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COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 and the Market

Covid-19 and the Market UPDATE 26 March 2020

Our Market will be open this coming Saturday 28 March 2020. We are an essential food service bringing the Canberra region fresh, health produce, and will continue to maintain food supply from regional growers and a healthy diet for Canberrans.

We have received positive feedback from the community and will continue to support our farmers and growers for as long as we can. Thank you to our customers last weekend who were well aware of space, stood back and kept the social distancing measures top of mind.

We now ask for our community to work together to keep everyone safe. We are putting in as many measures as we can so that we can continue to access fresh food while also making sure we can follow social distancing to do out bit move through this situation.

UPDATED measures for Saturday 28 March:

  • We will be taking up space in the adjacent grass field next to the market shed. This will allow stallholders to spread out and for our shoppers to have more space to keep their 1.5m distance.
  • We will have additional wash basins at the entrances of our market.
  • We have removed all tables and chairs from within the market and banned all samples and tastings.
  • Stallholders are being asked to provide pre-packed produce so you can grab and go or will be able to bag your produce for you.
  • Posting signage to encourage shoppers and vendors to practice social distancing of 1.5m from each other
  • Ready to Eat food will only be available as takeaway.
  • Bathrooms, ATMs and other surfaces will be sanitised at regular intervals.

UPDATED – what we ask of all our customers

  • SHOP and GO! We would like to reduce the numbers of people congregating at the Market as much as possible and encourage all customers to shop and go. Please be respectful of social distancing, only visit those stallholders you need to buy from, buy only what you need as fast as possible and keep browsing time to a minimum.
  • We ask that only one person per household attends the market.
  • Please adhere to the 1.5m social distancing rules.
  • Please wash your hands upon entry and exit of the market. There will be wash basins available at the entrance of the market as well as washroom facilities.
  • We ask that our customers continue to adhere to our safety measures, namely that they do not attend the Market if they are in a high-risk category, have recently returned from overseas, are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of Covid-19.

We thank all of our customers and stallholders for your support during this unprecedented time.  By following the above guidelines we hope to continue to remain open and maintain this essential food supply.


Covid-19 and the Market – 18 March 2020

As an essential food service, Capital Region Farmers Market will remain open so that we can continue to offer the ACT community the opportunity to purchase fresh regional food from known sources / growers at a time when there is a need to maintain food supply and healthy diets.

We are taking the current situation very seriously and will be taking additional measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our stallholders and customers.

New measures include:

  • Removal of all food sampling and tasting.
  • Removal of all tables and seating to limit dwelling at the Market and to encourage social distancing.
  • Spreading out stalls where possible.
  • Increased hand washing and disinfecting surfaces on all stalls.

We ask that our customers please:

  • Do not attend the Market if you are in a high-risk category, have recently returned from overseas, are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Do not bring your own ‘keep cups’ for the time being.
  • Use handwashing facilities available at either end of the Market.

Thank you to all of our customers for your support of our farmers during this difficult time.  We know how important it is for you to be able to access fresh regional food to maintain health and wellbeing.  We will continue to provide this opportunity to the ACT for as long we are able, however, we will remain reliant on advice provided by the Chief Minister’s Office and ACT Health for the best interests of the community.

Please make sure you stay up to date with any announcements from ACT Health on COVID-19 via their website.

Diary Date: World Bee Day 2020

World Bee Day is coming in just a couple of short months on the 20th of May. Celebrated in over 30 countries, the day celebrates and raises awareness for the little bee to encourage improved conditions for their survival.

Why celebrate bees? Bees not only produce delicious honey but are a crucial part of the farming ecosystem. We wouldn’t have our beautiful flowers and yummy produce without them. In fact, the majority of our Market stallholders rely on bees and other pollinating insects for their produce to survive.

The Market will have something special coming to celebrate World Bee Day at the Market on Saturday 16th May it will be a real hive of bee activity leading up to World Bee Day, so stay tuned for all the buzz. You’ll want to bee there to celebrate.

