On the third Sunday of every month, local producers wake up at the crack of dawn to set up and sell at the Mudgee Farmers Markets – rain, hail or shine.
The popular markets attract crowds from far and wide to the St Mary’s Church grounds to grab a lazy coffee, say hi to a friend and stock up on tasty local produce.
The laid back feel and the outstanding growth of the monthly event comes down to one person.
Liz has been running the ‘show’ for the past 10-years.
That’s 10-years of waking up before the ‘sparrow’s fart’, sourcing the best local producers and keeping the event running smoothly.
But last Sunday was the last time Liz will to set her early morning alarm and put on the fluro orange safety vest. She has decided to step away from the role, officially passing the vest to Julie Watt as the new Market Manager.
“I got to 10-years and decided I had achieved a lot of the things I wanted to do with food in the Mudgee region,” Liz said.
“It’s in a really good spot now; the markets are really solidly established as a great community event. I think it’s good to let someone else come in and put fresh eyes on it.”
The first Mudgee Farmers Market attracted 14 stall holders, that number has grown to over 45 under Liz’ watchful eye and guidance.
Apart from the monthly market, Liz helped establish the popular Mudgee Makers Market, which attracts a bumper crowd four times a year.
Liz is now looking forward to being able to relax and enjoy the event.
“Now I get to sleep in on a market morning, wait till the sun comes out, swan around and talk to everyone at my leisure,” she said.
But stepping away from the role won’t mean that she will be stepping aware from her role in the community.
“I’m still involved in other community things, so I’m still very much apart of the community.”
FOODIE HOT SPOT
Travel website booking.com recently rated Mudgee as the number one ‘foodie hot spot’ in Australia, so we quizzed Liz on why the region has so much interest at the moment.
“It’s all about the Farmers Markets,” she laughed.
“What we’ve got is a very vibrant little community of producers. I think we’re small enough that we all support each other and promote each other and we’re all passionate about it – in a nut shell.”
“It’s that passion.”
FUTURE OF THE MUDGEE FARMERS MARKET
“The success of the Markets is that it’s a lovely feel when you come, the stall holders all look out for each other and interact,” she said.
“When they arrive at 6:30am, they’re all laughing and joking amongst themselves, and that’s what it’s about.
“That’s what I love about the markets.”