BUMPER CROP: Maitland’s produce markets on The Levee have been a success and a delight to local producers.Maitland will have a regular local produce market on The Levee with plans to start the salenext month.
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Maitland councillors voted unanimously last night to approve the event which will be heldon the firstand third Thursday of the month

Speaking in public access Slow Food Hunter Valley representative, AmorelleDempster, told councillors the markets would be a unique experience run by local producers and the council.

A market trial was run on The Levee last year with the objective of assessing the viability of an ongoing market.

Councillors in favour of a regular sale said the event brings more people to The Levee precinct, connected communities and supported the city’s farmers.

Cr Loretta Baker, a strong supporter of the market, said an impromptu pumpkin stall, where 20 tonnes were sold in 12 hours, brought record crowds to the precinct and the trail markets had been very popular.

She also noted the venture had broughtthe community together and “put the soulback” into the city’s heart.

Cr Baker said she is looking forward to this next phase in the life of the fresh produce markets.

“I wish them every success in their efforts tobuild them further and possibly qualify for Australia’s first “earth markets”.

“We are fortunate to live in an area that still has farmers working the land and sowing vegetable crops,” she said.

“The partnership between the farmers and the Slow Food Movement headed up by Amorelle which has delivered the fresh food markets has been warmly embraced by Maitland residents who queue to buy their produce on market days,” Cr Baker said.

“As well as bringing us food straight from the paddock, a lot of community development and community building has sprung from this venture.

“Many volunteers help out on market days and the farmers are experimenting with a greater variety of crops. There is so much potential here and they definitely have my support,” she said.

Cr Arch Humphery who moved a recommendation to approve the market said Maitland was once the vegetable capital of NSW, known widely for its potato production.Cr Henry Meskauskas said the market will become anasset for the city.

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