Shopped at the most inspiring little market yesterday, in a tiny Mary Valley town called Dagun. This market is a testament to community resilience, re-emerging as it has from the distraction, exhaustion and trauma that ravished the Mary Valley during the Queensland Government’s campaign to submerge it under a mega-dam in the mid-2000s. You can see more about those years by clicking here. The dam proposal was quashed in 2009, and the Dagun Growers Market is one sign of community recovery. It feels so very good to shop there. When friends there say “people are starting to garden again”, it resonates with me deeply. It’s a sign my home valley is healing, and that is a sweet victory all over again.

So my shopping basket groaned with crisp fresh produce: winged beans, small round white eggplant, finger limes, sorrel, chillies, and another leafy green I forget the name of. There were cheeses too, wine, fruit, home-baked cake and locally made ice-blocks. The steam train pulled in at the station while we shopped. Steve gave us home-grown roses as farewell.

I’d been resisting the drive to Dagun because it’s some distance from my house, and I thought the food miles would be unconscionable. But then I realised that the 70 kilometre drive is really nothing compared to the miles travelled by most anything I’d buy at my local greengrocer, let alone the supermarket. It’s just these miles were travelled consciously, a country-roads adventure with loved ones; not travelled for me by a tired stranger driving a semi-trailer along well-worn highways. Besides that, I got to bask in the spirit of community, care farming, and food.

If you live anywhere nearby, you must go!