At Harvest | 31 December 2022

The New Year’s Eve Edition

Whelp, it is finally here. The end of 2022. In many respects, this year was like any other at Harvest. In some respects though, it was like no other. We turned ten, we saw the abolition of Covid restrictions, we saw the changing of the guard in the Ops team, and we $12 lettuces and hallucinogenic spinach (neither at Harvest though). Launnie is big on the idea of ‘place’ right now, and 2022 hammered home to us the importance of the market’s place. It’s place in the community, it’s place in our food security and systems, it’s place in our collective consciousness.

Contractually obliged plug

Boy, do we have the perfect day lined up for you. First up, come to the market, and participate in Beerfest and FermenTAS’ hops workshop. Presented by Tiff WaldrenGrace Irwin and Willie Simpson this fun morning of beer tasting and hop sniffing promises to be a hoot! Also, free beer to kick off your NYE? Sign us up. Register here for the workshop, or just simply rock up. Then a nap. Then Launceston BeerFest’s NYE Celebration! With bands and comedy and sunshine and whatnot. Aside from the hop blending workshop happening at Harvest, many satellite events are on the go too! We’ve also done you a favour and hit you with this list of other activities and events happening around Launceston in the lead-up to NYE. The time is now.

Perfunctory description of stallholders at Harvest

APRICOTS! Pardon the all-caps, but it is quite exciting that Penna Valley Farm and their amazing apricots are back. True and OG Moorpark apricots, with their blushed cheeks and somehow simultaneously firm but very juicy flesh. Sweet but with a delicate acid tang, highly fragrant and perfectly snack-sized. They’re the best and we’re so pleased they’re back, certainly better late never. Paul and the All Things Cherry family’s season continues, and at time-of-writing, there still remains a possibility that we’ll see Sally from Tasmania Cherries too. Stonefruiterers are having a tough season, and Sally’s presence at Harvest this week remains uncertain. We’re crossing our fingers though, one can’t consume enough cherries during their brief but joyous season. Same goes for the berry family, and that seasonal run is looking good into the new year.

Plus, all your stalwart favourites will be along to see out 2022 in style. You know, the likes of Meat Bread Cheese, Delicious Little Things, One on the Slide, Steve’s, Yangs, Grahame and Thirlstane Gardens, Brady’s, Sandy’s, West Bee, Honey Tas…the list goes on. If we’re being perfectly honest, it’s a pretty chilled-out affair for the NYE market. But we can hardly and never would begrudge any of our members for taking a little summer break. We’re certain you won’t either. Besides, after all the hubbub of Christmas et. al., keeping the vibe low-key is not only a very 2022 sentence but very 2022 generally.

Now for some self-indulgent personal reflections

If you’re anything like us at the Harvest Ops Team, 1) god help you and 2), New Year’s Eve means a time for reflection and reconciling the year’s events. Like any year, this one was filled with ups and downs. From the edible, like the joy of ginger and lime gelati and the subsequent pain of its seasonal end. To the operational, like failed movie nights and our recent FOGO drama. To the tangible, like the arrival of Scoopy and new stallholders like Shelduck Farm, Mumma Shazz, Western Tiers Pastured Eggs, Yang’s 4 Seasons, Greens for You and Mantje Potatoes. Unfortunately, we had some retirements too and we’re sending Jomeh and family from Kabul Veggie Delights, Andy and family from Red Cow Organics, and Michael Lees from Windara Orchard a fond farewell.

We couldn’t possibly reflect on 2022 in any meaningful way without honouring Matthew Crane and his passing, as you honoured him. To give you some context, this newsletter usually receives between 1800 and 2000 engagements, which means about an 80-85% open rate. Not bad really, all things considered. The email in which we honoured Matt received over 14,000 engagements. Which means you shared it, and those you shared it with also shared it. We were staggered and quite humbled by that, and thank you for it. We also must acknowledge here the horrific motorcycle accident that befell Karen Brock from Plant’s Direct, who has already undergone months of surgery and rehab and has months to go still. Join us in wishing Karen and Tim all the very best for recovery in 2023.

Two members ventured out into bricks and mortar. Congratulations to Sweet Wheat and Smallgrain for that achievement in 2022. Kimmy and Heidi both put down the gloves and 1.5m dowels for good, and Meghan picked them up. Harvest had the honour of hosting the Launceston Place Brand launch. We collaborated with Junction Arts Festival, NORTH Festival, Beerfest, and BOFA Film Festival. We made some content with Eat Well Tasmania and participated in the National Experience Content Initiative.

UTAS and Sustainable Living Tas helped us launch a carbon audit project that we’re hoping to deliver in 2023. LT and Ferg had a baby. Innumerable awards were won by our stallholders. There hasn’t been an errant vehicle in our carpark on a Saturday morning for months, so maybe our parking signs are doing their job. We moved into our newly minted Harvest office, the first time Harvest has ever had such a thing.

And on a very personal note, your humble newsletter author would like to intimate that it has been an amazing year deepening my connection to this wonderful community. Telling the stories and sharing the news through this ‘publication’ continues to bring joy and inspiration. Everyone is so kind and supportive, and they never hold back on the constructive criticism. Our stallholders show out for themselves, their businesses and families, and the community at large throughout the year, just as you, our patrons, show out for them.

It is a privilege to simply witness each week, but to be part of it is something very special indeed.

Thanks for reading and indulging us in these reflections, we hope that they have bought you some pause as well.

Have a safe, happy and most of all, fun New Year’s period. Here’s to 2023. We’ll see you on the other side.

Love from Amanda, Rhys, Meghan and the entire Harvest community.

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