Two families with one love for fresh local produce
TWO families have been making their way to the Kern Arcade Markets for years now.
One family, the Housemans' from Glenlee, are addicted to buying the fresh produce available and have visited the markets ever since they started.
The other family, the Christensens' from Yeppoon, are a fixture of the markets and have grown fresh produce on and off for decades.
Both families were complete agreement about two things: fresh is best and there's nothing better than supporting your local community.
Jan and Glen Houseman make the half hour drive to the markets whenever they can to take advantage of great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available.
"There's a good variety of Asian greens that we couldn't get before and now you can,” Jan said.
She confessed they didn't know how to cook a lot of the vegetables but were inspired to learn.
Glen said they were proud to be supporting their local growers and businesses rather than the big multi-national companies.
"[The farmers] need the money and the turn over and we need the fresh produce,” he said.
"And if we don't support them, pretty soon they won't be around to support,” Jan added.
Judy and Gordon Christensen grow tomatoes on their son's Yeppoon property and any they don't sell at the markets they distribute around their families, make into chutney or even donating to meals on wheels.
The Christensens' were born in Rockhampton and Yeppoon and grew potatoes in Gracemere before moving west in the early 1980's to work in the mines.
In the wake of the mining downturn, they returned to the region where Gordon could go back to pursuing his passion of working the land.
Judy said she didn't blame some customers on tight budgets for buying the cheapest possible fruit and vegetables but she had noticed a lot of her customers went out of their way to buy from locals.
She was of the strong belief that "buying local was better”.
"We try to give local businesses a run because it's not worth anything if you don't help your community,” she said.