Farmers’ markets are becoming an increasingly popular way of buying our fresh groceries as consumers get fed up with supermarket queues, and instead hanker for personalised service and a direct producer-to-consumer relationship.
Supporting farmers’ markets is a great way of ensuring profits are larger for the grower, rather than the “on seller”, and helping the farmer stay in touch with trends and demands.
It also cuts down enormously on packaging, as most shoppers arrive with a trolley or their own baskets and bags to carry goods home.
With this flurry of fresh food suppliers, its inevitable that some will be impostors. We have chosen the “pick of the crop” for you to visit in each state.
Accredited farmers markets in Victoria are in good supply.
“The Bendigo Farmers’ Market is one of the biggest in the state, and the Sunraysia Market in Mildura is also incredibly successful,” says a spokesperson from the Victorian Farmers Market Association.
Other great regional markets include the Mornington Farmers Market and Golden Plains in Bannockburn.
For those in the city, Boroondara Farmers Market in Hawthorn and, of course, the Collingwood Children’s Farm Market are longstanding and very successful, as is Flemington Farmers’ Market which has been running every Sunday for ages and was one of the forerunners to the movement.
At the end of November, don’t miss Slow Food Melbourne, held at the Abbotsford Convent on the 28th.
New South Wales
Rural NSW showcases some of the best places to shop for farm fresh produce. The Orange farmers’ market has over 60 stallholders selling artisan breads, turkey, goat, and the fruit – like cherries, apples, peaches and plums – that the region is famous for. Top it all off with tastings from the region’s vineyards of great ciders, spirits and wine.
The markets at Moruya are slightly unusual in that they are held mid-week, every Tuesday afternoon. Get in quickly though as the stallholders sell out very quickly, as locals do their mid-week shop here. They are very strict with the “farming” and “locally grown” requirement here, but they also let in “backyard” growers who sell their surplus.
The Hawkesbury Harvest’s Farmers’ and Fine Food Market is located at Castle Hill Showground and are supplied fresh from the farms of Hawkesbury Harvest and includes product from the surrounding regions. The freshness and quality of the food will make your mouth water. If it is grown, baked or made it will be there!
Whilst tourists flock to the Salamanca markets, those in the know after fresh produce head to the Farm Gate Market. It began five years back with an honest and simple philosophy, that if you couldn’t eat it, drink it, grow it or meet the producer, then you wouldn’t find it at the market.
That ethos has always held true. Now, the little farmers’ market has grown into an essential Sunday ritual.
The Adelaide Farmers’ Market has close to 100 stalls each week and is one of the biggest and bustling to visit.
For a smaller but authentic market experience, head for the Adelaide Hills where your family and pets can wander around buying the best of basics and put a face to their food! Willunga Farmers Market, held every Sunday in the town square and guarantees you can meet the grower and taste the region.
The Gold Coast Organic Farmers Market is the area’s only truly organic growers’ market, selling the best quality, tastiest, most nutritious produce every Sunday morning. Everything is straight from the farm, and guaranteed Certified Organically grown.
In Brisbane, check out Jan Powers farmers’ markets in three locations across the city.
In South Fremantle Senior High School each Sunday a group of enthusiastic growers sell their wares, raising funds that in turn go back to the school to support its green classroom and award-winning sustainability programs.
Darwin’s oldest market is 20 minutes north of the city and features many wonderful Asian fruits and vegetables, seafood and exotic spices and herbs, as well as some arts and crafts. A must-see Sunday jaunt for foodies.
Landcare, a charity that supports rural Australia, is currently running a big fundraising promotion to raise funds grants to promote more sustainable farming practices. If you think you might like to help, register your support for From Farm to Fork and host a Feast on the weekend of the November 28 and 29.