Nelson Farmers Market manager Miriam Clark says the market has nearly outgrown Morrison Square. Photo: Kate Russell.

Farmers’ market looking for new home

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The Nelson Farmers’ Market is on the hunt for a new site in the CBD after being evicted from Morrison Square.

But organisers are treating it as an opportunity to grow it into something “bigger and better”.

The popular market has been held at Morrison Square every Wednesday for the last eight years.

But market manager Miriam Clark says she received an “unexpected” letter two weeks ago, saying that the market had until the end of September to find a new home.

The letter didn’t state the reasons why, but from what Miriam understands some of the tenants approached the landlord, the Accident Compensation Corporation, about the suitability of the market in the square.

“It was definitely out of the blue, but we’re viewing it as an exciting opportunity for the market to grow,” she says.

“It has been a great spot for us – Morrison Square has worked really well, but we’re now at a point where we’ve nearly outgrown each other.”

Miriam says they are getting more stall applications than even before, but due to restrictions on stall numbers and types they have not been able to accommodate everyone.

The news also comes off the back of the market’s success at the annual Farmers’ Markets New Zealand Winter Food Awards in Gisborne earlier this month.

Five local producers took out honours, including Brookfield Free Range Eggs who won the egg category, alongside Nutt Ranch, Moutere Fruits, Mason’s Farms and FRUT4U Lowes Orchard.

Miriam says she wasn’t surprised with the market’s success at the awards, and it only reaffirms that the market is ready for a “new phase” of development.

“It’s fantastic to get that national recognition and it reinforces to customers that what their purchasing is top-of-the-line.”

And, although they only have three months to relocate a new home, she says she is “optimistic” that they’ll be able to find something suitable in time.

“We’ve identified a number of places and are working through the process to secure something.

“We’ve had overwhelming support from people saying that the market needs to continue, and we want to keep bringing hundreds of people into the central city every Wednesday.”