26 July 2009

Farmers' Market Challenge

This is my entry in Squirrelqueen's Farmers' Market Challenge! You might like to join in too in August - I think she runs it once a month. She writes : The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for purchasing locally produced foods. Be it fruits, vegetables, dairy products or related items we want to know what's available where you live.

I must admit I slept in a bit - it was a very cold overcast winter's day, bed was so much more appealing! But I rugged up warm, with plenty of handknits (of course - socks, jumper, fingerless gloves, scarf), and my bags and camera, and got there around 11am. So the first full-on rush from the early crowds was over, and some stalls were a little 'threadbare'.

The Southside Farmers' Market is a weekly local farmers' market held fairly near me - about 15 km away (9 miles). It's open for 3 hours (9am-noon) on Sundays - the same bunch of producers cycle through several markets in the Canberra region each weekend. They are all either local, or a 3- 4 hour drive away at the most.

It's held at a Technical College campus, in the car park, quadrangle, and inside the big sports hall. It's always packed!

Just a few of the many outdoors stallholders, all braving the elements!

Hot and tasty Maltese take-away food from a van ...

There weren't many tomatoes to be seen at this time of year ...

Lovely oranges on the back of a ute!

Inside the hall are a lot of farmers and producers - in addition to fresh fruit and vegies, you can find Macademia nuts and oils, locally grown olive oil, local wines, jams, mustards, honeys, olives, breads, meats, fish, sausages, soaps, pies, cakes, and even delicious chocolates!

Delicious locally made sausages, with a friendly sign :

Incredibly tempting chocolates from Lindsay & Edmunds (which I resisted, but I don't think I can be so strong next time!) :

These farmers from Cowra are there every week, with a wide range of Asian and European produce. They get the "funniest sign" prize - Pusley (parsley). But English isn't their first language, so I'm entirely forgiving.

Canberra has quite a good cool climate for grape growing and wine production!

There are about 3 bakeries at the Markets, with lovely fresh breads, focaccias, gluten-free breads, and much more. These are Italian loaves with olives.

I brought one of these Italian loaves (Black Pepper and Parmesan) home with me :

Here's what else I brought home for the family :

King Edward Potatoes ($4/kg, which is roughly = US$1.45/lb : 1 kg = 2.20 lb, $1 Aussie = 80¢ USA)

Bintje Potatoes (also $4/kg)

Luscious mushrooms from down the coast at Ulladulla, harvested at 7.30 pm last night, according to the farmer :) $4 for 400g.

Broccoli and avocados (unripe) from some archetypical older Italian farmers - $5 all together :

A head of cauliflower, $4 (about US$3.25). The bag is one of my BANG jute bags, which are really brilliant. I just have 2, but I need a few more!

Good old Granny Smith apples - $1/kg! These retail for more like $5/kg in the supermarket. Destined for apple pie!

And Royal Gala apples, also $1/kg. Bargain!

I always like to bring back something a bit different or more lasting from the markets, in addition to all the fresh produce - a preserve, jam, honey, oil, or soap, or something like that.

This time I chose Chilli and Lime Seeded Mustard. The Lime Grove lady recommended using it as a crust on roast beef, yum. She had a wide range of lime products - salad dressing, marinades, sauces, preserves, cordials, and so on. This mustard was one of the more expensive purchases I made, at $7.

And lastly, The Soap Man was there too, with a wonderful range of soaps and hand creams, most with lemon myrtle in them. I selected 2 bars of soap, for $2.50 each. These will become gifts, with a handknit cotton facecloth, one day! Hmmm, well, maybe one of them will be a gift, and I'll keep one for myself!

I hope you've enjoyed this little visit to the winter Southside Farmers' Markets, in Woden, Canberra, Australia!


  1. jejune,
    What a great market, I love the variety of products. The produce you bought looks so fresh and tasty, and that chili and lime seeded mustard sounds tasty.
    It does look cold, I hope you stayed warm. Thank you so much for entering the challenge. I added you to Mr. Linky so everyone can visit.
    Thanks again,

  2. Brrrrr it looks cold. It looks like it was worth braving the cold to get such a freash haul of goodies. No wine????

  3. We're not big wine drinkers, although I may be tempted next time :)

  4. What a treat! Thank you for facing the cold and sharing with us. It looks sooo lovely!

  5. That was fun!

    I should do a local tour. I'm shy of taking photos in public, though.

  6. Yum! Great pictures! I love the Farmer's Market! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great day! :)

  7. WOW! What an awesome selection of goodies there. I could go for all of things you featured. The olive bread stood out for me (because I'm part Italian???) and the locally grown olive oil, too, of course. I like how you included prices. You really bring the market there in OZ to life for folks like us in the States. So glad you did this too. Thanks to SquirrelQueen for making it possible!

  8. I envy your farmers' market! ours is so small, there are much larger ones around but I like the fact that we can walk to it.

    And was that a knitted nautilus I saw a few posts below? that is SO cool! I work with live ones at a public aqarium! my mother knits so I will look for a pattern!!


  9. Very nice. What a great variety of products. I wish ours was bigger.
    The wine looked pretty good.

  10. Hi Jejune,

    Your farmer's market had a wide selection of products to choose from, they not only sell fruits and veggies but soap as well. But I think I like the toast with parmesan the best.


  11. Interesting setting for a farmer's market. Quite a nice variety.

  12. Yum yum yum!

    Our local fruit and veg shop sells from local growers and their own produce - about as near as I generally get - I must make more of an effort...

  13. Wow - everything looks so good - especially those chocolates! I don't think I could be as strong as you were passing those up :-)


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