Tag Archives: Otago Farmers Market

Fresh veggies, a holiday mystery

As many will know, I take a keen interest in who deals in fresh market produce around the city.

Years ago, a tiny group of us set up Otago Farmers Market at Dunedin Railway Station (opened March 2003) to ensure local market gardeners and food producers had at least a fighting chance to survive against the duopoly supermarkets trucking in old (no longer fresh) fruit and vegetables from the North Island; and to provide a market alternative to export given the high compliance costs besetting small orchards.

Otago Farmers Market logo download(1)We aimed to get the city’s ‘urbanistas’ to talk to Otago’s rural folk by adopting a Saturday market ritual – prior to opening we researched our business model to death (given the exact nature of Dunedin food retailing and the customer base, and the availability of suitable vendors) in the attempt to keep overheads down so small local producers could make the real profits. And that is what happened.

The farmers market has spawned new businesses and new employment. We always envisioned the market as a business incubator. We also hoped our hard work – in just a couple of years it became a multimillion dollar enterprise (for the vendors) – would eventually spur other small independent farmers markets to set up in the region to give vendors more chances of selling – and so they have, with varying degrees of success and failure.

While we know Otago Farmers Market has the numbers, the solid customer base at Dunedin – there is absolutely no room for organiser complacency. Some of that, I believe, and a lack of strategic business thinking, timing and network connections on the part of the organisers was responsible for the failure of the trial market venue in South Dunedin. They may have misread the location as much as the trading climate, more diligence was required.

At the Railway Station we saw every trick in the book committed by vendors (not the majority of vendors, I note) to earn cash by means not covered in the vendor contract they sign. That is the nature of a cash economy, the cowboys and cowgirls try it on. Behind scenes, we met mid-week with our accountant to look over business and enforce contracts, measuring these against what happened on site on Saturdays – we attended all Saturday markets checking the ‘pump’ as well as greeting customers at the gate, year in year out, rain hail or shine. Were we over-possessive? – No. We were learning the whole dynamic, firming systems for the avoidance of kinks. A farmers market will never be perfect, but it has to try!

Those who now run Otago Farmers Market continue to be vigilant – the need to focus on quality control was never more relevant – this is what we the initiators and founding trustees set great store by (to use a phrase), we rigorously policed things as the market evolved. When we each handed over to new management on pursuit of other projects about town we expected our long-view objectives to be followed and maintained as best business practice.

http://www.otagofarmersmarket.org.nz/

I called into Veggie Boys in Albany Street before Christmas, it’s near where I live, fresh flowers posed at the door for sale is a bonanza for the apartment dweller. The ‘boys’ Barry Gazeley and Marty Hay opened a store in Cumberland St in late 2011; their Albany St store opened in July 2012. They claim they’re meeting a gap in the market for locally grown produce (Otago Southland). Good on them I thought, after reading this profile: Dream comes true for Veggie Boys (ODT 26.4.12).

Google tells me Anderson & Co Resource Management has worked on planning matters for Veggie Boys.

http://www.facebook.com/veggieboys

After much delay I finally got out to Wal’s Plant Land at Mosgiel, run by Clive Wallis, to check into the new Topiary Cafe there. We’ve been great fans of Richard and Michelle Denhardt’s last venture, ‘No. 8 Cafe w Herbs’ at Outram (now closed); the two of us were keen to sample their food and coffee, again.

We spent a pleasant couple of hours at Wal’s, and had a good look around the site – it’s a really nice place to visit. There were couples and families about. We were surprised to see a new Veggie Boys outlet. Their third outlet? They must be doing well. We made some plant purchases, and left feeling very pleased with ourselves.

When we got back to town I was a bit curious. Towards the end of last year I was in and out of DCC’s online consents records following progress on Outram subdivisions and what not, I hadn’t noticed an application for Veggie Boys (109 Bush Road). Anything commercial in the rural zone sparks my interest, being a country girl averse to life-stylers carving up the countryside. Bane of the earth!

