Sometimes an event becomes so much a part of one’s weekly routine that it’s easy to forget how blessed one is…such is the case with our weekly visits to our local farmer’s market!
As a family, we’re fans of growing our own and buying local to support our local/regional economy and you can’t really get too much more local than the farmer’s market, where all the produce has come from either this state (Victoria) or the one next door (NSW).
Going to this wonderful gem of a place is definitely a highlight of all our weeks; a place for talking to the people who grow and produce our food, catching up with friends, chillaxing and hanging out with family and for noshing on and buying some of the most fantastic produce Victoria & NSW has to offer (^_^) What more could one ask for!!
Like most folk, we tend to have our *go to* stalls and seeing these faces has become like catching up with old friends each week. Here are 5 of our absolute favourites (there are many more but that would be a mega-long blog post):
The Nutty Monkey Company – “We believe that good food is simple food – eating healthily and deliciously does not have to be difficult!”
Nick from the Nutty Monkey Company is the nut butter king as far as we’re concerned (hand-made, no preservatives, colours or additives). He hand-makes everything from your classic organic peanut butter (peanuts are from Australia’s only certified organic peanut farmers), almond butter (Magoo’s favourite), pistachio and almond butter to his unique cocoa-nutty butters (my favourite)! You can even see the trusty machine he uses to make all the nut butters on display at the market (>O<)
Misty Spring Berries – “Naturally home-grown berries, jams, chutneys and sauces”
We affectionately refer to Robyn of Misty Spring Berries as our *grandma at the market* (grandma to Magoo not us! she’s far too young for that) because we look forward to seeing her beautiful, smiling face each Sunday and she’s sort of adopted us. Our collective fridges are always well-stocked with her jams and chutneys (made with her beautiful organic berries: silvanberry, blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, loganberry, strawberry).
As well as the jams and chutneys, which I can recommend wholeheartedly, one of my personal favourites is Robyn’s Fig & Ginger paste which goes with absolutely everything and consequently I have some with almost everything…meat dishes, omelettes, veggies, wraps, sandwiches!
Cocoa Raphsody – “Fine certified organic chocolate for the discerning chocolate lover”
If one must be addicted to anything in life I vote for Floyd’s organic chocolate…seriously the smoothest chocolate experience! There’s also the added feel good factor of knowing that Cocoa Raphsody’s cocoa bean farmers are paid above the market price for their beans and receive a 2% royalty of all chocolate sold, which is contributed directly to the ‘hand in hand’ fund for fair trade! Best excuse to eat more chocolate if I ever heard one lol
My personal bar of choice is *nut cove* – caramel roasted almonds with satin milk chocolate is seriously delicious and addictive (in my experience).
Pacdon Park – “Manufacturers and purveyors of gourmet British foods”
We’ve made a conscious decision this year to eat a lot less meat so when we do buy it, we buy the best (free range, grass fed, organic etc) we can afford, which brings me to Pacdon Park.
As Brits down under (gosh that sounds like some dodgy reality show…bleeeurgh) we have embraced all that this amazing, wonderful country has to offer but there are inevitably some things that make one miss Ye Olde England. In our case, one of these things is the difference in bacon over here, which all seems to be smoked.
Thus, expressive was our joy at discovering James and his Pacdon Park products which use aussie ingredients to produce quintessentially British pork products such as: unsmoked streaky bacon, Melton-Mowbray style pork pies and gourmet free range pork sausages!
Wild Dog Natural Produce – “we believe that healthy soil creates quality produce and therefore healthier people”
As a subscriber to seasonal eating (eating only the foods that are in season) certain fruits and vegetables inevitably become unavailable at certain times of the year e.g. strawberries…unless one buys from the awesome Wild Dog Natural Produce who freeze some of their amazing organic strawberry crop to sell over the colder months!
No longer must one’s warming winter porridge go without the sweetening touch of a few ruby red strawberries as the winds whip against the windows \(^O^)/ this is what I call the best of both worlds….eating organic, from local farmers with year round availability (^_-)
Why not check out your local farmer’s market?