Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Farmers Market Sustainability

The Remarkables Market is one of Queenstown’s star summer attractions  – the largest outdoor market in Central Otago selling an array of local fruit, vegetables, produce, plants, arts and crafts.

Located at the landmark Red Barn near the Remarkables Park town centre, the market operates every Saturday during summer with 60 – 100 high quality stall holders showcasing and selling their products each week.

Market manager Sherryn Smith says there is always something new and exciting to discover and zero waste is very much part of the market’s future.

“We have been focusing on sustainability because we recognise the importance and responsibility we have in this space. There are a number of achievements we are proud of instigating such as last year becoming the first market in New Zealand to ban the use of single use takeaway cups, marking a major milestone for our stall holders and customers.”

“Previously the market would sell hundreds of cups of coffee, fresh juices and smoothies all in take-out cups, but not anymore. Our coffee vendors are using ceramic cups and the juicing stall is using donated glass jars and the response has been amazing. We also encourage regulars to BYO their own cups.”

She says the hot food stands at Remarkables Market are taking steps to fit the sustainability ethos using home compostable plates and utensils.

“This allows for these types of take-out products to be put into our own composting system along with food scraps, coffee grinds and juicing pulp and that compost is then dispersed across our market gardens to complete the circular process.”

Stall holders no longer offer customers single use plastic bags and the market now has jute bags for sale and local Boomerang Bags which people can borrow and return to collection boxes around Queenstown.

Open every Saturday until Easter (April  4 2021), the Remarkables Market has a strong following amongst locals and regional visitors and is recognised as a weekly social occasion.

“We see a lot of people at the market for breakfast, brunch or lunch or just taking time to wander around the stalls and catch up with friends,” says Sherryn. “Live music adds to the atmosphere and there is a real sense of community with locals coming to purchase their weekly fruit and vegetables and other seasonal produce.”

“This season we have introduced the QR code signage to our four market entrance ways in line with the Government’s Covid App so we can provide tracing if need be. We also have hand sanitiser dispensers available for market goers to use each Saturday.”

Cultural Gateway

The Remarkables Market celebrated the opening of its 27-week summer season with the unveiling of the new Remarkables Market waharoa (gateway), carved by Ngai Tahu Queenstowner Steve Solomon.

The celebration included a powhiri, waiata and performances by the Wiatatia singers and the Wakatipu High School Kapa Haka group.

“It was a very special and moving event with kaumatua Michael Skerret presenting and speaking on behalf of Ngai Tahu,” says Sherryn. “We are very thankful to Steve Solomon for his wonderful creativity in carving our beautiful waharoa which is on view for everyone to enjoy at the entrance to our marketplace.”