Market exceeds expectations | PHOTO GALLERY

Tenterfield’s first farmers market has been hailed a resounding success. Not even the rain managed to dampen high spirits from organisers, stallholders and shoppers alike.

Teething problems with this augural instalment of the weekly event were minor, with many stallholders selling out of stock by mid-morning and organiser Lana Tyacke so busy she didn’t get a chance to bang in a ‘parking’ sign.

She has been fielding lots of positive feedback and thanks in the aftermath, and is confident that the market will be an ongoing success. It operates at the Uniting Church Hall from 8am to noon every Saturday except the first Saturday of the month.

The only concern is that a larger venue may be required as popularity increases. Saturday’s rain drove everyone inside which added to the conviviality, but extra seating will be provided for future markets. On finer Saturdays stalls will be spread between indoor and outdoor areas, with tea and coffee on tap for those needing refreshment before continuing their shopping.

Lana suspects a lot of seed was planted in the past few days as stallholders ramp up production to meet the demand. She anticipates the variety of crops they produce will also increase now they don’t need a pallet-load of each to justify freight costs to Brisbane.

“This opens doors for growers to produce more crops just for the local community,” she said.

The market looks to grow in size with more stallholders expressing interest in participating, and Lana hearing from many consumers who couldn’t make it on Saturday for various reasons but are keen to come along.

New stallholders are asked to contact Granite Borders Landcare to ensure they meet Food Authority standards before participating. Individual stalls cost $10 but backyard gardeners can contribute excess produce to the community table for a $5 fee, and keep the proceeds.

Locally-made craft is also welcome. Hire costs go towards hall hire and insurance.

Advice for shoppers is to get there early before stocks are depleted, bring small change to pay for items, and don’t forget baskets or bags to take home shopping as the market aims to go plastic bag-free.

And also bring along a community attitude, to what is gearing up to become a weekly highlight of the social calendar.