paynesville-marketThe Paynesville Farmers Market is held 8:30am to 1:00pm, the 4th Saturday of each month at the Gilsenan Reserve, Raymond St.

Whether it’s buying ingredients for a special meal, something for the garden, some treats for the family, catching up with friends or neighbours, meeting someone new or listening to some music, it’s worth coming out for the morning to visit the Paynesville Farmers Market.

Farmers Markets are a traditional way of buying local produce and home made products, and there are many benefits for the buyer, the producer, the community and the environment. The buyer has the opportunity to meet the person behind the product and to learn more about the product’s history. In a world where most of the food we eat is processed and packaged it’s rare to buy direct from the producer and learn a bit about where the food you’re eating has come from.

The producer has another site to display and promote their produce and products. They also benefit from the feedback they receive direct from the public, as well as the opportunity to share ideas and recipes.

The community benefits from having another local event where people can come together in a relaxed settng to meet or catch up, and the environment benefits as produce and products have to travel less to reach their market.

Sites for stallholders are available for $25 in summer and $15 in winter. All funds raised are used to maintain and develop the reserve for the benefit of the local community.

There are generally between 15 and 35 stallholders at the market depending on the weather, the season, the availability of stock and competing demands on the stallholder. Produce and products that can usually be purchased at the market include vegetables, meats & meat products, breads & baked goods, cakes & biscuits, candles, condiments, preserves & spices, eggs, fish & seafood, native flowers, plants & herbs, fruit & nuts, garlic, honey, olives, olive oil, organics, sweet treats, soaps and beverages.

The stallholders do a great job bringing their produce to the market, getting up early, often travelling a fair distance, sometimes in weather when they would prefer to be home in a warm bed. There are times when they go home with nothing in the back and there are times when they go home with nothing in their wallets, however they turn up month after month, usually because they are passionate about their products and their communities.

The market currently has a partnership with the Paynesville Men’s Shed who run a sausage sizzle at the market to raise funds to support their activities. The Men’s Shed also hold a garage sale on market days.

Whenever possible the market has entertainment provided by local musiciians and the reserve committee would love to hear from anyone who would like the opportunity to entertain the public. Unfortunately the committee is not in a position to pay for entertainment.

The A. J. Freeman Reserve is a vital sporting and recreational community resource operated by the A. J. Freeman Reserve Committee, a not for profit community group managing the reserve in partnership with the East Gippsland Shire Council. The reserve is the home of the Paynesville Football, Netball, Cricket and Tennis Clubs. The reserve is also utilised by a range of other users that include the Paynesville Primary School, Auskick, Milo Cricket, Net Set Go and the general public. It is a designated evacuation and emergency ambulance site, and emergency relief centre site. The social club hosts bingo, birthdays, weddings and fundraisers. Events such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and the Great Victorian Bike Ride are also held at the reserve.

We believe the Farmers Market is far more than simply a shopping opportunity. It is a chance for community to come together, to catch up after a busy week, to discuss community business, to meet new people and an opportunity to learn something new from the stallholders about their produce.