In the last year or so I’ve gone from doing all my shopping at the large chain supermarkets to then shopping at the local independently owned markets and now I’ve discovered the local farmers markets. Supporting local businesses means so much more to me than supporting a large corporation with shareholders – and farmers markets are a great way to buy straight from the source in one location.
What is a farmers market?
The Australia’s Farmers Market Association defines farmers markets as:
“a predominantly fresh food market that operates regularly within a community, at a focal public location that provides a suitable environment for farmers and food producers to sell farm-origin and associated value-added processed food products directly to customers.”
Basically, farmers markets promote fresh, local and sustainable food systems. It’s also a great place to find local small businesses and artisans (think preserves, natural body products, arts and crafts).
My local farmers market
My local farmers market is the Farmers Market on Manning located at the Clontarf Aboriginal College grounds in Waterford open on Saturdays from 7.30am to 12.30pm.
There are fruit and vegetable growers (including a few organic and biodynamic ones), a few bakers (including an organic baker), a dairy stall (selling fresh milk and yogurt in glass bottles!), butchers (including an organic one), flowers, gelato, free range eggs, fresh juice stand (who have a great recycling bottle program), organic olives, raw honey…. just to name a few. There is also a bunch of freshly made food options – my favourite being an organic gluten-free crepes stand!
I’ve found everyone is so friendly and approachable, which is great if you want to know more about what you’re buying – you’ll actually be asking the growers/makers themselves. I’ve also noticed everybody brings their own reusable shopping bags. There are two big eating areas and we’ve made a tradition of getting breakfast there before we buy all our food. Even our dog Zeppelin loves the markets – yep that’s right, dogs allowed!
How to find YOUR local farmers market
The Australian Farmers’ Market Association lists association-recognised markets, or a simple Google search will probably put you in the right direction! Give it a go!