Despite the hit of the drought, the new president of the Orange Farmers Market wants to try and push towards hosting more producers at the fortnightly event.
New president Paula Charnock has ties right back to the very early days of the market, with her parents coming along to sell apples just six months after the first edition.
While Mrs Charnock has spent time living in Wagga Wagga – she returned to Orange a few years ago to work on her parents’ Nashdale farm, Thornbrook Orchard – alongside her brother-in-law.
Mrs Charnock said the markets, which have been running for more than two decades, are incredibly self-sufficient, and there wasn’t much to expand.
There’s always room for more meat products or for people in areas where we don’t have a lot.Orange Farmers Market president Paula Charnock
“If we could try and encourage more actual producers to the market, we have a lot of people who do value-added stuff, but if we can keep the focus on producers going that would be good,” she said.
“There’s always room for more meat products or for people in areas where we don’t have a lot, but it’s particularly hard at the moment with the drought and people are tired and quite limited so we won't be able to do much for a while.”
Mrs Charnock’s been around the markets for “a few years”, which she hoped would put her in a position of providing a fresh outlook while also not fumbling into the role.
Not that she’s planning on being a one-woman band.
“It’s not about what I think, it’s about what the committee thinks and where the direction of the market should go, but I think we’ll keep working as we have been,” she explained.
“We can’t expand too much due to our charter.
“I’ve been on the committee for a couple of years and when the current president stood down I thought it would be a good one to be involved in and they needed someone so I put my hand up.”
She said she’d slipped straight back into life in Orange after being away for nearly 20 years.
The Orange Farmers Market runs every second Saturday at Northcourt in the warmer months, and works out of the Orange Showgrounds during winter.
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