It was a time for celebrations, warm welcomes and farewells at the Marlborough Farmers' Market annual dinner at the Giesen Sports and Events Centre on Friday night.
In a mix of straw hats, checkered shirts and gumboots at Renwick, stall holders and their friends and families gathered for a good old fashioned meal to toast their 11th year in operation.
The market committee presented awards to stall holders for longevity, diversity and of course the highly coveted People's Choice Tractor Award, for the best stall of 2012.
The breakfast stall which cooks up breakfast omelettes and seasonal brunches, was the market-goers favourite. Chris Fortune, who runs the stall, said it was all down to the warm smiles and friendly service of his crew.
"We've had lots of votes in years past, and this year we came out on top which is great, but it's all down to Sandra and her great service," he said.
Mr Fortune joked that he had taken on three boys to do the job of Jordan Shallcrass, who was leaving after four years' working at the breakfast stall to study teaching in Christchurch.
Ms Shallcrass started working for the Marlborough Farmers' Market when she was 13 and the stall holders and organisers were just like family now, she said.
"I can't believe it's been four years. I've learned so much from all of you. I will definitely come back and visit. It will be so weird because I get to sleep in on Sundays now," she said.
The market family expanded this year. Owners of the berry icecream caravan Wayne and Maxine Cowan have joined forces with their daughter Sarah Cowan and her husband Joshua McKay, who now run the Super Juice stall. The family received an award for being innovative and motivated in the development and extending and diversifying their product range. They have expanded their products to include prime cuts of merino lamb grown on their farm in the Wairau Valley, smoothies, juices and sodas.
Founding member Jane Nicholson was welcomed back to the ranks of stall holders after a break away and her services to the market was also recognised.
- The Marlborough Express