More than ever, consumers want to know where the food that ends up on their plate comes from. Who grew those flavourful tomatoes? Are the eggs free range? How, exactly, was the cheese made? Enter regional Australia’s tastiest farmers markets, a showcase of not only regionality, but also seasonality.
Farmers markets on the coast
When you visit the South Coast of NSW, the hardest decision you have to make is where to point your market radar. Up and running on the second Sunday of the month is the Foragers Market in Bulli, where you can pick up homemade hot sauce and heirloom tomatoes, and then browse stalls helmed by artisans and creatives. Meanwhile, Berry Farmers’ Market is a great place to stock up on plants and herbs, before refuelling on tasty global cuisine (the stall selling Vietnamese street food is popular). Shop with an ocean view at Kiama Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons, and at Bermagui Growers and Makers Market on Thursdays over summer.
The hyper-local Sage Farmers Market – held every Tuesday at Riverside Park in Moruya – connects local producers with the community, and welcomes backyard growers to sell their excess produce alongside the region’s farmers. The market sells everything from Tilba milk to tapenade as well as fresh, seasonal vegetables from Old Mill Road Bio Farm.
Held on the first Saturday of the month, Leeton Farmers and Makers Market – located in the heart of Australia's food bowl in the Riverina region of the state – focuses on farm-to-fork production, from artisan cheeses to chestnuts. The Riverina Producers’ Market, each Thursday in Wagga Wagga, brings together local bakers, farmers and producers. Meanwhile, Dubbo Farmers Markets (on the first and third Saturday of every month) sees stallholders turn up rail, hail or shine.
Head to the bi-monthly Armidale Farmers’ Marketon Saturdays. This Northern Tablelandslocale offers a taste of the region, whether that’s pungent (fresh garlic, anyone?) or perfumed (blooming flowers abound).
As well as being Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley is a much-loved destination for foodies. To get the whole Hunter Valley experience, visit markets such as the Slow Food Earth Market in Maitland. You can also pick up farm-fresh produce from more than 60 stalls at Orange Farmers Market, held every second Saturday.
Mudgee is known for making excellent wine, but the region has plenty of other great produce, too – from cheese and honey to olive oil. The grounds of Robertson Park are transformed on the third Saturday of each month for the Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market. Everything at this event is grown and produced in the region.
Soak up the local community vibe and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, local meat, homemade jams, regional wine varieties and more at NSW’s many regional and rural markets. Support the local farmers, the local community and the local economy by buying produce direct. Weekend markets are the most common, with some markets held monthly rather than weekly.
Go beyond fresh produce and buy up big. Purchase jams, olives, wines, artisanal bread, cheeses and all manner of treats from NSW fine food markets all over the state, from the famed Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Markets, held monthly in the picturesque grounds of St Mary’s Church in Mudgee, to the gourmet spread of Newcastle's celebrated artisan Olive Tree stalls.
Sydney’s many weekend grower’s markets are a great place to pick up fresh local produce, or even just to grab lunch. Most markets are held on either a Saturday or a Sunday. Explore Eveleigh Markets, with over 70 stalls featuring organic and grass fed meats, free range eggs, coffee carts and pastries, or visit the local markets from Bondi to Frenchs Forest.
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