THE Greater Whitsunday Farmers' Markets are back for 2017, kicking off their first market of the year on Wednesday.
President of the Greater Whitsunday Food Network, Chair of the Greater Whitsunday Farmers' Market and owner of Freckle Farm, Deb McLucas, said the markets will be up and running every week, rain hail or shine.
"Coming here to the markets has been a perfect progression for us so that we've got a weekly shop front to be able to sell to our growing list of customers," Ms McLucas said.
Ms McLucas, who co-owns the eggs, pork and beef farm with her husband Rob Bauman, has been coming to the weekly food markets since its inception in June 2016.
"What we love about our business is that we develop a really direct relationship with our customers. We see them regularly and they give us direct feedback, telling us how they enjoyed it," she said.
"As a farmer, it gives you that connection with your customer. It gives you energy, and it gives you enthusiasm to keep doing what you're doing."
Owner of The Family Table and member of the Greater Whitsunday Food Network's management committee, Trudie Bishop, continues to inspire market-goers with her monthly cooking demonstrations this year, using produce grown and farmed by locals.
"We're all about educating people about what's in season, how to cook it and how to use it so they're getting the best produce that's around plus supporting local farmers as well," Ms Bishop said.
The huge rise in popularity of Mackay's Eat Street and food and wine festivals in the past 12-18 months has been inspiring for Trudie and her business.
"It's really demonstrating that people in this area love things that involve food, every time, you see more and more people coming along," she said.
"I love being involved in a food business at this stage, because you're a part of all that. There's definitely a big food movement and there's a lot more foodies out there."
The Greater Whitsunday Farmers' Market is on every Wednesday at the Bluewater Quay from 8am to 1pm.
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