There’s a lot to be said for Farmer’s Markets, especially on a beautiful sunny day and with a hungry tummy. It’s fun wandering between the stalls and stopping to chat with the farmers or specialist producers about their own unique takes on marinated olives or hand-crafted chocolate or artisan bread (just to name a few goodies available). The great thing about markets like these is that they give the smaller producers a chance to shine away from the larger operators. These guys are passionate about what they do and love to tell you all about it, often allowing you to try before you buy. Shopping locally is a great way to cut down on food miles and you will have the opportunity to eat fresh seasonal produce usually picked less than 24 hours earlier, as opposed to the cold stored offerings from our supermarket chains.
So with a hankering for olives and the freshest of veggies for that night’s dinner, we headed down to our relatively local farmers market at Jell’s Park for a long overdue visit. Although slightly reduced in stall holders from our last expedition, the market was teeming with wonderful fresh produce some of which included: free range eggs, fair-trade (& Vegan) chocolate, delicious olives, beautiful artisan breads, freshly picked last of the season stone fruits and vegetables so fresh and full of life I wanted to buy them all! It was wonderful to be able to revisit some of our favourite stalls including Blackbird Spices who sell an amazing range of herbs, spices and blends, in particular one of our must haves, New York Pepper – such a versatile little ingredient for adding a zing to just about anything.
Well after having enjoyed it so much this time around, we will definitely make the effort to do the rounds and support the local farming community and producers.
For more information on Farmer’s Markets visit the Victorian Farmer’s Market Association website where you can also download this handy guide which will let you know where you can get your fix of goodies week by week. For readers outside of Victoria, visit the Australian Farmer’s Market Association.