Motueka is a very small town, however with just over 10,000 people it’s the third biggest town in the Tasman region. Wandering through an alley from the empty main street I’m definitely not expecting the market that opens up in front of me. An eclectic mix of fresh produce, clothes, second hand anything you can imagine, gourmet food, and home crafts doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I try, and buy, mouthwatering marshmallow that has bite and flavour that is out of this world. Fudge, in flavours like chocolate with salted caramel, chilli chocolate and tiramasu as well as lemon meringue, baileys, blueberries and cream… But there is more. I have strong, hot coffee from a stall called “Caffeine”, there are hot nuts roasted while I wait, cheeses (goats and cow milk) and an olive oil and dukka. In fact, there is enough yummy, local produce that I buy an antipasto picnic worth for my dinner!
Don’t even get me started on the clothes. As readers of this post should already realise, I’m an avid fan of anything second hand, boutique, op shopped or vintage. The Motueka Market had an amazing array on offer. From real cotton or marino, or possum to second hand leather and denim to some very cute tops I considered for my next night out. There are also flowing gypsy dresses and a man making pastiche style beads with a distinct New Zealand style.
Stuffed full of yummy clothes and having decided my car boot wont take any more shopping, I’m off to the A & P Show. These usually traumatise me, reminding me too much of a misspent childhood in a far too rural town. On the up side, I know what the different types of goats are and that funny noise coming from underneath the hen is actually her little chick, and that the duckling wont bite (and if it does, it wont hurt!).
Yes, the poultry shoe kept me entertained. The vegetable growing, flower arranging type competitions are always interesting although I was a little disturbed by some of the photography I saw. It’s unfortunate, the last school photography competition I saw had some really amazing entrants and I think it’s raised my expectations. On that note though, I did think it was a bit harsh to have a saucer designed by a small child “disqualified” because the flower arrangement was in a small bowl, not a saucer.
Onwards to the equestrian competitions, wood chopping and nearly getting run over by a train. Yes, that was me. Very distracted by something bright and shiny. There was also a carnival complete with a ferris wheel, clowns and a shooting range. Not in the carnival but also to shoot, there were bow and arrows too.
The A & P Show also seemed to have a lot of focus on food (or maybe it’s just me that is focused on food) with all your standard fall-backs; chips, hot-dogs, popcorn, candy floss and ice-cream as well as cheap indian curries, ribbon potatoes, coconut crusted prawns and many gourmet food stands. It always makes me feel a bit better seeing people making an effort to go above and beyond in these sorts of settings.
For a small town Motueka knows how to put on a good show. It’s always stunning to see communities coming together like this. It’s something that I really do think is missing from a lot of our lives now. But that’s it from me today, I’ve got fresh bread, olives, dukka and some very smelly cheeses to enjoy.