Preston market - The heart of our family

by JJ ,

We bought our first home in Preston 10yrs ago, living in banyule we'd drive over to the market sometimes and at that time when house hunting we were drawn to Preston for its location, period homes and most importantly its market. 

10 years and two kids later. We continue to walk with our kids every Saturday. We load up the pram with our fruit n veg and all our goodies and trundle off home. Our kids know the traders and some now we call friends. They run around to throw coins in buskers hats and get excited to go on the rides. They get a breadroll at the bakery and olives to try at the deli. The market is in the fabric of our family. 

When I was a new mum at home with my babies, I'd walk to the market almost every day. It was so much more rewarding than a trip to woolies. It was a community of caring souls and a place to just wander. I always find new things hidden in corners even after 10 years. Sometimes the yarn with the butcher and the grocer was my only social contact for the day.

When out of town-ers stay, they marvel at the market on our door step. They've never seen anything so amazing - how lucky you are to not rely on the supermarket. $18 for t-bone?!?! marvels my mum. Yes we are spoilt for freshness and choice. 

It's no surprise with such an amazing market my cooking has just excelled itself. I can find anything and try everything. I cook with real food and flavours. My kids love the experience and learn all about fresh fruit and vegies. And don't say they can do it at a supermarket- it's just not the same. The fluro lights send them crazy, it's a whingefest for a squeezy yoghurt, and there's fights over the trolley, the junk food and who gets to sit in the seat.

As I write this the tears stream down my face. Preston market means so much to us, to me, the family cook and forager. To the traders, the salt of the earth who dedicate their lives to their market stall, up at 3am for the past 40 years. Their stories, their smiles, their histories are all in that market. And so now in our family too. 

To think that we want churros, and more instagrammable gimmicks is an insult. We are real people who just want real, affordable and healthy food for our families. To think our market is going to be a sanitized shopping mall with a token shop under a block of flats is heart breaking. We keep losing stalls but gaining more fast and junk food retailers. 

To take away the heart and soul of a town, it is criminal. To take away the community's fresh food options and force us into supermarkets - criminal. To take the livelihoods of the traders - criminal.

Save our Preston Market 

- The Johnsons 

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