Community comes together at Farmers’ Market
There are very few places in New Zealand where the community comes together on a Friday. But Feilding is the exception. On Friday mornings through to early afternoon, people from the region, as well as national and international visitors, gather to meet, chat, carry out their weekly business and purchase homegrown produce direct to the customer from local farmers.
Their focus is the Feilding Farmers’ Market, set in an idyllic location in the heart of the town – Manchester Square – the hub of the shopping precinct.
Farmers’ Market manager Raewyn Loader says the Friday phenomenon is more than shopping.
‘‘The town comes alive with livestock sales coinciding with market day,’’ she says.
‘‘The market is a community and social gathering place where people come to meet and greet as well as purchasing locally grown and added value produce.
‘‘Repeat customers are lured not just by the product but also to take in the fresh air, listen to the busker of the day, soak up the atmosphere and, of course, leave with a bag or two of country goodness.’’
Raewyn, who is also Projects Manager for Feilding and Districts Promotions, has seen the market flourish over the years.
It started in April 2005 with nine local stallholders and has now grown to 38 stalls in the summer and 28 in winter.
Raewyn lists an incredible range of produce on display such as free range pork cuts, small goods, lamb, fish, seafood, honey, breads, artisan breads, locally roasted coffee, locally harvested aromatic honey, a wide array of homemade pickles, preserves, spreads and dips, cakes and cookies, sweets, cheese, wines, plants, seedlings, walnuts, mushrooms, a wide selection of fruit and vegetables and lavender products.
The Farmers’ Market adds vibrancy to Feilding which has won New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Town award 14 times.
It has also won the Farmers’ Market of the Year title twice which attracted royal visitors Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall during their Diamond Jubilee Visit.
The Farmers’ Market is an integral part of why Feilding has won New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Town award 14 times.
The market’s uniqueness is due to its wholesome shopping experience.
Stallholders are the producers, farmers, artisan cooks and passionate foodies, Raewyn explains.
‘‘Several stallholders have started at the market and then decided to expand further and establish premises in the town,’’ she says.
‘‘So come along, join us every Friday from 9-1.30pm rain, hail or shine in the distinctive town centre surrounded by late Victorian and Edwardian buildings with patterned paved footpaths and huge garden beds which add to Feilding’s nostalgic country charm.’’
Feilding Farmers’ Market is a popular place.