As excitement grows over plans for a farmers’ market the custodians of Maitland Showground have revealed there could be no better venue to reunite people with fresh food.

Hunter River Agricultural and Horticultural Association

president Trevor Hardes said the markets would benefit producers and consumers.

“It’s a showground built for agricultural purposes and the harvest market would support our farmers,” he said.

“We’ve had our share of

birthday parties and car shows – which are all good things – the Harvest Markets are about

getting back to basics.”

With the decline of stand-alone fresh produce stores and the growth of supermarkets in recent decades Mr Hardes said the Harvest Market was about

celebrating good food and the people who produced it.

“It’s about the farmer and their produce so it’s cutting out the

middle man and connecting

farmers with consumers,” he said.

The proponent Catherine Blanch said discussions with Mr Hardes had been fruitful and, with council’s nod, there could be 100 stallholders queuing up from spring.

“The timing is right – we have the perfect venue – and we have the group that will support it,” she said.

“We don’t want to be

exclusive, we want to be

inclusive and I think if mum can come down and shop while the kids play on the jumping castle that is a good thing.”

Mr Hardes said Maitland Show’s 150 year history was built around farmers and produce, exhibited in pavilions, making the harvest market and the

showground a natural synergy.

“The grounds are privately owned and it’s essential to have more things of this nature to keep the grounds going and the

history alive.”

Mrs Blanch said the markets could include cheese, lamb, wine, fruit, vegetables, free range eggs, and organic sour dough bread, among other


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