around our local community.
Since 2016 we have been gifting 40kg of apples from our market growers, to a low decile school in the area every fortnight seasonally. In 2018 we started a Pledgeme fundraiser called our Fruits for Schools Campaign with the aim to raise significant funds to buy fruits from the market growers and give these to the children at Kaiapoi Borough Primary all year. We didn’t reach our target, but we are grateful to those who did share our ambition on a smaller scale and this enabled us to deliver freshly harvested plums from a local market orchard stallholder Tram Road Fruit Farm. Proceeds from the surcharge on our EFTPOS will enable us to continue our Fruits for Schools Campaign over the seasons.
The market has also supported local Charity Jams, Westpac Air Rescue, the Cust Volunteer Fireservice, NZ Cancer Society, SAFE, and numerous other charitable groups in the region who are compatible with our objectives.