By DAVID HILL
Some normality has returned to North Canterbury, with farmers’ markets reopening.
Farmers’ markets throughout the region closed when the country went into lockdown, leaving many stallholders without an income.
The Amberley and Oxford farmers’ markets reopened in the first weekend under alert level 2, while the Kaiapoi Farmers’ Market and the North Canterbury Sunday Market at Rangiora Racecourse have now also returned.
The popular Ohoka Farmers’ Market, near Rangiora, hosted a long time supporter, Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon. He popped out before getting down to business at the Canterbury Mayoral Forum’s online Zoom meeting.
Mr Gordon grew up just down the road from the Ohoka Domain, where the market operates.
“There is very much that sense of returning to normal where you can pop out and have that social interaction and get some good produce.
“It’s very much an established market on the Canterbury scene. I meet a lot of people here who come out from Christchurch and it clearly works, because you have regular stall holders that come here each week and it’s important for them.”
The market was a good opportunity for some time out, ahead of a busy week, with the council scheduled to spend three days deliberating over the revised 2020/21 annual plan.
Stallholder and Ohoka grower Andrew Warren was pleased to be back at the market.
“Everyone knows how to behave,” he says of the social distancing requirements.
Mr Warren survived during the lockdown by delivering food boxes to his loyal customers.
“So it just carried on really, but it’s less fun. The market is fun and getting back here is easier.
“There’s less shuffling around and people get exactly what they want.
“And look around the market and you’ll see everyone is enjoying themselves.”