The Johnstone’s stall at the Christchurch Farmers’ Market

Rolleston’s Farmers’ Market

by Ann van Engelen

To fulfil a need in the community, a farmers’ market is in its planning stages for Rolleston and surrounding residents to be held every Sunday morning with the aim to start in late January 2020.

“We launched the idea on the Rolleston Community Facebook page last week and have been blown away by the positive response. We received 450 likes within three days,” says organiser Spencer Johnstone.

“Rolleston is nearly a city with 15,000 people serviced by two supermarkets with no greengrocer or butcher. My wife Jacqui and I have been doing the Christchurch Farmers’ Market for 12 years and are looking for stallholders to join our network for Selwyn so we can have a vast array of products and produce available.

“We own a butchery in Colombo Street, and up until a couple of years ago we also had a pig farm in Greendale. The unfortunate side of what happens these days is the farmer misses out on a reasonable share of any profit. This will give locals the opportunity to buy products from people producing in the Selwyn District.

“We are discussing with council now for venue locations and are excited to cross the t’s and dot the i’s for a mid-January 2020 opening.

“Farmers markets bring communities together, and customers get to meet the suppliers. We are passionate about what we do and if you are not sure how to prepare and cook something, the seller will generally know a lot about the product they sell. They know how it was grown or made and what ingredients are in the product.

“Along with the council, we are really keen to hear from growers producing food in the Selwyn area to make sure we have enough stalls on board to make it viable. We want to strike a balance of stalls including bakers, meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, flower and plant growers. Sticking predominantly to food items, we want a family atmosphere and are open to suggestions to make it a peoples’ market.”

For more information, email rollestonfarmersmarket@gmail.com or go to the Rolleston Farmers’ Market Facebook page.