Adelaide Hills’ Stirling Market celebrates 30 years of trading

Whether it’s a warm summer’s day, or a misty winter’s morning, the Stirling Market in the Adelaide Hills is a popular place to be on the fourth Sunday of each month.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the market, and Richard James, chair of the Stirling Market Committee, attributes its success to the support of locals, and the strong philosophy on which the market is founded.

‘Make it. Bake it. Grow it. Sew it.’ is the catchcry for those wanting to have a stall and sell their wares, and the basic premise is that local people are there to sell things they have produced themselves.

“Visitors want to buy things that have been made or grown in the local area,” Richard says. “Being able to talk directly to the person who has ‘made it, baked it, grown it, or sewn it’ is absolutely priceless.”

The Stirling Market offers visitors a chance to browse and buy local produce, gifts, clothing and homewares.

This strong sense of ownership, enthusiasm and passion by the stallholders for their goods spills over to the many local, interstate and overseas visitors to the market. Although difficult to accurately assess, Richard estimates that around 4–5000 patrons visit on each market day.

About 60% of the stallholders reside in the Adelaide Hills, with another 10% coming from the surrounding regions. The stallholder fees are modest, which allows budding artisans and growers a chance to establish themselves.

“Several of our stallholders have become very successful and have made their way onto bigger and better things,” Richard says. “It is very satisfying to see young talent succeed.”

Marketgoers can grab a sweet treat to enjoy while browsing the stalls.

An important part of the market’s identity is that all committee members are volunteers, and that the net funds from the stall fees are returned to the community via a grants program.

Local schools, sporting clubs, and other worthy groups from the Adelaide Hills Council area have received funding for their activities and special projects. The committee also embraced the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail, commissioning a sculpture as a way of thanking the local community for their continued support. The sculpture by Jocelyn Pratt is called Journeys and is located at the corner of Stirling’s Main Street and Druid Avenue.

More recently the market donated to the new RSL soldier’s monument in Stirling. This year over $30,000 will be donated to worthwhile community projects with a significant donation of $11,500 to the CFS units within the Adelaide Hills Council area.

The Stirling Market is often the town’s busiest day, lining Druid Avenue and surrounds with stalls selling local goods.

“Our philosophy hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years,” Richard says. “Yes, we have grown and improved, but the basic premise is still the same. It’s a bit of a cliché, but one of the reasons we are still here is ‘location, location, location’.

“Stirling village is outstanding, we are just six minutes from the tollgate, and situated on Druid Avenue we are canopied by the promenade of grand oak trees which provide shade in the summer, glorious colour in the autumn and allow the sun to shine through in winter.

“Market day is always vibrant with music, friendly chatter and laughter. The myriad of stalls keep visitors busy and involved, ensuring that the Stirling Market is a ‘must visit again’ destination.”

The next Stirling Market will be held on Sunday, March 24. Events to celebrate the 30th anniversary will be held throughout the year.

Main image features the Stirling Market Committee’s Richard James and Kalila Stewart-Davis alongside the ‘Journeys’ sculpture.

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KIDDO Markets to hit the showgrounds

Adelaide’s first children’s-themed market will hit the Wayville showgrounds this month, with more than 100 stallholders showcasing goodies for kids.

KIDDO Mag has teamed up with Gilles at the Grounds to bring the KIDDO Markets on Sunday, June 24, at the Brick Dairy pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

The free family event will allow visitors to wander through locally made kids toys, gifts, homewares and other goodies, while enjoying entertainment and free face-painting.

Free performances will be put on by Kate Wright a.k.a Mimi from the ABC kids show Hoopla Doopla.

Chook Shed Designs and its felt food will be at the market.

Be sure to stop by the sensory play hub by Kid & Hub, the DIY autumn leaf mask making with Nature Play SA, and self-portrait session by Goodstart Early Learning.

KIDDO Markets and MumKind will also be working together on a winter sock drive, so bring a (new) pair of socks to help keep toes warm during these chilly months.

All sizes, brand and colours are welcome.

Local food vendors and food trucks will have nibbles on offer, and the event will also coincide with the Adelaide Farmer’s Market.

Nature play and mask making will be a feature.

Free first aid demonstrations by St John Ambulance will also unfold for parents.

Local designers, makers and stores taking part include One Harper Lane, Play Pouch Australia, Word Finders Club, Pip & Lenny, Daisy & Hen, Easton Inc, Goldie and Ace, Chook Shed Designs, Nature Play SA, Roaar Designs, Our Secret Garden by Ella & Willow, Word Finders Club, Baby Junction, One Harper Lane, Learn2play, Sweetface Sprinkles, Eco Crayons, Little Boo, Oskar’s Wooden Arc, Fiore Bambini, National Pharmacies, Little Big Balloon Co, and the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Something on Saturday.

