Your Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market is celebrating our stories. The market story is one of seven years of bringing fresh local food to locals. It is about ensuring the market is sustainable as an authentic farmers’ market and as we undergo our annual renewal process it is an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of the market to our local story.
This week we also delve into the stories of the people in our community when a unique library of books will be on loan for market goers to explore during the morning.
Ten years ago, the Launceston Human Library evolved from a desire to break down stereotypes and challenge prejudice in a positive way. An initiative of the Launceston City Council in partnership with LINC and the community, the Living Library, as it was first known, was about sharing neighbourhood stories and building a cohesive community.
The human library is a “simple way to develop understanding of others”. It is a unique program that originated in Denmark to build a positive environment where conversations can challenge prejudices and promote dialogue and diversity.
So, do not judge the books by their covers. Immerse yourself in a read and learn the stories of real people who are willing to loan themselves to the community so that people can get to know one another and discover who their neighbours really are.
The books cover a diverse range of topics and challenge perceptions on disability, warfare, immigration, depression, culture, gender, parenting and being a teenager. As a reader, you can enter the story by asking the human books questions.
Speak to the librarians or volunteers if you would like to join the library or take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the stories of others. Sharing experiences is a powerful way of promoting understanding and knowledge.
Visit the Harvest stall to learn the stories of the Harvest people, our volunteers who give their Saturdays in rain and sunshine to be part of an amazing weekly event.
Chat to the producers and hear their stories and why they remain committed to giving up their Saturdays to be at the market to share their produce, their dreams and plans.
Harvest Launceston always tries to adhere to the Australian Farmers’ Market Association definition of an authentic farmers’ market:
“A Farmers’ Market is a predominantly fresh food market that operates regularly within a community, at a focal public location that provides a suitable environment for farmers and food producers to sell farm-origin and associated value-added foods and plant products directly to customers.”
This is because as part of our commitment to the core principles that define farmers’ markets, no on-selling is allowed. Those who make, bake and grow the produce are at the market each week to share their knowledge and passion for their product with customers.
The consumer gains access to fresh produce, grown by local Tasmanians with local labour that contributes to the social capital of the State and allows food systems to be sustainable, diversify and grow.
For Harvest stallholders, the new trading year is an opportunity to take stock of the feedback they have received from customers, to assess their produce list and to continue to uphold the Harvest Charter that underpins the operation of the market. Harvest started on 11 February 2012 and has operated each Saturday since then.
According to the Harvest Charter, the purpose of the market is to:
- Provide an avenue for growers / makers of Tasmanian food to sell directly to the customer.
- Ensure the successful establishment, continued development and sustainable operation of Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market.
- Support the production and sale of a diverse range of Tasmanian fresh, value-added and seasonal produce at the market. Support innovation in Tasmania.
- Promote the practice of sustainable food production in Tasmania.
- Enable access to produce through a market that brings people together as a community to share in and celebrate food.