The Victorian state government has allocated $30 million in community funding through their Pick My Project grant program, and our partnership project to establish Mt Martha Farmers’ Market has made it through to the voting round (yippee). Now we need your VOTE to turn the dream into a reality! Pretty, pretty please.
Here’s all you need to know before you VOTE:
You MUST have a Victorian address
You MUST select three projects from the same region
You MUST be passionate about supporting a fair, ethical, local and waste-free food system
You DON’T need to live in Mt Martha
A little bit about the project
This Pick My Project grant program is unique in that a passionate community member had to be the one who proposed and submitted the project, which is all kinds of awesome because it means that it’s community-led and what people actually want. However, to ensure these projects are underpinned by the necessary skills and governance, the applicant(s) must work with a not-for-profit partner to administer and supports the delivery of the project should it receive funding… hello us!
We were lucky enough to be approached by a wonderful woman by the name of Jess Schubert-Hoban who currently manages Mt Eliza and Bonbeach Farmers’ Markets, and is part of the Mornington Peninsula Food Industry Advisory Body. Jess has been dreaming of the Mornington Peninsula having a connected network of weekly farmers’ markets, just like many of us who live in the big smoke have access to.
When asked why she’d love to see a farmers’ market in Mt Martha, Jess passionately responded by saying,
“My vision for a Mt Martha Farmers’ Market is to create a place for the community to gather to celebrate local Mornington Peninsula and Victorian produce and products. I see it as a place to slow down and reconnect with your food, spending time talking to the growers and makers, and understanding the seasonal food cycles. The market would be a place to catch up with friends and family, to teach kids about where their food comes from and encourage healthy eating.”
Say no more Jess, we’re convinced!
As most Victorians will know, the Mornington Peninsula is blessed with fertile soil, incredible wine and ripper views, attracting large swathes of tourists and a diverse regular population. Yet much of the produce that is grown there quickly gets trucked off to Melbourne or further afield before the residents are able to indulge in all their locale has to offer.
The market location is being proposed at The Briars, which as Jess explained “is a beautiful rural property with a farm atmosphere, heritage gardens and animals, and an historic homestead and buildings.”
It’s not only a great spot for a market, but it provides endless opportunities for exploring nature, visiting the indigenous plant nursery or enjoying the rare breed pigs and chickens.
And just in case you’re still not quite convinced, we’ve summarised the top benefits of the project in a handy list, below.
Benefits of Mt Martha Farmers’ Market
Food will have travelled less distance, be fresher, seasonal, more delicious and can nourish those who live on the doorstep of where it has been grown
Local produce will remain local, rather than being trucked into town and then back out again to be re-sold close to where it was grown – which makes no sense at all, but happens all the time in our current centralised food system.
It fosters a deeper connection with producers and their neighbours, which enables everyone to have more empathy around the challenges of farming in the face of environmental & urban encroachment pressures
The people who grow our food will take home ALL the financial return without losing their margins to middle-people
The lovely people at Mornington Peninsula Produce have worked their little backsides off to create a ‘provenance trademark’ that identifies the glorious food grown on the peninsula, so to have a market that celebrates this would be spectacular!
The market will adopt the VFMA’s accreditation program to ensure your food is ethical, local and ecologically sound so that you don’t have to worry.
It supports agritourism and makes the Peninsula even more appealing for holiday makers and tourists who can delight in all the tasty treats the region has to offer
We want the market to be zero waste, so it will open up opportunities to explore how to remove landfill and recycling waste from markets altogether, whilst allowing people to shop plastic and packaging free. It will also open up opportunities for local food relief groups to connect directly with farmers who may be able to donate surplus fresh food.
There will be a dedicated space at the market for community gatherings, workshops, talks and general catch-ups, because a healthy food system and a healthy community go hand-in-hand!
We hope you’re now as excited as we are about turning the Mt Martha Farmers’ Market into a reality! Even if you live in Melbourne or in another part of Victoria we’d be grateful if you still voted for us so that we can continue to expand people’s access to fresh, local, seasonal, ethically grown food.