The Kallista Community and Craft Market is a country market in the village of Kallista, a locality in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Less than an hour's drive from Melbourne, the Market is open on the first Saturday of each month from 9am to 1pm. Operating for over 28 years in the village green, this outdoor market has over 60 stalls offering a variety of local homegrown, homemade and handmade products. Here are 9 reasons to make a date with the Kallista Community and Craft Market on the coming first Saturday.
The Selby Soap Company is a small family business specialising in chemical free soaps and cleaners. Their ethos is to provide an alternative to the commercial washing powders and concentrates that most of us are used to. The owners believe their handcrafted version is superior due to the use of a high percentage of coconut oil which has amazing cleaning properties and is gentle on the skin instead of the common Sodium Laurel Sulphate. Their soaps also include naturally fragrant essential oils.
Seed It and Reap is a family business which uses sustainably harvest Macrocarpa Cypress to produce varied sizes of raised vegetable or herb beds. What makes the company unique is the recycling of discarded timber in its production of garden beds. They can be customised to specific requirements and are also filled with an organic matter that retains water, thus reducing the need to water the beds only twice a week.
The Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group is a not-for-profit community group that focuses on protecting and preserving the natural environment of the Southern Dandenongs including the locally threatened platypus population. Established in 2007, the Group is run by individuals who run community programs that educate local residents on the importance of preserving their natural heritage.
If you happen to have a pampered pooch, it might bark you into buying some winter knitwear from Maddi-Rose. The range of knitted coats, jackets and jumpers reminded me of the sidewalks of New York, Milan and Paris where dogs of all sizes were dressed in the latest knitwear. Perhaps Maddi-Rose will provide matching cardigans for owners and dogs soon.
Established in 1976, the Kallista Community House is a not-for-profit organisation that offers a variety of community programs, catering to the varied needs of the residents. It provides facilitated playgroups and occasional childcare and various educational and social workshops and classes for adults.
The brilliant red waratahs for sale were the centre of attraction in the village green. Originally from New South Wales and plentiful in the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens and Leura, waratahs became a popular garden plant and is now commercially cultivated in the Dandenong Ranges. They are also available in the National Rhododendron Gardens in nearby Olinda. The vase life of these cut flowers average between 10 to 14 days.
Operating since 1926, the Kallista-The Patch Fire brigade has been attending to various emergencies in the local community as well as supporting other brigades in surrounding areas and Victoria. Its support vehicle was funded by community donations. The team is entirely made up of volunteer members who serve as firefighters, officers and support staff. They are always looking to boost their ranks with new people.
One of the benefits of visiting a rich flowering environment like Dandenong Ranges is the presence of fresh honey from industrious bees pollinating various fruits, vegetables and plants. Patchwork Apiary offers the mild and amber coloured yellow box honey produced from a single eucalyptus tree species. It also has creamed honey and fresh honeycombs for sales. The honey offered by Patch Apiary promises to be cold extracted, high quality and wholesome. I love comb honey with bits of wax and honey on pancakes, waffles and in my tea.
Perhaps the best reason to visit the Kallista Market is the free hugs. They also offer classes in soap making using natural materials such as olive oil, herbs and spices found in your kitchen with lye water. You can also learn paper making and produce your own handmade paper for cards, scrap books or letters.
Nice to see FREE hugs being offered openly at a market again. I used to have a stall at St Andrews Market up until 7 years ago when I fell pregnant with my first child. I believe I was the first to offer free hugs and it was always well-received or at the very least - received a chuckle form passer-bys who weren't brave enough to take up the offer!