What better place to find the freshest, most nutritious seasonal vegetables and fruit than your local Farmers Markets. A fantastic mix of local and regionally sourced fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods, cheese, wine and condiments all in one place. We like to make the morning of it and go nice and early. There is always fresh hot food and coffee just waiting for a delicious family market breakfast before the shopping begins. I just love visiting these Farmers Markets and talking to the stall holders about their produce. By the time I leave I can’t carry another thing and I always feel rejuvenated, inspired and ready to cook-up a storm with the amazing array of fresh fruits and vegetables in my overflowing bags.
Farmers Markets often categorise their stall holders depending if they are a Grower, a Producer or a Reseller of the food products they are selling. You can easily find out, just ask the staff. Stalls that sell one type of produce are often run by the growers who have often driven several hours from their farms to be at the markets. Once you start to talk to these passionate people about their product, not only do you learn more about the produce they have dedicated their lives to, but you realise that many of them have invested years of money, trial and error to setup their businesses and produce the high quality produce they have on offer at the market. Talking to these growers you can find out all sorts of valuable information on how to use and store their product. Most will also be happy to share their favourite recipes or cooking tips for their ingredients.
Stalls that sell a wide variety of produce are fantastic as they can be a one stop shop for a range of quality produce and are usually Resellers. Stall holders may either source their produce from the local Fruit & Vegetable Markets and on sell their product at the Farmers Markets, or, there are some stall holders that have built their business based on supplying fresh, seasonal vegetables from local farmers in the region. When you speak to these stallholders, you realise how passionate they are and how much hard work and dedication they have to sourcing their produce. They often have a long history supporting local growers and they use their contacts with trusted growers in farther regional areas to source high quality, seasonal produce.
When we talk about Seasonal produce we are talking about consuming fruits and vegetables that are naturally growing at specific times of the year and specific locations in the country depending on the local climate. Consuming these types of fruits and vegetables is the most ideal scenario to gain the most nutrition from the foods we eat for the time of the year we are in. Seasonal produce does not include the more commonly found fruits and vegetables that have been picked 12 months earlier and kept in temperature controlled cold rooms, with control atmospheres to delay ripening until just before delivery to the supermarket. I’m not saying that all produce sold at Farmers Markets are not handled in this manner, just that by purchasing produce from these types of markets allows you to speak directly to the supplier to find out more information about the foods you are feeding to yourselves and your families.
So, I encourage you to seek out Farmers Markets in your local area, take the time to talk to the stall holders about their produce and you will be rewarded with new knowledge and an appreciation for the efforts others put into growing your food. Take the kids with you and let them join in choosing what they would like to see in their lunchboxes next week. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about the fruits and vegetables that they have chosen and a perfect opportunity to encourage them to try something new.
I’ve set myself a goal this year, to visit as many Farmers Markets as possible in Sydney and everywhere I go. I’ll be talking to the growers and posting photos of their amazing produce. Keep Posted!!
Farmers Markets Review’s coming up –
– Castle Hill Farmers & Fine Food Markets, NSW
– Yandina Farmers Markets
– Flemington Farmers Markets
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