Hokowhitu mar­ket a pop­u­lar event

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

The Hokowhitu Vil­lage Famers Mar­ket has taken off, and if you haven’t been down to the vil­lage green, off Al­bert Street, then its high time that you did.

This quant vil­lage has a se­cret quad­ran­gle sur­rounded by lo­cal busi­nesses which is well sup­ported by lo­cals, and the word is spread­ing rapidly.

The Face­book page and word of mouth can take most of the credit for that.

The Farm­ers Mar­ket is held on the third Sun­day of each month, and spe­cialises in whole­some, fresh pro­duce along with a huge va­ri­ety of pre­pared foods as well as an en­tic­ing ar­ray of baked treats and a mouth-wa­ter­ing se­lec­tion of freshly cooked foods.

It’s not only the fresh food and pro­duce that at­tracts the mar­ket go­ers, but the third Sun­day of the month is also a great time to catch up with fam­ily, friends and neigh­bours as well as en­joy a re­lax­ing break­fast, brunch or lunch to the ac­com­pa­ni­ment of tal­ented young, and young at heart, Manawatu mu­si­cians.

Reg­u­lar pro­duce avail­able in­cludes lo­cal cheeses and olive oil, honey, fresh fruit and heir­loom veg­eta­bles, Foxton’s Foxy sausages, Por­to­bello Mush­rooms, clot­ted cream fudge, cor­dials and chut­neys, rel­ishes and pick­les.

Also on of­fer is au­then­tic Afghan food cooked up by the lo­cal Afghan com­mu­nity and fresh baked goods from Bread Loafer and Alexan­dre Patis­serie, who are now of­fer­ing freshly cooked crepes made to or­der as a de­li­cious break­fast treat.

As Hokowhitu Vil­lage Farm­ers Mar­ket co­or­di­na­tor Robin Fis­cher says or­gan­is­ers have en­deav­oured to re­tain the orig­i­nal idea of the mar­ket be­ing food and pro­duce only.

‘‘Though we try to have only one of each type of pro­duce stall, or stalls which will com­pli­ment one an­other this is prov­ing to be a chal­lenge as there is a fan­tas­tic amount of pro­duc­ers want­ing a per­ma­nent stall at each mar­ket.’’

It wasn’t hard to find last Sun­day’s mar­ket, with bunting lin­ing the street, com­pli­ments of Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil, giv­ing the area a car­ni­val at­mos­phere, and if you missed the Oc­to­ber mar­ket your next op­por­tu­nity to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence will be Novem­ber 20.

‘‘While we are more than happy with the re­sponse to the monthly mar­kets, due to de­mand from both mar­ket go­ers and stall hold­ers, we will be hold­ing two mar­kets in De­cem­ber; on the 4th and 18th, this will give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to stock up on their favourites in time for Christ­mas, maybe buy some sweet treats as presents as well as sam­ple the in­creas­ing range of sea­sonal pro­duce that the many stall hold­ers are bring­ing in for sale,’’ says Robin.

With the on­set of warmer weather, new sea­sonal pro­duce that mar­ket go­ers will be able to savour in­clude as­para­gus, straw­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries, duck eggs and the pop­u­lar range of pro­duce from the Her­itage Veg stall.

Robin says the num­ber of stall­hold­ers has grown steadily since their first mar­ket back in March, and they now reg­u­larly have up to 40 stalls each month.

The stall hold­ers are not only from the lo­cal re­gion but some come up from Welling­ton and Kapiti while an­other stall sells co­conut milk yo­ghurt made in Auck­land.

Hester Guy Cater­ing now has a reg­u­lar stall, and Woody Free Range Farm Pork from Kapiti and Ste­wart Is­land smoked sal­mon are al­ways pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions.

The mar­ket is not only great for the com­mu­nity but it has also helped pro­vide much needed funds to help cover the costs of run­ning the Hokowhitu Com­mu­nity Cen­tre as well as rais­ing the profile of the cen­tre, along with pro­mot­ing the var­i­ous busi­nesses within the vil­lage.

‘‘We want the mar­ket to be about the com­mu­nity and we also want to en­cour­age lo­cal mu­si­cians, es­pe­cially some of the many tal­ented school stu­dents, to come down and busk.

‘‘Any­one who wants to come down and play their in­stru­ment can just give me a call and I’ll try to fit them into our sched­ule where we can,’’ Robin says.

With only three mar­ket days be­fore Christ­mas, make sure you get down to Hokowhitu Vil­lage so you don’t miss out on the fab­u­lous fare and the fam­ily friendly mar­ket at­mos­phere.

If you want to find out more about hav­ing a stall or en­ter­tain­ing the crowd, give Robin a call on 027 2836853.

Palmer­ston North Boys’ High stu­dent Ro­nan Car­roll cap­ti­vates the mar­ket go­ers with his stylish sax­o­phone play­ing.

Rowena from Alexan­dre Patis­serie pre­pares a freshly cooked crepe for a break­fast treat.

Au­then­tic Afghan food, pre­pared by women from the Afghan com­mu­nity, is al­ways a pop­u­lar choice for a tasty brunch.

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