National Farmer’s Market Week (2-8 August 2020) celebrates the essential role that farmers’ markets play in our economy.
This year we’re celebrating 153 years of providing fresh produce and baked goods to the community.
In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve been doing all we can to continue operations for our traders and their farmers.
Dandenong Market traders have shown resilience in response to fires, floods and drought during 2020. These events significantly disrupted food supply chains from all over Australia. This National Farmers Market Week we want to acknowledge the critical role they play in providing fresh, affordable produce to the community.
Traders including Triple Q Egg Farm, Hart’s Honey, Taylors Orchards and Peninsula Organic Farmgate are primary producers themselves. Some traders have direct relationships with farmers and others source from wholesale markets.
When shopping with these traders, customers know exactly where their fresh produce is coming from and can see where the money is being used. Many have built loyal relationships with these traders knowing that they are supporting local businesses and receiving fresh and sometimes Certified Organic produce in return.
August’s seasonal produce includes fruits such as apples, lemons, limes and mandarins as well as veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. Find these products in abundance with many of our fruiters. At the moment produce is up to 50% cheaper than supermarkets.
Dandenong Market opened in 1866 and, on the first official public market day, cattle, pigs and sheep were for sale. By 1870, the Market’s auctioneers, in addition to livestock, sold fruit, dairy products, lard, honey, and other farm produce. Farmers from throughout the La Trobe Valley and Gippsland travelled to Dandenong to buy and sell. Today the Market welcomes 5.6 million visitors a year.
Why is shopping with these traders so important?
Dandenong Market is essential to the livelihood of millions of customers, hundreds of small business traders and thousands of farmers. We are very lucky to host four unique and much-loved organic traders who stock and sell their own farmed produce. Shopping with them keeps money in the local economy, preserves farmland, promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports small business.
To celebrate National Farmer’s Market Week, we’d like to introduce you our primary producers here.
Taylors Orchards has been trading at Dandenong Market since 2003. The team has also supplied their organic produce to the Market since the mid-1980s.
Owner Gary has developed a loyal customer base who love to shop organically and locally. Gary sources 80% of his within 60km of the Market which is a selling point for many customers.
Taylors Orchards’ main lines are apples and pears which grow on the family orchard in Tyabb.
Another local farm, Mornington Peninsula Organics, provides popular lines including broccoli and cherry tomatoes. In November 2019, the City of Greater Dandenong awarded Gary the Sustainable Industry Award for their regular work with OzHarvest.
Gary is a regular supplier to OzHarvest and loves to put in the extra effort to ensure that there is fresh produce available for those who can’t access it.
Peninsula Organic Farmgate is one of Dandenong Market’s newest traders. The team specialises in Certified Organic products.
Peninsula Organic Farmgate stock a vast range of Certified Organic fruit and vegetables, harvested from their farm in Baxter on the Mornington Peninsula. Produce such as dairy, eggs, bread and grocery items that aren’t from their own farm are all locally grown or Australian made.
Tash bases much of what is grown at the farm is on customer feedback. This includes varieties such as heirloom carrots and beetroot as well as crisp lettuce varieties and Romanesco.
“I love talking to customers and letting them know where their food comes from” said owner Tash.
Customers travel from across the seas to shop with Joza Hart from Hart’s Honey. This bee lover has been producing mouth-watering honey from his property in Lilydale for many years.
Extending from 400 to 600 hives, Joza now harvests out of Victoria and New South Wales.
Joza moves his portable hives around each property to allow bees to collect nectar from various trees and flowers. This method is the reason we are able to enjoy delicious varieties of honey including Yellow Box, Iron Bark and Stringybark.
The passionate beekeeper ensures his honey is not heat-treated and develops it with love. Joza is very knowledgeable when it comes to the honey he stocks and is great at recommending the perfect variety for the occasion. Whether it be for a cold, a cheeseboard or a piece of warm toast, Joza has the honey for you.
Happy National Farmer’s Market Week! Thank a trader this week who is supporting local farmers, or is a farmer themselves. Otherwise give them a shout out on social media and tag us @dandenongmarket!