Anyway, I checked non-notified decisions, public notices and notified decisions. I might’ve missed something, I couldn’t find a resource consent for Veggie Boys to trade from Wal’s site.

I’m mystified – when I think about it, given all the activities going on at Wal’s, and what I can’t see on the council record, online at least, there appears to be more to look into consents-wise. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed. Maybe council staff have overlooked loading up the website. I’ll have to check the paperwork at City Planning when I get time.

Nurseryman turns dreams into reality (ODT 3.11.12)
Veggie Boys profile picture

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZ Herald’s spin on Dunedin

How to push the Otago Farmers Market, yusss!!

### nzherald.co.nz 5:30 AM Tuesday Nov 30, 2010
Dunedin: Buckets of cool charm
By Rachel Grunwell
Like your frocks fabulous and your produce pesticide-free? Dunedin’s for you, writes Rachel Grunwell.

Dunedin is cold and there’s nothing much to do there. Yeah right, as the folks at Tui would say (with apologies to Speights). Rather, Dunedin boasts gourmet kai, fabulous fashion, world-class festivals, stunning scenery fit for the big screen and a deliciously scandalous castle with secret gardens.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr (via mention by @five15design)

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D Scene – Stadium countdown

### D Scene 24-2-10
What’s next for the Octagon? (front cover)
Radical plans to revamp the Octagon have been viewed by city councillors. #Bookmark

Plans may be shelved (page 3)
By Michelle Sutton
Plans for a radical revamp of Dunedin’s Octagon, described by Mayor Peter Chin as “visionary”, seem doomed to gather dust on a shelf.
{continues} #Bookmark

[Use of the word “Architect” is legally protected under the New Zealand Registered Architects Act (2005). On 21 August 2009 a query was put to the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) seeking to clarify if Fred van Brandenburg was a registered architect. The same day a reply was received that Mr Brandenburg was not registered and that NZRAB was beginning a procedure to get him registered. On 12 November 2009, subject to a further query, the NZRAB chief executive confirmed that Mr Brandenburg was now a New Zealand Registered Architect, registration number 2493. -Elizabeth Kerr]

3D may come to Dunedin cinema (page 3)
Hoyts are expected to announce Dunedin’s first 3D cinema theatre next month. Hoyts Octagon location manager Darryl McLeod cautioned there could be some difficulties. “There are no guarantees.”
{continues} #Bookmark

Mobile kitchen proving popular (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
“Please can I have some more?” It was a common question from Otago University students lining up for fresh fruit and a cooked meal at the Otago Farmers Market new mobile kitchen launched during Orientation Week on Monday. Otago Farmers Market Trust chairman Paul Crack said it had been purpose-built to promote healthy eating and to show the public how to cook seasonal foods from the Otago Farmers Market.
{continues} #Bookmark

Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Vandalism message (page 5)
Dunedin city has been dubbed New Zealand’s capital of heritage vandalism by disgruntled city landlord Jeff Dickie. Dickie erected this sign [pictured] on one of his tenanted buildings in George St depicting his version of a new city slogan yesterday, claiming the city council had a lack of interest on the heritage value of some city buildings.
{continues} #Bookmark

[The Dunedin Heritage Fund is not “a city council fund”, as mentioned in the article. The Fund is a separate legal entity to that of “Dunedin City Council”, and has its own deed of constitution. The Fund is jointly administered by representatives of Council and New Zealand Historic Places Trust. For more information contact the Fund secretary Pam Jordan at Dunedin City Council. -Elizabeth Kerr, former NZHPT Otago Branch chair and representative on the DHF Committee]

Wards format still open (page 6)
By Wilma McCorkindale
The future format of Dunedin City Council wards remains undecided with a new March deadline given by the Local Government Commission. Local Government Commission chief executive Donald Riezebos said commissioners were striving to deliver representation reviews for a number of New Zealand centres.
{continues} #Bookmark

