Whistlestop Community Gardens Second Surplus Market, Saturday 8th Feb

Post date: Feb 9, 2014

After seeing the signs up near Stanthorpe IGA about 5 weeks ago, I curiously visited the first Surplus Market and was pleasantly surprised to be able to buy very affordable vegetables and plants grown at the gardens and by a few other local gardeners. People were also very friendly and so I decided to come along to the second market last Saturday with Evita and some things from our garden to sell:

Anyone is welcome to bring homegrown or made items to sell at a table. Well, this time there were about 10 stalls selling vegetables, herbs, plants, seeds, jams, succulents, drinks, and even fried cannon balls made from the surplus cabbage! Almost everything is grown without artificial chemicals and there was excellent chat about how to improve local soils and what can be grown. The community gardens are open twice a week for anyone to go along and garden and learn about composting, taking cuttings, germinating seeds, and so on.

Why is this kind of community garden important in a town or city?

Well, what I think, is that these gardens and consequent markets are a community bonder. People meet other people and share. Share things to eat, share knowledge, share ideas, share life.

Commmunity garden stall - Evita

Secondly, the food available is healthier – fresh (usually picked on the same day), locally grown and in season, and without artificial chemicals for pest, disease, weed control, and fertilisers (and other things). Thirdly, food miles are really low, probably mostly less than 15km compared to a lot of local supermarket food which is grown in the market gardens near Stanthorpe, trucked to Sydney or Brisbane and back, 500 or 1600km! And this is the small percentage of the high energy input food grown that is actually accepted by the picky supermarket buyers – the rest is waste material. Fourthly, the amount of packaging involved in selling these goods at the market was minimal – most stalls were conscious of how overpackaged everything is nowadays and made awesome efforts to have none, reused, or compostable packaging only.

Next market is a month away and we will be there again. Hopefully more people will go and support healthier, more ethical food choices.