A farewell to Ben and 41 Degrees South

An OG stallholder. The end of an era. We take no pleasure in Ben departing from Harvest. We do, though, take much pleasure in dispatching this epistle in his honour.

Dear Ben,

As we bid you farewell, and as one of the original stallholders of Harvest Market, it is impossible not to reflect on your journey and the incredible contribution you’ve made over the past 12 years. Your unwavering dedication to innovation and sustainability, to your product, to your family, and to the market community at large sets a high bar for all.

Your farm stands as a testament to what can be achieved through commitment to environmental stewardship. Using wetland filtration principles, you’ve ensured that the water you return to the environment is cleaner than that drawn from it. Using nothing but natural processes, this is nothing short of inspirational. This remarkable achievement highlights the forward-thinking and responsible practices that you have developed and deployed over many years.

Indeed, this commitment to excellence manifests in the market and your product.

Throughout our tenure, and certainly long before, your endless optimism, formidable work ethic, and unique blend of sunny positivity and deadpan cynicism have delighted us every single week. We have all witnessed the camaraderie, bonhomie, and mateship you’ve developed with so many at Harvest. Wandering, chatting, dispensing wisdom, eating bacon rolls. That’s Ben. A market day simply isn’t the same without seeing these connections in action.

That said, we wouldn’t know. Because you have never missed one. We say every single week, and we mean it. As far back as records go, you have never missed a market. Nor could we find anyone who has witnessed a market day without you. Yet another remarkable feather in your cap. Your presence at the market has been a source of fun and warmth through the good and the bad, and your absence will undoubtedly be deeply felt by the entire extended Harvest community.

It isn’t hyperbole to say this marks the end of an era. Your influence and the legacy of 41 Degrees South will continue to resonate, reminding us all of the importance of sustainability, innovation, and a positive outlook. We hear rumours, whispers, and mutterings in dark corners of a way forward. We desperately cling to the hope of seeing an underground club of salmon enthusiasts emerge. Shadows in the night. Fish and cash changing hands in back alleys and out-of-the-way car parks, all cloak and dagger. Through the backchannels, those in the know may yet have your beautiful salmon grace their tables once again.

This, surely, would be the finest living testament to your lasting impact on the community you have helped to build.

Ben, we wish you the warmest and most successful of farewells. Your contributions, spirit, and friendship will be greatly missed. We don’t know what the future holds for you (perhaps a towing and vehicle recovery business?), but we know that whatever you turn your energy toward, it will be a great success.

With heartfelt gratitude and best wishes,

Harvest Market.

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