Lancefield market makes a comeback

The team from McIvor Farm Foods (left) and Stanhope fruit and veg producers Vic and Sophia Stacey (right) are much-loved regular stallholders at the Lancefield Farmers Market.

The Lancefield and District Farmers Market has been rescued by a passionate group of locals and will go ahead this Saturday at a new location: the Romsey Community Sports Oval.
The market, usually held along Lancefield’s village green, has operated at Lancefield Park for the past few months to allow for greater social distancing, but growing public concern over potential coronavirus transmission led to the July date being cancelled.
Enter the newly formed ‘Friends of Lancefield Farmers Market’, who rallied to find a new location.
“The Friends of the Farmers Market and Lancefield Neighbourhood House are extremely grateful to the organisations that have supported the efforts to find an eastern corridor location for the market to run this month,” group spokesperson Christiana Plitzco said.
“These include Romsey Region Business and Tourism Association and the Romsey Neighbourhood House.”
Spokesperson for RRBATA Jenny Stillman said the association had always been very supportive of the Lancefield market as an economic development and visitor economy asset.
“Finding a temporary location for the market allows Romsey and Lancefield to continue the support of our local producers and their capacity to deliver their wonderful produce to the community,” Ms Stillman said.
Lancefield Neighbourhood House coordinator Vivien Philpotts said market organisers looked at several options for locations able to host the market before a Macedon Ranges Shire Council officer came up with the suggestion of the Romsey oval.
“The Romsey oval was the only location that we could get approved with just one week’s notice,” Ms Philpotts said.
“Permission to use the space was granted on the understanding that we follow all Victorian Government and Victorian Farmers Market Association guidelines and protocols for holding a food market.”
Ms Philpotts said there had been tremendous support for the market to be run in Romsey.
“It’s quite exciting to hold the market in another location temporarily until a time when the lifting of pandemic restrictions means that sport can return to the recreation reserves and the market can return to its original location,” she said.
The market is deemed an essential food service and will operate under strict adherence to all state government, council and VFMA safety and hygiene guidelines. People from Stage 4 restricted zones are not permitted to attend.
Organisers remind shoppers that during the pandemic the market is not a social event and to limit shopping to one person per household.
“We ask people to be safe, stay distant, wear masks, shop for provisions from our local farmers, and go home,” Ms Plitzco said.
“Above all, be respectful of the need to follow safety guidelines – there will be extra volunteers on hand to help make this happen.”
The market will occur on the usual time from 9am-1pm, Saturday August 22, at Romsey Oval. Enter via Park Lane and follow all signage.
People can visit the Farmers Market and Friends Facebook pages or the news page of for latest updates on guidelines before visiting the market.
The Malmsbury Farmers Market on Sunday was held at the Malmsbury Cricket Ground to allow for greater social distancing while the Riddells Creek Farmers Market on Saturday got plenty of police attention with registration checks and fines.