Published by Cobram Courier in print and online on 4 December, 2013.
Residents in Koonoomoo are busily working to become the newest stop on the regional farmers’ market circuit.
The Koonoomoo Improvement Group is hosting the monthly event, to debut on December 14 and continue on the second Saturday of every month.
The town will join Finley, Yarrawonga and Tocumwal to become a weekend drawcard for shoppers.
‘‘We’ve sort of complemented it so within a 30km radius, people can go to a farmers’ market every weekend,’’ market co-ordinator Kellie Byford said.
She said the group aimed to support the ‘buy local’ campaign, and decided a market was the best way to showcase local products and produce.
‘‘We know that our industry is fruit produce, so the idea is that we give our local producers another avenue to sell their products,’’ Mrs Byford said.
‘‘All those tourists coming through on their way to Queensland or on their way to Melbourne, we’ll hopefully get those tourists, and campers, too.
‘‘We got lots of volunteers that came on board.’’
The market was also a way to showcase the town’s resilience and fighting spirit.
The teamwork and support bringing the market to fruition is a result of solidarity moulded in the aftermath of a tornado that hit Koonoomoo in March, Mrs Byford said.
‘‘We had the community come together and we want to keep the community coming together,’’ she said.
‘‘So that’s the idea of something like this; let’s keep the community spirit going, have lots of projects going and let people know that we’re working on our community and in our community.’’
Mrs Byford said the proceeds from the market would also give Koonoomoo a budget to complete local projects.
She said the town was often overlooked for grants and sometimes struggled to locate funds.
‘‘There might be revegetation in the walking track where we can put in a few hundred dollars to buy plants,’’ Mrs Byford said.
‘‘We have a lot of volunteers that use their own money, like using their tractor to slash.
‘‘It’s going to give us another source of income to help us complete those community projects.’’
More than 20 stalls have been booked for the first market, and Mrs Byford said she was hoping to receive more expressions of interest in coming days.