River Cottage Australia host Paul West to visit Dungog

Farmer want the good life: Chef turned sustainable farmer Paul West will be the special guest at the Local Living Growers Markets at Dungog on November 23.

Farmer want the good life: Chef turned sustainable farmer Paul West will be the special guest at the Local Living Growers Markets at Dungog on November 23.

A happy life is built around food and community according to former River Cottage Australia host Paul West.

There's no better way to sum up both these things than the weekly growers markets at Dungog where the popular television personality will no doubt be the star attraction on Saturday, November 23.

Paul's appearance at the markets - which are held every Saturday next to the CWA Hall in Dowling Street - is thanks to two local women, Louise Benton and Pauline Cambourne. Pauline accompanied Louise on a drive to Gloucester to see Paul speak and the pair invited him to come to Dungog.

The morning will be a great opportunity to chat to Paul about his new book, The Edible Garden Cookbook and Growing Guide and perhaps buy a signed copy. Inside is Paul's practical advice about a no-dig garden, keeping chooks and recipes.

During his attendance from 10am until midday Paul will give a free cooking demonstration inside the CWA Hall.

"It's a free event and really what the markets are about - people growing their own food to enjoy," said Pauline who is the treasurer of Local Living Dungog Growers Market.

The Local Living markets have been held every Saturday morning since September 2012.

"The market was started to encourage locals to bring in their excess produce and for others to start planting their own vegetable gardens," said Pauline.

Since that start the growers have only missed two Saturdays.

"The first was when we had 15,000 people in town for the Mumford concert and we were unable to get our regular venue and the second was the weekend after the flood in 2015," said Pauline.

The market is well supported by both growers and buyers.

"It started with just fruit and vegetables but now includes eggs, honey, flowers and potted herbs and fruit trees.

"We also have Bee Wraps and Boomerang Bags for sale as well as being a collection point for soft plastics which are recycled by the local council."

Ninety per cent of the sales go back to the producers and the growers market retains 10 per cent for any expenses and also to donate to local groups.

Earlier this year the Local Growers Market donated $100 to each of the shire schools. Leftover produce is donated to the community centre for families in need.

The market was started to encourage locals to bring in their excess produce and for others to start planting their own vegetable gardens.

Pauline Cambourne