IN SEASON: Autumn produce hits the Market

We think it’s safe to say Australia will be breathing a sigh of relief with the change of the season this year. As the air gradually starts to cool off, we can start to enjoy the produce from the most versatile season. We suggest you kick off the season with some figs, as now is the perfect time of year to enjoy them. Figs are much more useful than you might think! You can put them in salads, roasts or desserts. You can dry them, bake them, stew them, as well as of course, enjoying them fresh as they are. Pick some up this month from Lindfield Park, Hill Lock Orchard and Melissa Pure Fresh Honey.

But we’re not just welcoming autumn this March. With Easter next month, hot cross bun season (the best season) is also here. Three Mills Bakery and Origin Bake will be selling hot cross buns for the next month, so stock up now.

Biodynamic farming with Ingelara

This month we are featuring Market favourites Beatrice and Tobias Koenig who run Ingelara farm. Initially focusing on farming organic potatoes and garlic, Ingelara now sells a range of seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs at the Market each week.

Beatrice and Tobias are from Germany moving the family out to Australia in the 90s before starting Ingelara farm in 2004 at Michelago. As their farming experience had only been with fertile European soil, there were some adjustments needed to adapt to the harsh Australian conditions.

Ingelara is well known for its biodynamic approach to farming and has even been featured on ABC Radio Canberra. Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic approach to managing the soil, vegetation and livestock health. They practice time-controlled grazing for their livestock which limits environmental impacts on the farm and improves the soil and produce, which is then sold at the Market.

They have a passion for sharing their farm with the community, regularly hosting Canberra students on their farm to experience what life on the land is all about.

Like many of our Market producers, Ingelara was affected by the bushfires this past season. Their crops, pasture, and farm infrastructure have ben impacted. But thanks to the support of the Rotary Club and Market community, they have been given some financial assistance to start to get them back on their feet and rebuild.

With some quick thinking, they were able to evacuate their garlic crop and some other produce to continue to sell at the markets this season. Please come out and support Ingelara this month at the Market.

We welcome the change in season with our special autumn Market

We are so excited by the change in season that we’ll be celebrating autumn this month at the Market.

On March 21st we will be holding an Autumn Market Day. Not only will the change in weather provide some relief from the harsh summer, but it also means we are entering one of the best and most versatile seasons for fresh produce.

Think figs, peaches, eggplant, plums, chilli, squash, apples, truffles and pumpkin. Just to name a few. And of course, hot cross buns!

Warm enough for salads, cold enough for soups, autumn is also the perfect season to try out some new recipes. Expert chefs from CIT will be whipping up some fantastic autumn meals to get you inspired, and they will only be cooking with fresh market produce that you will be available to purchase on the day.

See you on March 21!

Update on our fire-affected stallholders

We are looking forward to seeing the return of Warren’s Fresh Seafood on March 7th and hopefully, we will welcome Rod Terry Oysters later in the month. They were both impacted by the fires on the South Coast in early January, and it’s been a long and a continuing road to recovery.

With your help, the Rotary Club has already been able to start allocating donations. $75,000 has already been distributed to our Market farmers and stallholders to assist them with immediate recovery following the December and January fires.

We want to thank the Market community for your continued support throughout the bushfire crisis. Because of your choice to purchase locally, money is returned directly back to the farmers, makers and stallholders who need it most.

Update on our fire affected stallholders

There is no doubt it was a very tough start to 2020 for many of our stallholders, with several members of our Market family affected both directly and indirectly by the severe bushfires across several regions. We are so sad to be missing some of our favourite stallholders during February as they try and make their way back on their feet during this difficult time. We are still sadly missing Warren’s Fresh Seafood and Rod Terry Oysters due to the fires. However, Warren’s Fresh Seafood and Rod Terry Oysters hope to be back at Market very soon, keep an eye out for announcements over the coming weeks! We will be sure to keep you updated on their return.

