IN anyone’s language, soon-to-be mum of four, Melissa Lopez, is a very busy woman.
Late last year News Of The Area spoke to Melissa on the day of the first ever Farmers Market in Tea Gardens.
There were just a few stalls and the wind was howling off the Myall River.
What a difference six months has made.
At the recent Tea Gardens markets there were 14 stalls selling everything from organic meat, vegetables, honey and locally produced candles.
As Melissa’s family grow, so too are the Farmers Markets.
She’s now running markets in Bulahdelah once a month and every Sunday in Harrington.
Melissa has high hopes and high standards.
“We make sure that every farmer is genuine and what they’re producing is what we’re selling,” Melissa said.
“We take the time to go to the property, sometimes it’s a surprise visit and sometimes it’s not.”
“We want to be sure that what they’ve listed on their application to sell at the farmers markets, is what they’ve produced and they’re not a re-seller,” Melissa said.
“The farmers have to tell us what they’re producing and how they’re doing it.”
“We’re helping the farmers, we’re helping the community and it’s our plan to keep on growing.”
To that end Melissa recently gathered 500 signatures from the community calling for at least two markets in Tea Gardens every month.
“MidCoast Council knocked us back, saying it goes against policy,” she said.
Melissa intends to keep fighting and is hoping to have more twilight markets in the Summer.
By Margie TIERNEY