A ’Pop Up’ Farmers’ Market was held at the middle of one ofChristchurch’s worst hit earthquake suburbs on Saturday
morning. It was a chance for Mt Pleasant, Redcliffs, Sumner and Lyttelton locals to access fresh food in a safe
Local organiser Tom Davies said he was overwhelmed with the turnout organised on very short notice, in a less than
normal environment including households without power or water, closed roads and liquefaction on site.
“This was a market organised for our people by our people, with everyone pitching in to clean up the site or make
homemade posters and signs. Information was spread by whatever means we could”.
Cam Booker, a vegetable grower, organised the stallholders who came from as far away as the Waipara Valley in North
Canterbury. “Everyone wanted to help get fresh fruit, vegetables and bread to people who have had no supermarkets or any
other food outlets open locally” he said. As well as selling vegetables, Cam bought down a pallet of free royal gala
apples for people to help themselves.
Angela Clifford, grower & Canterbury food supporter was also involved in organising the market. “Some of the stallholders who were there have
lost 85% of their business over the last week. They can’t stop their produce ripening but they now have no restaurants
or other outlets to sell to. The earthquake has also put a temporary halt to the Lyttelton Farmers’ Market, another
source of income for them.”
Coffee was free for locals and was made by a couple of guys whose CBD coffee cart business had been affected by the
quake. The coffee beans came from a local Christchurch roastery who have lost just about everyone one of their retail
outlets in the city.
The cost of the coffee was covered by the profits from another stallholder selling bread who donated the money to the
“The coffee queue was enormous” laughed Angela “but no-one was leaving it”. “Imagine how good your first coffee in 10
Celebrity chef Jonny Schwass & Masterchef winner Brett McGregor cut up the onions for the BBQ. “We’re just trying to help build the community up from
ground level and one of the best ways to do that is the good old-fashioned kiwi sausage sizzle”.
“We were offered so much support,” said Tom, “the Darfield community trucked in free drinking water that didn’t need to
be boiled, and everyone brought down their containers to be filled”.
One of the most poignant moments was the singing from the Linwood school students. They were sharply dressed as they
were going straight from the market to the funeral of their classmate who had been killed in the earthquake.
“It’s such an extraordinary time. The resilience of the human spirit is amazing - watching people hug and greet each
other. It’s amazing what can grow from the dust and rubble.”
The ‘Pop Up’ Farmers’ Market will happen again this coming Saturday 12 March from 10am to 1pm at the Mt Pleasant
Community Centre, McCormacks Bay Rd Mt Pleasant Christchurch.