We are also sad to announce that visitors to the Market won’t see Donald Smith Horticulture or Laurel Hill Blueberries return this season, however, we wish them well with their recovery and hope to see them back at the Market next year. There were many more stallholders adversely impacted by the fires and we are pleased to see these stallholders back this month – Shoalhaven Mushrooms, Harrison & Sons Araluen Stone Fruit, Tilba Real Dairy, Martins Honey, Cascades Nursery and Tree Tops Batlow Apples. We know they have all had it quite rough, and the best way you can support them is to continue to come in and buy their produce.

Changed Traffic Conditions

ATTENTION! Changed traffic arrangements and Market closures

Please note that we will have changed traffic arrangements for the Market on Saturday 22nd February, with vehicle access via Old Wells Station Road only. All pedestrian access via Gate 4 (Service Station entry) only. Please also note, the Market will be closed on Saturday 29th February due to the Royal Canberra Show, and again on Saturday 11th April over Easter due to the National Folk Festival.

Click here to view or download map.


IN SEASON: Late summer fruit and veg

There’s no doubt it’s still very warm out there. February is packing a punch when it comes to hot weather, and it’s also packing that same punch when it comes to the huge range of delicious fresh summer fruits and veg at Market. Right now, all you fruit lovers can find watermelon, nectarines, peaches, apricots, rockmelon, new-season Gala apples, plums and figs.

For your veggie fix, head in for the best in fresh capsicums, celery, chillies, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, snow peas, radish, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, corn, red carrots, grey and kent pumpkin, organic red dandelion, organic Malabar spinach and Morning Glory water spinach. Perfect for all your summer salads and vegetable sides – always fresh and tasty!

NEW: Free-range eggs from Bungaree Pastoral Co.

Do you know the benefits of buying free-range eggs? Free-range eggs are said to bring a whole lot more to you in terms of goodness than other eggs. Free-range are better for you when it comes to nutrition, vitamins and cholesterol. Plus, of course, free-range means way happier chickens, which can only be a good thing.

Market newcomers, Bungaree Pastoral Co. are now bringing their fabulous free-range eggs to Market each week. Located in Galong, just west of Yass, Bungaree produce free-range eggs on a mixed farming enterprise with access to rotational grazing and the protection of sheds for food and nesting. These eggs are eggcellent!

NEW: Stonefruits and apples from Thornbrook Orchard

We know from experience that people just love being able to chat with the growers when they come to Market. To find out about how their food is grown, the methods used to grow it and how it gets to Market each week. Thankfully we have stallholders like newcomer Paul from Thornbrook Orchard to indulge all our Market visitors each week. Thornbrook is a third-generation family-run farming business and they really pride themselves on customer service and speaking with customers directly to educate them on the fruit growing process.

With great knowledge on the entire process – from trees to fruit harvesting, packing and transporting to the Market – Paul’s family has been growing fruit in the rich soils of Mount Canobolas, not far from Orange since the orchard was established in 1947. Many fruit varieties, including several stone fruits and cherries, are grown with the Market highlighting what’s in season picked fresh. Right now, you can find fresh peaches, nectarines, plums and apples at Market. Come and say hi to Paul and the team from Thornbrook.

BACK to the Market

January has definitely been quieter than usual, and not just due to the bushfires. It’s been a time that many have been away from Market for varying reasons, so you may have been thinking it was smaller than usual all round. Never fear, as February will not only see those recovering from the bushfires return, but several others back for 2020. In February we welcome back with open arms:

Head in to Market so see them and take home some delicious treats and ready-made foods.

Community Bushfire Appeal

Market back for 2020 with Farmers Market Community Bushfire Appeal

Whilst we wish we were rolling into 2020 on a better note, sadly it’s been an extremely tough summer for many of our stallholders.

Many have been severely affected by the bushfires across several regions including the length of the NSW South Coast, Snowy Mountains, South West Slopes and Southern Highlands, experiencing partial or total destruction of property, equipment, crops and stocks.