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Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 8)
Your say: Letters to the editor
Stadium stance by Ross White, Dunedin
Investigation key by Peter Attwooll, Dunedin
Well answered by Gavin MacDonald, St Kilda
Pre-draft plan by Bill Jeffreys, Woodhaugh
#Bookmark

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Details: The finer points (pages 10-11)
Waste not: New processes for plant
There may be not a drop of water to drink, in spite of it being everywhere, at the Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant in Dunedin. But it’s getting purer by the day as the city council takes plunges into the second stage of its upgrade. Wilma McCorkindale reports.
{continues} #Bookmark

Counting down: Stadium countdown (pages 12-13)
Stadium bosses are on a count down. Michelle Sutton reports.
Five hundred and twenty two days to go until stadium D day – and counting. Well, stadium bosses are. Numbers from an old cricket scoreboard hanging in the Carisbrook Stadium Trust offices serves as a daily reminder to staff working towards the August 1, 2011, completion date, of how many days are left to go.
{continues} #Bookmark

Dunedin eyes 3D industry (page 18)
By Michelle Sutton
Dunedin is gearing up to become New Zealand’s 3D hub. 3D experts say the city is poised to cash in on the multimillion-dollar industry, which is gaining momentum and growing in NZ on the back of 3D hit Avatar. They say Dunedin’s film industry is picking up more 3D work, and is well positioned to become the country’s 3D hub, with the skills and experience to cover work in television, sports, animation and cinema.
{continues} #Bookmark

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Otago Farmers Market organisers respond

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Apr 2009
‘No plan’ to shift Farmers Market to stadium

By Chris Morris

Organisers of the Otago Farmers Market say they are “disappointed” at a suggestion by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) they are considering a move to the planned $198 million Otago Stadium.

Read more online here;

Read more

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See earlier post Build it, we’ll come: gonna cost you and associated comments about the Otago Farmers Market.

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Build it, we'll come: gonna cost you

### ODT Online Tue, 7 Apr 2009
Warriors, Phoenix express interest in using stadium

By Chris Morris

The New Zealand Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix have sent signed expressions of interest to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, confirming their keenness to stage matches at the $198 million Otago stadium, if it goes ahead.

Read More Online Here…


Read more

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The lengths he’ll go to…

OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

In the same news item, Mr Farry said there were also plans for a regular farmers market to be held at the stadium, although it was not known if the city’s existing Saturday morning farmers market would relocate from the Dunedin Railway Station.

“I have had some receptive talks with them. That’s all I can say at this stage,” he said.

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I can’t speak for the current OFM Trust but…

Submitted by ej kerr at ODT Online Sat, 04/04/2009 – 12:12am.
Otago Farmers Market at Railway Station

I’ll stick my oar in as one of the originators and founding trustees of the Otago Farmers Market.
If mikenette thinks the proposed stadium is an appropriate place for re-siting the market he/she is meddling amateurishly and unhelpfully with the aims of the highly successful private business governed by a private charitable trust, the revenues of the participating vendors, and what I would credit as the ethical and moral beliefs of many of the loyal shoppers.
I doubt if Mikenette has much inkling of how the business model works peculiar to the current site, the customer base and the general catchment.
The market – at the present location, relying on return customers who shop there for “essentials” – has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s best by leading chefs, food writers, photographers and tourism specialists, amongst others, and by a swathe of international visitors.
We collectively worked very hard to research this business and to implement its set up and continuance. The vendors have been phenomenal in their support and development since.
Why is it people from the pro stadium lobby, and some pushing the harbourside vision of “caféville”, see the Otago Farmers Market as their own and transportable. The market is not the fall guy to bring “life and vitality” to their forlorn, poorly explained projects.
Elizabeth Kerr

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UPDATE See post Otago Farmers Market organisers respond and news item at ODT Online.

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