Ash­hurst’s vil­lage mar­ket tak­ing off

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

The re­gion’s lat­est mar­ket has taken off with a hiss and a roar. The monthly Ash­hurst Com­mu­nity Mar­ket was es­tab­lished in Oc­to­ber last year and has been draw­ing lo­cal grow­ers, ar­ti­sans, crafts­peo­ple as well as cus­tomers in in­creas­ing num­bers.

Ev­ery se­cond Satur­day of the month, the mar­ket sets up un­der the spread­ing oak tree on the Ash­hurst Vil­lage Green. The land­mark tree was planted at the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury across from what was then the town’s post of­fice. The his­toric build­ing is now oc­cu­pied by the li­brary.

‘‘Yes, the tree is a real fo­cal point,’’ mar­ket or­gan­iser for LEAP (Lo­cal so­ci­ety for the Econ­omy of Ash­hurst-Po­hang­ina) He­len King says.

The stalls spill over into the com- mu­nity gar­den next to the li­brary, where RE­CAP (So­ci­ety for the Re­silience and En­gage­ment of the Com­mu­nity of Ash­hurst and Po­hang­ina) mem­bers are con­struct­ing a cob bench to demon­strate a form of low­im­pact, eco-friendly con­struc­tion.

Things are pick­ing up af­ter a slight Jan­uary lull, and last Satur­day was busy be­fore the heat set in. He­len says the big­gest mar­ket day co­in­cided with Christ­mas pa­rade day on De­cem­ber 12.

‘‘We’re reg­u­larly get­ting 25 to 30 stalls and 80 per cent of them are from the Ash­hurst-Po­hang­ina catch­ment and show the po­ten­tial of our small lo­cal busi­nesses. There are plenty of tal­ented peo­ple pro­duc­ing some unique stuff.’’

Adding to the at­mos­phere be­tween 10am and 1pm ev­ery month are mu­si­cians, with caf­feine hits com­ing from the Wetlands Cafe coffee cart.

Com­mu­nity mar­ket or­gan­iser He­len King un­der the land­mark oak tree on the Ash­hurst Vil­lage Green.

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