HPN started first as a small market stall at many of the valley’s regular town markets and later as a more permanent weekly fixture in Huonville. There was a lot of trial and error over the years, changing faces as committee members came and went, and testing out what worked in our small community – all with the aim of ensuring the network remained a viable, accessible resource for people who wanted to source locally grown food and learn more about how to produce it for themselves.
By the end of 2019, HPN had completed almost two full years of running a weekly market without our traditional break through the winter months and, while the desire to support our community in having access to locally grown food remained, it had become clear that running both a weekly produce market and regular training events was more than our small team could sustain.
As 2020 slowly changed the way we connect, our committee decided some things needed to change for our network also. Over the years, more and more growers and producers had arrived in the valley and while we were thrilled to see so thriving businesses running market stalls and training events – it was also clear that it was time for us to rethink our approach, look for the opportunities and work to our strengths.
While our vision remains the same, our approach to making that vision a reality has changed, with a renewed focus on developing and sharing training and networking opportunities, improving access to resources and developing collaborative partnerships with like-minded organisations.
But it’s not completely the end of our market stall days! Keep an eye out for us at Willie Smith’s mega markets over the summer months and please do drop in and say hello!
A final word to acknowledge the perseverance and dedication of the HPN’s founding members; Linda Cockburn, Trev Wittmer and Celia Leverton, who started the HPN journey back in 2013. It is thanks to their efforts that HPN has been able to push through the salad days and hungry months that accompany the growth and development of a local food production network.