KIDDO Markets is on Sunday, June 24, from 9am–3pm.

Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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South Australia’s mushroom men in the market for expansion

Growing up in the family’s fruit and veg shop must have rubbed off on South Australian brothers Nick and Nat Femia.

For almost half a century their father Sam worked as a greengrocer, with 36 of those years spent at Sam’s Fruit Market in St Agnes Shopping Centre in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

But it seems one vegetable in particular stuck with the Femia brothers – mushrooms.

Nick and Nat, together with Sam, are behind family business SA Mushrooms, based at Waterloo Corner on the Adelaide Plains.

Every week 20 tonnes of Swiss brown, white button, field mushrooms – and a special Vitamin D rich variety – are grown in a humid climate controlled facility.

The mushrooms are grown in a climate controlled facility at Waterloo Corner before being harvested and transported to the SA Produce Markets.

But it’s when they hit South Australia’s biggest fruit and veg wholesale markets, the SA Produce Markets at Pooraka, that the real action begins.

“The farm is located 15km from the SA Produce Market – we’re the closest mushroom farm to a wholesale market in the country,” says Nick, CEO of SA Mushrooms.

“It’s good for our carbon footprint.”

The SA Produce Market is the biggest of its kind in the state, selling 250,000 tonnes of produce, worth a combined $550m, between wholesalers, growers and retail operators every year.

It’s the only wholesale market that supplies to independent fruit and veg retailers in SA such as IGA, Foodland and independent retailers.

“Every mushroom that we grow ends up at the produce market,” Nick says.

“From here our mushrooms are trucked to independent supermarkets including 110 Foodland stores across the state.

“Our mushrooms also end up in pizza bars and restaurants, and we are heavily dedicated to the greengrocers, after all, my dad was a greengrocer.”

SA Mushrooms is one of many traders at the market, the state’s primary fresh produce wholesale market.

The SA Produce Market is pivotal to the northern food bowl area, as almost half of SA Produce Market traders are growers from the Northern Plains, in particular Virginia.

Nicol Carrots, IG Fresh Produce, and T Musolino and Co are all said to have undergone farm expansions or celebrate innovations in recent years – achievements reflective of SA’s strong agribusiness sector.

SA Mushrooms isn’t exempt from growth either.

Nick says the business has experienced significant growth across production, staff numbers and turnover and that an expansion is on the horizon.

“We’re in the process of planning for an expansion in the next year-and-a-half across our composting and production facility,” he says.

“Our staff will increase from 50 to 100.”

The SA Produce Market is also set to undergo a new chapter by way of a $25m expansion.

The project includes new food processing, packing and warehousing facilities, export consolidation, and retail tenancies.

The SA Produce Market is will undergo an expansion that is expected to significantly benefit local businesses.

SA Produce Market CEO Angelo Demasi says the growth will allow businesses to consolidate their manufacturing processes and have direct access to the market.

“The opportunity to work so closely to the market and have their operations in a similar place is a huge benefit to businesses that are looking to expand,” he says.

“The project is currently in the early stages with businesses in discussions that would benefit significantly from the project.”

Angelo says the market plays an important part in the SA economy, with more than 1500 people employed on site.

“ … 13,500 permanent and an additional 24,000 seasonal staff all rely at different levels on the SA Produce Market on a daily basis,” he says.

“Horticulture contributes $3.232 billion to the SA economy on gross food revenue of which $1.65 billion is attributed to the markets.”

Visit the I Choose SA for Industry website to read more stories about key industry leaders, why they’ve chosen SA as a base and how the state is enabling them to succeed.

A touch of a European Christmas in Hahndorf

You won’t find many crackling wood fires, snow scattered rooftops or mugs of eggnog during the festive season in South Australia.

But venture down the southern end of Hahndorf’s main street in the Adelaide Hills and you might just catch a glimpse of a European Christmas.

Since 2012 C3 Church Adelaide Hills Pastors Bruce and Julie Williams have brought the magic of a European Christmas market to Hahndorf – Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt, now in its sixth year, has drawn a total of 90,000 visitors to the popular tourist strip to enjoy a glass of Glühwein and wander among an array of handicrafts.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt captures the essence of a traditional European Christmas market with twinkling lights and bespoke offerings.

Run by volunteers from the C3 Church Adelaide Hills, the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt will return for three nights from Friday, December 15.

Bruce and Julie were inspired to bring a touch of Europe to Hahndorf upon visiting traditional Christmas markets in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

“They were remarkable, but probably the most influential was Munich,” says Bruce.

