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The Ohoka Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month by giving back to the local community.
Market organisers will soon launch a PledgeMe campaign with the aim of raising $10,000 to provide fruit to the children of Kaiapoi Borough School every Friday throughout the school year.
Ohoka Farmers’ Market Manager Barb Warren said, “For the last two years we have been gifting market apples to the pupils of Kaiapoi Borough Primary, which is a low decile school. The money raised from our PledgeMe campaign will allow us to purchase wide-ranging fruits from our growers and give them to the school, thereby supporting our market growers as well as providing healthy, locally-sourced food for North Canterbury children.”
The PledgeMe campaign will run for seven weeks from November 2nd.
Barb explains, “We will be at the market every Friday from November 2nd until December 14th – including Show Day – with a laptop so customers can donate online, or they can do it from home. As an added incentive, those who donate $50 or $100 will receive $20 and $50 respectively back in market vouchers.”
The Ohoka Farmers’ Market started in 2008 after Barb saw the success of community farmers’ markets elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand. She was driven by a desire to give small growers and food artisans a place to sell their products and to give people the chance to buy good quality, fresh, local, seasonal food.
Barb recalls, “I started it by door-knocking and groveling and telling everyone ‘yes, it will work on a Friday!’.”
She wasn’t wrong: since the initial market in 2008, the event has grown to attract an average of around 500 visitors and up to 55 growers and food artisans each week.
“The market is now an important weekly part of hundreds of peoples’ lives,” says Barb. “People are becoming more concerned about what they are eating; they are looking for plant-based foods, vegan and vegetarian options, grass-fed meats and organics. More and more they want to purchase from reputable producers and have confidence in their foods. The first place to look is obviously the farmers’ market – a collection of small, local businesses that supply good, healthy, clean food.”
The Ohoka Farmers’ Market runs every Friday morning from 9-12.30 in the Ohoka Domain.
For more information on the PledgeMe campaign, visit the PledgeMe stall at the market until December 14th.