After leaving the Derwent Valley Community Garden we sought out the Lachlan River Co-op with the expectation of buying fresh fruit and vegetables. I wondered whether this was the place where I might find hot-house grown New Norfolk tomatoes. Situated on Ring Road off The Avenue the Co-op presented in a repurposed industrial building.
The Co-op was unappealing outside and the interior was gloomy. We were surprised to see a number of stalls spread around within the various spaces of a building designed for other purposes. We were the only buyers and the sellers meandered desultorily and never attempted a persuasive approach to sales. When my friend said hello to one and asked the normal courtesy question ‘how are you?’ with the expectation of the normal reply of ‘fine’, she was told ‘I have been better’ and then he regaled her with some of his health woes. A very depressing building and a very depressing sales environment.
Only one stall sold vegetables and clearly they were not locally grown. They looked tired and aged – or perhaps it was the quality of the light around them. I felt sorry for the whole place and decided to buy a few potatoes hoping they might have been locally grown. I noted they looked old and seemed to have had their sprouts knocked off. Nevertheless I hand-picked a few firm ones from a majority of potatoes that were soft and bending. So sad. Undoubtedly the people, with their stalls of items that held no interest for me, were waiting to make an income for their efforts and expenditure. We wondered why they opened on the Saturday when the High St market was surely attracting all the buyers –that is the market where we headed next.