MEDIA RELEASE – 22 September 2009

 Canberra’s favourite weekly farmers market, the Capital Region Farmers Market, will this week mark its 5th Birthday with the launch of the new shed at Exhibition Park. The celebrations will take place this Saturday from 8.30am onwards, and will include the official launch of the new building, launch of Spring season produce and a range of great foodie events for all visitors to the market.

The new Kosciuszko Building and Kuringai Pavilion, built by EPIC, will be officially launched by the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Andrew Barr, and was constructed partly to facilitate the growth of the markets as it is recognised as one of the ACT’s fastest growing and most successful events.

“Recent gate counts have shown up to 8,000 people visiting the market each week – that’s a big jump from when our market began with a mere 1,000 visitors each week back in 2004,” said Tony Howard, Rotary Club of Hall and Capital Region Farmers Market spokesperson.

“The development of the new shed at EPIC will now allow 130 stallholders on an ongoing basis, up from the previous 100 stallholders, so we can extend the range of wonderful fresh produce on offer and better meet the demands of our patrons each week,” he said.

“We promote the fact that our customers can buy real food from real people and this event will mark the first in a series that is aimed to educate and entertain our loyal and growing customer base at the markets,” said Mr Howard.

Saturday’s launch of the new shed layout will coincide with the market’s 5th Birthday and launch of the Spring season produce, and the community is invited to celebrate throughout the morning with guest speakers and cooking demonstrations.

Acclaimed Australian author and regional icon, Jackie French, will share her insights on farmers market produce at 8.30am on the markets chefs’ stage. Jackie lives in the Araluen Valley near Braidwood and with over 800 fruit trees, is a passionate gardener who loves taking her own fresh food straight from tree to the plate.

This will be followed by spectacular cooking and food preparation activity by four ‘Chefs of the Market’. Peter Edmunds of Lindsay & Edmunds will share the secrets of creating chocolates, and Yehiel Kaplan of Pilpel Fine Foods will demonstrate his Mediterranean culinary expertise with a cous cous dish. Anne Vickery of Cypress Valley will show visitors what they can do with smoked trout from Tumut, and Siam Siam Thai Gourmet will offer Thai cooking demonstrations using ingredients from the market.

The Capital Region Farmers Market in Canberra is a genuine farmers market with over 100 stalls offering a diverse range of fresh food and agricultural produce straight from the producer to the customer. It is held every Saturday morning at Exhibition Park from 8 am to 11 am.

All funds generated from the Market are fed back into regional communities and other projects chosen by the Rotary Club of Hall which founded the Market in 2004.

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