Dungog foodies and families know the place to be each Saturday for fresh seasonal produce is the CWA courtyard in Dowling Street.
Between 8.30am and 12 noon the Local Growers Stall is a hive of activity as more than a dozen growers sell produce picked either that day or the night before.
The Stall started in September 2012, having been set up by a group of volunteers, members of Local Living Dungog.
“The initial aim of the stall was to encourage people to share their garden or farm produce so people in Dungog could buy fresh, local primary produce,” said Loo Boothroyd.
“The broader aim is to develop sustainability in a rural community where people have been growing food for a very long time and yet this local produce wasn’t available in the shops, other than occasionally.”
A dedicated group of 15-20 volunteers from Local Living Dungog run the stall each week on a roster basis and Dungog Shire Community Centre covers the group for insurance and distributes leftover food if donated by growers.
“A grower can be anyone with surplus produce from backyard to commercial growers,” said Loo.
“Growers turn up on a Saturday morning, register their produce, nominate their price and receive 90% of the sales. The Growers Stall keeps 10% of the sales to cover rent and the purchase of stall necessities.”
Donations to support various community projects are made from funds raised.
Over the five years there has been an average of 45 growers a year supplying produce to the stall and on a weekly basis there are around 14 growers per week, including some children who earn a little pocket money from eggs, microgreens, fruit and vegetables. New growers are always welcome – more details on the Local Living Dungog website.