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Community Markets(a journey to Bunbury Farmers Market)

There is a certain sense of satisfaction and deep gratification when we as humans collectively gather our individual skills and trades to build something truly wonderful. Whether that be a building, a concert or even just an exceptional experience, the feeling of achievement, a culmination of different lives mashed together, it is a thing of beauty to see how opportunity can create unity within our society. And these days such things are in short supply.

Without even knowing we all experience this bond with our fellow man day in day out, sometimes it’s not obvious but if you look closely enough you can see the culmination of hard work and determination, especially at a place as unique as the #BunburyFarmersMarket.

Intentions were simple enough. I never intended on writing about the Farmers #Market, all I wanted was a #coffee to go but as I walked toward the building I marvelled at the bustling coalescence of people gathering for more than just a mere hit of caffeine. I quickly procured my black liquid from the #barista stationed out front, making sure to douse it with at least half a kilo of sugar. It had been a struggle waking up this morning nothing that a double shot with extra sweet wake me up sweetness couldn’t fix. So after a few sips and the fog of my early morning head lifting I head through the main entrance, greeted with fresh #fruit stacked high, a team of workers carefully spraying the produce with water and carefully replacing apples and oranges and pears and dragonfruit and bananas and melons and strawberries and... well you get the idea. As I round the corner and fresh fruit smoothie and cold pressed juice station where another chipper person is preparing and bottling natural fruit juices and blending fruit to your liking.

After a few minutes of marvelling at this well oiled machine and comprehending the vast selection of fruit and veg on display my thoughts turn to all the hard working individuals required to put something like this together. You see it’s not just the staff here that make this place special, it’s the #farmers too. Understanding that so many #local producers have been given an opportunity to display and sell their produce, the hours spent toiling to lovingly grow the fresh vegetables on show, is truly wondrous. As I wander past, enjoying the sensation of mint and basil and coriander tingling my senses a live #cooking station is setup in a corner where each day a recipe is recreated and samples handed out to any and all visitors. There is nothing more satisfying in this world than eating tasty simple food straight from a pan, made even more delightful by the fact that the creator of such deliciousness is there to offer advice on flavours and if you have the time impart some impressive knowledge about the #produce on offer and how to bring this #recipe to life in your own kitchen.

The customer experience at the farmers market is something to behold with passionate, friendly people scattered throughout the maze offering up everything from cheese and cracker tastings, samples of premium olive oil and salsas to direct contact (if you are lucky enough) to butchers and bakers. You see it is not just fruit and vegetables on offer here but fresh cuts of meat, beautifully crafted bread baked daily, fresh cut flowers and delicious hand-made healthy dishes. One of my favourites would undoubtedly be the muesli with yoghurt and seasonal fruit prepared in mason jars and ready to eat. Locally made preserves and everyday staples such as eggs and milk and juice as well as deli meats and a smart selection of hard to come by international products mean even if your intention is to just pick up some fresh fruit for the week, you are likely to spend an unreasonably extended amount of time here filling your trolley with everything the eye can see.

The final touch here is the checkout and in an age of self service it is refreshing and somewhat personal to have your shopping bagged carefully by an actual person. It is old school #service with a smile and a conversation a human connection that is sorely missing from your everyday supermarket.

So as I wander back to my car with a box of amazing produce I never intended to purchase I turn back and reminisce about the experience. A sense of hope rises within knowing that such a place exists in my home town. That despite our everyday disconnect with the rise of technology there are still places where hundreds of individuals can come together and create a #community centered around fresh produce and down to earth hospitality.

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