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August 1, 2009

Once a month, those who have made enough money to move out of St Kilda strap the kid into the booster seat and drive back to the old ‘hood to go to the Farmer’s Market. Those who have made enough money to move in to St Kilda strap the kids into the Hummer and fang it to Chadstone. Retail therapy is the great leveller, no? Those of us who were witless enough to stay in St Kilda when we could – nay, should – have moved out simply grit our teeth and battle through the onslaught of designer baby buggies and exotic pedigree dogs named Max (or is that designer dogs and pedigree babies named Max? I get confused easily in my dotage.) en route to the newsagency.

Patrons of the Farmer’s Market are a veritable Who’s Who of the Melbourne arts/design scene. Spit in any direction and you could hit three architects, two producers, and any number of performers. I know because I have. Accidentally. Honest. Someone put soy sauce in my chai by mistake. But I digress. Why, I wonder, is this market so popular? Don’t get me wrong, I like it – it’s walking distance and I’m mildly addicted to Hope Farm’s spicy fruit bread, plus I love the frisson of danger inherent in keeping the market located smack bang behind the goal posts through footy season. But frankly it’s increasingly expensive and decreasingly “Farmer’s”. Bread by Phillipa’s, cheese by Holy Goat…wake up people, you can get this stuff just about anywhere in Melbourne. Without driving.

I figure it’s the ‘scene’ factor driving the Farmer’s Market popularity. The chattering classes clearly consider it gauche to flaunt success by conspicuous consumption of plasma screens and other such distasteful environmentally unsustainable goods. But paying $8.00 for a jar of organic marmalade, well, that’s an appropriately green way to show that you’re doing nicely, thanks.


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