The West

A growing market for fresh produce
Leederville Farmers market lead by Nikkita Finn, left, Poppy Sloan, Maia Donavan Ashbolt, Mark Capolingua and Andrew Chambers in Leederville. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

They're bringing the farm to the city, winning over new crowds and forging a way forward in challenging times.

Once consigned to the outer suburbs or semi-rural fringe, farmers markets are now an inner-city phenomenon cropping up in parks, plazas and cafe strips.

In the past six months, markets have flourished in North Perth, Central Park and Forrest Place with two more set to open in Leederville and Victoria Park.

Leederville Farmers Market, due to start on Sunday, will be on the Oxford Street strip.

Organiser Paul Ashbolt said a central location allowed people from all over the metropolitan area to shop fresh.

"When you are located in a central hub, you don't rely solely on residents - you get people from all walks of life coming through," he said. "Farmers markets offer consumers a viable alternative - they cut out the multinational middle man - it's a win-win situation for seller and buyer."

Bev McGhie, who organises Kyilla Community Farmers Market in North Perth and recently set up Central Park Farmers Market on William Street, said she was first reluctant open up in the CBD but was overwhelmed by the response.

"We were targeting the suits in the skyscrapers and I wasn't sure they'd want anything to do with us but, my, did they embrace it," she said. The Central Park market has gone from fortnightly on Wednesdays to weekly in just three months.

Perth Home Grown market in Forrest Place has been a hit.

Roleystone grower Ron Rowton said his customers included inner-city residents, people catching the train from the suburbs and tourists.

The West Australian

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