Where do our profits go?
Nethercote Produce Market was the brainchild of ‘Nethercotians’ Karen Lott and Barbara Greenwood, who established it in 2009. Since then the market has contributed thousands of dollars to food garden projects around the Bega Valley.
The ethos behind it was simple: let’s provide an opportunity to share and buy locally grown, seasonal produce, with no/low food miles and minimal waste - just healthy, delicious tasting, fresh food.
Initially any profits went towards improving future markets (for example, we bought a portable microphone for the cooking demonstrator so they didn’t lose their voice), purchased seedlings which we gave away to local residents at a gardener’s question and answer night, to encourage them to grow for their own use – and some mature excess veg was sold at later markets.
That led us to develop our growers program from which we provided funding to gardeners to plant out a garden bed specifically to produce for future markets. We promised to buy the crop off them too! Should the crop fail, we understood. It was all on “good faith” and to encourage people to “have a go” at growing.
In February 2016, the market became incorporated to spread the load, enable us to further fund raise, and to be able to apply for grants.
Every market now dedicates a large portion of the profits to support a different food-growing-related cause, from funding plants and garden bed materials for school and community gardens to assisting drought-affected farmers.
Our first fundraiser in April 2016 as an association saw us hold a “Boots for Change” April market, where we raised money to support Wyndham Public School’s, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. We’ve committed $500 to this beautiful little school, and are well on the way to achieving the goal.
Meaghan Holt - Project Officer of the Eden Place Plan - was happy to receive a cheque for $500 presented by Amanda Midlam, in 2018 to go towards the food garden at Eden's Endeavour Park.
From Little Things Parklands were presented with $500 by the Nethercote Produce Market committee following the Summer market in 2019. The group is developing a community based market garden and hopes to run its own market in Merimbula starting in 2019.
Nathan Lygon of Twofold Aboriginal Corporation recently received a cheque for $500 from the 2019 Autumn Nethercote Produce Market. The Corporation grows seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as propagating various bush foods. Food from the garden is distributed to the local community as well as being used by Meals on Wheels whose kitchen is located at the corporation premises.
Photo source: https://www.edenmagnet.com.au/story/6202039/twofold-receives-garden-boost/
Our Spring 2019 market donated $500 to food garden projects that will be part of Costa Georgiadis' Far South Coast visit in November 2019. The cheque was presented to Kay Saarinen by our Treasurer Michelle Raymond at the market.
Following the bushfires in the Bega Valley and Far East Gippsland from New Years Eve into January 2020, several of our stallholders were impacted by fires. Our January market was also under threat as fires burnt at the south end of Nethercote. After consulting with the RFS, we decided everyone needed a little bit of 'normal' and go ahead with our 25 January event. The outpouring of love and support for our Facebook post was immediate and huge, our biggest social media reach to date - over 6000. The market itself was likewise hugely supported by people coming from all over, including tourists from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra who wanted to support our little market by buying hundreds of dollars worth of goods, having morning tea or buying a raffle ticket. Overall we raised $1500 on the day which went to stallholders Imlay Nuts, Imlay Avocadoes, Greek Soul Food and later, Saarinen Organics, all of whom lost a great deal including homes, packing sheds, orchards, a food van and plant stock as well as livelihoods in the fires. We hope that their recovery will be swift and that we see them back at our market soon. Thank you to our beautiful marketgoers for your immense generosity and kindness. Photo: Our volunteers celebrating our biggest market yet.
COVID forced our April, July and October 2020 markets to be cancelled with lockdowns and restrictions making it unviable. We opened again in January 2021, with the new deck on the south side of Nethercote Hall allowing us to spread out more to improve COVID safety and offer more shade to visitors enjoying morning tea while listening to the band.
The April and July 2021 markets went ahead, although COVID restrictions meant attendance was down on previous markets. Harsher restrictions in October 2021 meant the Spring market had to be cancelled however. The committee decided to retain surplus funds until we were able to build them up again.
Summer 2022 and our January market opened once again, still with some restrictions. Our raffle, morning tea stall and Growers Stall continue to build our resources available to continue running the market, as well as support food growing projects.
Our Winter 2022 market.
Spring 2022 - our 50th market!
Market founders Karen Lott & Barbara Greenwood cut the celebratory cake, and Stonewave Taiko drummed up a storm!