“We started to think about things we could do at home and it dawned on us that we’re in the oldest German town in Australia.

“We put the idea of a Christmas market out to the church and we knew that it would take many volunteer hours to pull it together.”

Pastors Bruce and Julie Williams in traditional German attire.

Daylight saving and the Adelaide Hills’ breezy summertime climate were perfect for an outdoor Christmas market featuring displays of handicrafts, baked goods, artwork and gifts beneath a display of twinkling fairy lights.

During its first year, the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt had stallholder vacancies, but now there’s a waiting list.

The market has also expanded its footprint by spilling out onto Auricht Road, which closes to traffic for the duration of the event.

The event received recognition from the Mount Barker Council recently when it was crowned the 2016 Community Event of the Year.

Bruce says many Hahndorf traders have embraced the thousands of visitors to the town by keeping their doors open past regular trading hours.

The C3 Church Band will perform carols at 9.15pm every night.

He says the true meaning of Christmas was still evident through the singing of Christmas carols and a nativity scene at the market.

“We believe in the message of Christmas in the birth of Christ and that was still a strong element in the European context as well,” Bruce says.

“The point (of the market) is not to try and get people to the church, there’s no pressure, we just want people to have fun.

“It’s a joyful and happy place.”

The market is expected to attract 30,000 people across three nights.

A licensed area allows visitors to enjoy Lobethal Bierhaus brews and Lobethal Road wines, as well as traditional German-style mulled wine, Glühwein.

Bruce says the majority of stallholders are South Australian, however, the market experiences demand from exhibitors across the country.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt is on Friday December 15, 5 – 10pm, Saturday 4pm – 10pm, and Sunday, 4pm –10pm.

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Top 7 local designers to hunt down at Bowerbird Design Market

The Bowerbird Design Market kicks off tomorrow and will see more than 170 independent creatives, designers and craftspeople spread their wares across the Adelaide Showground.

From locally made homewares, jewellery, art and ceramics, we’ve picked out seven SA stalls worth a stop.

Three day festival, running from November 24–26, allows shoppers to meet the makers while enjoying local, artisan eats and beverages.

When: Friday, November 24, 4pm–9pm. Saturday, November 25 and Sunday 26 November, 10am–5pm.

Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville Pavilion.

Cost: Adults $5, children (12 and under) free.

1. The Butcher Byrd
There’s nothing more nostalgic than the smell of that battered but as soft as butter leather handbag you’ve had for years.

These totes and satchels are designed, drafted, cut, sewn and finished at an Adelaide workshop converted from an old butcher’s shop.

A post shared by Sasha Carroll (@thebutcherbyrd) on

// Dana Kinter Art With a Gorman collaboration under her belt, Dana is one to watch on the SA fashion scene.

The Fleurieu Peninsula designer has now collaborated with Goolwa design house Kitty Came Home on a cute range of bi-fold clutches.

A post shared by dana kinter (@danakinter) on


3. WineStains
Based in the Barossa Valley, WineStains make homewares out of recycled wine barrels.

From cheeseboards, to coasters, wine racks and breakfast trays, these beautifully crafted pieces feature unique markings and wine stains.

PHOTO: Zoe Campbell Photography & Design.

PHOTO: Zoe Campbell Photography & Design.

4. Etikette Candles
A candle featuring a blend of fruits, spices and a hint of brandy sauce? It’s the Lobethal Christmas Lights all over.

These beautiful hand poured soy wax candles will make you swoon with scents inspired by areas of SA – including the Fleurieu and Yorke peninsulas.

5. Georgia Walker Designs 
What is the festive season without a ‘cha cha’ earring? Adelaide-based Georgia Walker is your go-to girl.

These swinging creations are big, bold and “the best fun your ears can have”.

A post shared by @georgiawalkerdesigns on

// Truth Cosmetics

Nothing but the truth is what you’ll get with this natural cosmetics line formulated and manufactured in SA.

Truth products contain all the yummy stuff – macadamia, jojoba, rice bran oil and shea butter blended with essential oils and extracts – and no nasties.

PHOTO: Truth Cosmetics Australia Facebook.

PHOTO: Truth Cosmetics Australia Facebook.

7. Rhicreative Stationery nerds will love this boutique range of greeting cards, calendars, gift wrap, art prints and well … stationery.

Designed and produced on 100% recycled material by Adelaidian Rhiannon Clohesy, these stationery pieces will dress up Christmas pressies so they’re almost too good to unwrap.

A post shared by Rhicreative (@rhicreative) on


We’d love you to share your own local purchases with us on Facebook #ichoosesa

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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