The Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market (MPFM) opened its gates for the first time at 8am on Saturday, February the 4th at the Mount Pleasant Showgrounds. With more than thirty stall holders with fresh local produce to sell, it was a big hit with the public. So much so that a lot of them sold out before 10am! With almost 2000 visitors, which is more than double the amount expected, it’s no wonder everything sold so quickly.
This is true ‘Paddock to Plate Purchasing’, where you can actually talk to the person who grew the fruit and vegetables; or fed those chickens; or dried that fruit; or milled the wheat; or baked those cakes; or ground the spices; or bottled that wine; or farmed those sheep. The emphasis is on ‘authentic, regional, local, seasonal and fresh’. You can also expect to see meat, dairy, eggs, preserves, flowers, honey, olive oil, bread, organic produce, live music, good quality breakfasts with real coffee and not to mention the free advice as you chat while shopping.
The Farmer’s Market is a not-for-profit incorporated group, run by a volunteer committee of dedicated locals, all money earned goes back into making the market even better. It is essentially a community business. You may become a member of the MPFM for fifty dollars per year, which provides many benefits including; committee AGM voting rights, 10% discount at all stalls, free parking, free shopping bag, special offers and discounts. By doing this, you can have a greater say in how your local market is run as well as supporting it at the same time.
Pictured on page 1 are members of the Malone family, who run about 300 Wiltipoll sheep on their property in Pewsey Vale. Their first experience of the farmers market was great, having sold out of their produce by 10am like many others. You may well have expected this if they were just selling lamb, but they also sold out of hogget and mutton!
Roy and Raelene Malone have been running this English Wiltshire breed of sheep on their property for fifteen years. Roy says that the meat off a hogget is as good, or even better, than that of lamb – it’s just gone out of fashion, that’s all. Technically speaking, hogget is the juvenile sheep older than one year, in between lamb and mutton. Mutton has had a bad name as being a tough meat, but the Malones said that nothing is tough if you cook it properly. Therefore diced mutton lends itself beautifully to the long slow cooking of a stew or curry. Roy said the buyers at the Farmer’s Market were really discerning and some of their customers were delighted as they hadn’t had hogget for years. The Malones will be at the market fortnightly and are happy to chat to you about the virtues of hogget and mutton.
On March the 3rd, Tim Marshall – the author of ‘The New Organic Gardener’, will be giving demonstrations, talks and selling his new book. Come and support the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market as a member, buyer, seller or volunteer – every Saturday from 8am to midday. This market is an initiative of the Mount Pleasant Natural Resources Centre who rely on the ideas of sustainable living and meaningful environmental connections. For more information please visit www.mpfm.org.au. or telephone the Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre on 8568 1907.
Roy Malone and daughter, Isabelle Linde, with her husband, Dr. Dieter Linde.