Former Backyard Blitz star and House Rules judge Jamie Durie was the star of the show at last Saturday’s Good Earth Fare.
Hosted by the Sunraysia Farmers Market, the Fare attracted thousands of people and has been hailed ‘a great success’ by organisers.
Jamie was the event’s special guest and delighted the crowd with his on-stage appearance, followed by a stall-to-stall tour during which he meet with operators and stopped to pose for photos with stallholders and those attending the Fare.
The ‘Weekly spoke with Jamie before he took to the stage when he confided the concept of the Good Earth Fare had appealed to him from the moment he had heard about it.
“As soon as I heard about the event I said that’s me,” Jamie said.
“This return to nature now and a ground swell of people growing their on food, venturing out and exploring their backyards and making that an extension of their own living spaces and their houses is just fantastic and I think post – COVID has done that.
“It is so nice to see so many people out celebrating nature – celebrating good organic fruit and vegetables and celebrating the local farmers and the industry here that you guys are so proud of.
“And generally having a good old time with the family and friend and enjoying some local produce. I just had some bread and some lovely little olives from Helen’s store and of course Fossey’s Gin are here – who doesn’t know of them.
“It’s just great to see all of this stuff up here and everyone tapping into nature and bringing it home to everyone here today.”
Jamie said that among the projects he is involved with, he is busy developing a range of sustainable furniture.
“It is under my brand ‘Patio’ which we created years ago through Big W and we are looking at relaunching that again, which is really exciting now I am back in Australia full-time,” he said.
“As you know, I probably spent the better half of 10 or 15 years going back and forward between the Australia and the United States.
“I had a five year contract with Oprah Winfrey, which I was very lucky to have and it gave me a lot of time with my daughter, which was really important and she is still living in the US.
“I spent most of her teenage years with her throughout the US and it was great that I could be there during that formative time for her.
“But now that she’s all grown up and has a boy friend and all of that sort of stuff, I’m back home full-time.
“And now I have had another little baby! I have a 10-month-old and her name is Beau and she is an absolute delight, absolutely gorgeous.
“I’m having withdrawal symptoms at the Fare, every time I see a baby here, I want to pick them up. I am missing the family so much.”
Sunraysia Farmers Market Coordinator Kiley Dew said she was delighted with the number of people who had come to attend the event which she had the idea for in the wake of COVID.
“It’s turned out alright and I’m delighted to see the huge number of people here this morning,” Kiley said.
“I’m very happy with how things have worked out.
“I was sitting there one day and I thought that we need something to rebuild Mildura after COVID and something that would work in with the farmer’s and local maker’s markets and something that could involve other community groups as well. Spinners and weavers and garden clubs and wood turners creating a concept that would fit in with those people and so the Good Earth Fare was born.
“We’ve got close to 100 store holders here today which is fantastic.
“We are also delighted to have Jamie Durie joining us here today and he will be meeting and greeting people, particularly our store holders and also hearing about all of the wonderful projects he has been involved with over the years.”
Kylie’s daughter Alysha Dew was also in Mildura for the Good Earth Fare, appearing as a fairy from the bottom of the garden!
“I just thought I’d join in the fun and do something for the kids and fare and fairy goes pretty well together!” she said.
When Alysha isn’t having fun as a fairy, she is a research assistant at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.
Coffee Que stall holder, Geoff Quennell, had a stall at the Fare and said he enjoys roasting coffee to supply local businesses.
“My wife and I roast coffee at home with our commercial coffee roasting machine and we supply coffee to different cafes and restaurants and to people who want nice, freshly roasted coffee,” he said.
“The fare today is just fantastic. It’s a terrific thing, attracting all sorts of people and stall holders – it’s a huge show and we have our coffee making machines here to demonstrate to people how to make a nice cup of coffee.”