We genuinely care about the welfare of our many farmers and producers, their families and their livelihoods, and will do whatever it takes to help and support our Farmers Market community.

Up until now, the most significant impact on our stallholders has been drought – now you add these devastating fires to the mix which will affect our stallholders in terms of short-term supply of produce, long term production and access into Canberra.

One of the ways you can support our stallholders is to continue to shop with us, buy what produce there is available and give via onsite donations.

Join us for the first Market of the year on this coming Saturday 11th January 2020, where we will launch the Farmers Market Community Bushfire Appeal.

To start the appeal, the Rotary Club of Hall has donated $50,000, but we really need your help too.

How you can assist:

  • Donation buckets will be available onsite at the Market from this Saturday, and every Saturday throughout January (11th, 18th, 25th). Donations can be made via cash, or electronically.
  • You can also nominate how else you can assist Rotary’s efforts by completing a form available at the Rotary bushfire marquee located at the front of the shed.

Find out more about our appeal, what you can do to help and where your money goes HERE

So, what’s new as we start the new year?

We have two fabulous new stallholders to come in and try. First up we have M&N Top Spot. And they have the most deliciously juicy cherries just waiting for you. This family owned and managed cherry farm has been operating for the past 27 years. They’ll also have fresh plums, apricots, persimmons, figs and loquat.

If bakery goods are more your thing, come in and see Market newcomer Three Mills Bakery. Based in Majura Park, Three Mills is an artisan sourdough and pastry bakery. This small, close knit team of bakers and pastry chefs are passionate about creating hand made products to be consumed fresh. Products include specialty sourdough such as quinoa and walnut, twice-cooked croissants and savoury danishes, with a focus on using local products and suppliers, and the donation of waste products back to local farmers.

Don’t forget, our Market trading hours remain 7.30am – 11.30am Saturdays.

And remember, all profits from Market stallholder fees are fed back into regional communities and other projects chosen by the Rotary Club of Hall, so when you buy from the Capital Region Farmers Market you really are buying produce with purpose.

Find out more by visiting our website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page!

See you on Saturday 11th January 2020 – bright and early!

The Capital Region Farmers Market Team
A community project of the Rotary Club of Hall

Market mains for Christmas Day

Here we go! Time to go ‘round again for Christmas. The excitement is palpable. And what’s a good Christmas without an unforgettable Christmas feast! Whether you’re a stickler for seafood, prefer poultry, or love to ham it up, the Market has you covered for an array of festive themed main courses. Over the coming weeks, you can buy turkey (whole and in pieces), goose (whole), and chicken from Thirlmere Poultry Supply – orders are essential for pick up on Saturday 21st December. Pasture-raised chicken is also available from Canowindra Farm.

If you’re keen on the Aussie summer tradition of seafood at Christmas, you are spoilt for choice with many fresh seafood options at Market. Oysters come fresh from the Clyde River on the NSW South Coast from Rod Terry Oysters, opened or unopened. You’ll also find oysters at  Warren’s Fresh Seafood. If prawns take your fancy, Warren’s also has Crystal Bay prawns, cooked or green, and you can choose from fresh wild-caught Australian king prawns and frozen wild-caught green prawns from Narooma Seafood Direct.  Warren’s will also have lobsters and fresh fish, and Narooma will have fresh whole, filleted or smoked fish, octopus and live or cooked lobster – by order only.

If you’re a big fan of the Christmas ham, you can’t go past the traditional Christmas leg ham from Wagga Free Range Pork,  clean label Australian grown leg hams and glazed ham kits including leg ham prepped and ready to glaze, glaze, glaze brush, temperature probe and instructions from Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse (order only), and Christmas ham legs (full and half) from Formichi Smallgoods– available 7th and 21st December. If you prefer a hot roast meal on the big day, enjoy free-range pork from Boxgum Grazing, and beef and lamb from Kurrajong Country Meats and Minto Galloways and Moorlands Biodynamic Lamb (order for pick up on 14th December). Make it a great Christmas feast with a Market main.