Costs force market to end

The Queenstown Farmers Market has finished early this summer due to some vendors' lack of commitment every week and the late and short growing season for fresh produce.

Manager Sharlene Inch said on Friday both factors were unsuitable for regular customers, which affected the sustainability of the market.

''I've had to be realistic as there's fixed operational costs to meet each week and with the market being a non-profit organisation, it is getting more difficult to fund these increasing costs,'' Ms Inch said.

The market began its annual summer run on the grounds of St Peter's Anglican Church in late November with 12 to 15 stalls offering fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, pastries, free-range eggs, honey, farm bacon, cheeses, salmon, gourmet sausages, coffee, sweet and sour crepes and empanadas, plus live music.

Its first dedicated fundraising day was held on February 9, raising $810 for the Queenstown Preschool and Nursery.