Summerset market, four years on

Summerset market, four years on

By Rose Newburn

Summerset market, four years on

It's been four years since we started bringing fresh fruit and veg, eggs, honey and preserves to Summerset Bishopscourt. Some of the suppliers have changed, some of our customers have changed their cooking habits as they've got older and sadly some have passed on.

We have of course gained new friends, we've moved inside the building, and because the local activities co-ordinator told his counterparts about us, there are now six fresh fruit and veg mini markets in Summerset villages around the South Island. Ha!

I take preserves and relish, and cordials which have been very popular; also free range eggs and locally harvested honey. Because the focus for Locavore Boxes is on locally produced food, I can tell you exactly who grew the fruit and veg and where, the varieties available this week, and what’s in the relish. 

The residents at Summerset are diligent recyclers of glass jars, which are always welcome; they are also returners of empty egg cartons, and sometimes paper bags. They will usually bring their own bags for fruit or salad greens, so they’re very conscious of generating unnecessary waste which is another tenet of Locavore Boxes. We are on the same wavelength...

One of the things we really appreciate about going to Summerset each week is the chat! We've had lovely stories from residents who would walk through orchards on their way to school (the reason E loves pears), or who worked packing potatoes out on the Taieri (at age 11). Some of the residents come and sit with us just for a chat - and to cajole their friends into trying the fresh fruit and veg...

I started the fresh fruit and veg market at Summerset because it seemed to me that residents would have probably grown their own veg, and so would welcome fresh fresh produce. Also, they may not want a large amount of any one thing so i wanted to provide super fresh veg and fruit that people could buy in small quantities if they wished. One tomato? No problem … A small handful of salad leaf? Absolutely!… one plum, an apricot and a nectarine? Perfect.


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