FRESH IS BEST: Maria King is hoping to generate community support to establish for an authentic farmers market in Edgecumbe. Photo John Morin D8724-03

EDGECUMBE woman Maria King wants to see an authentic farmers market become a regular event in the town.

“Since the floods, Edgecumbe residents have had no proper supermarket,” Maria says.

“They have a corner store that offers a great selection, but the village itself is missing those services and that’s where the idea evolved from. The community needs good produce at their disposal.

“We have all these passionate people that are so good at doing what they do with food – bakers, growers, and all these home industries,” she says. “If we could co-ordinate them together in the marketplace, the vision is to create a permanent and authentic farmers market to serve the needs of the local people and invite customers from the surrounding areas as well.”

Maria says Edgecumbe is perfectly situated in “the heart of the plains” and would make an ideal location to bring people together and showcase the region’s high-quality produce and products.

She is reaching out to the Whakatane District Council to ask about the rules and regulations in creating a farmers market and has also contacted Farmers’ Markets New Zealand.

“They told me that was how the Christchurch farmers market began,” she says. “They didn’t have those services for the people [after the earthquakes] and now it’s one of the biggest markets in the country.”

Ideas for stalls include fruit and vegetable stands, preserves, breads, natural cosmetics, and much more.

The farmers market could also offer opportunities for service groups to be involved with the community and fundraise, as well as showcase talent in the form of buskers and performers.

“That’s involving the community and giving them a platform for their activity,” Maria says.

“And it also adds a good vibe to the market. I can see it as an event for people to come to each week. But it needs support from people in the community.”

Once there are enough people involved, she plans to call a meeting to have a discussion on what people want and how they want it to be run.

Anyone wanting to express their interest in the market can contact Maria by emailing suremarketedge@gmail.com or visit her Facebook page at “Suremarket Edge” .

john.morin@thebeacon.co.nz