The Huon Producers’ Network vision for the Valley is a vibrant and diverse group of small to medium sized producers who work cooperatively to establish a local food bowl and resilient economy.
By working together we can reduce costs, share knowledge, resources, build our community, increase local health and prosperity and create a dynamic force for change.
The network started stretching its experimental market wings in 2013, attending the Franklin Market, branching out to Huonville, Judbury, Cygnet and Dover in 2014 and Geeveston’s Farmers’ Market & Kingston Farmers’ Market in 2015.
We had a go with pop-up-markets on the sides of roads, and mucked around a lot with displays and ways of doing things better. We got things right by first doing it wrong. Come to think of it we got a lot of things wrong too.
We were testing the water. Helping producers get the hang of not just producing, but packing, presenting and just darn well turning up on time. Many of us branched out and started selling direct to cafes and restaurants. It was down to the perseverance and dedication of the HPN’s founding members; Linda Cockburn, Trev Wittmer and Celia Leverton, that the HPN has been able to push through the salad days and hungry months that accompany the growth and development of a local production network. For a time, the HPN had a solid presence at Huonville’s esplanade site, but after having to move from that site in 2016, we faced some tough times as we tried to keep the market going at less visible site. In late 2017, while we pondered the future direction of our market stall and how we could make it work, Willie Smiths launched their own weekly ‘Artisan and Produce Market’, to showcase produce made locally by valley folk – and invited us to be a part of it.
These days we’re working hard to ensure the network remains a viable, accessible resource for people to access fresh, local food – organically grown by passionate producers, and to provide training and networking opportunities to people in the valley and beyond who want to connect with like-minded growers and learn more about how to develop their own patch of earth.