It's easy to see a market and imagine that it all simply "happens".
But of course genuine farmers' markets don't just happen. You need to understand your location and - particularly in rural Victoria - map and connect to your local producers. Policies and processes need to be developed, stallholders locked in in advance, local authorities consulted, licenses applied for, community stalls invited, musicians booked, site plans prepared, social media done, stall locations carefully measured out, rubbish and recycling bins sited, traffic directed, parking sorted, powered stalls connected safely, cords and trip hazards identified, diesel generators accounted for and positioned correctly, signage put out, volunteers organised, fundraising barbecues/sausage sizzles planned for ... the list is enormous. And after a predawn start to market day, when it's all over for the punters, it's still not all over. Everything needs to be undone, unplugged, rolled up, emptied, sorted, wiped, bumped out, washed up and packed away before heading off for a shandy at the local!
Here's three big cheers to the unsung heroes behind our vibrant VFMA markets. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly behind the scenes. These dedicated people cultivate relationships with farmers and artisans, creating a sense of community. Their efforts provide us with a space to connect with local food sources, support small-scale farming and create food culture.
Next time you visit, express your gratitude to these remarkable market warriors. Let's celebrate the unsung heroes who keep our farmers' market thriving, nourishing our bodies and community spirit.