Now I have been ridiculously specific in the title of this post. Why Coburg Farmer’s Market? Why not any Farmer’s Market? This is for 4 main reasons:
- It is this Saturday (and indeed the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month). Unlike the UK and quite possibly North America, Farmer’s Markets here tend to be comparatively infrequent. It is not unusual to have only one market each month at a given location. As a result I thought it best to post on one taking place this weekend.
- The Coburg Farmer’s Market is very close to my house.
- Some of my reasons for going are quite specific and may (or may not) only apply to Coburg.
- I have a personal investment in the success of Coburg Farmer’s Market.
Having said that there are plenty of good reasons to shop at Farmer’s Markets generally (fresher food, meeting the grower, access to local seasonal ingredients, paying the farmer a fair price for their produce, more organic produce and so on) so feel free to delete the ‘Coburg’ and insert the name of your own personal favourite.
These are the reason’s I’m heading to Coburg North Primary School (180 O’Hea St Coburg) sometime between 8am and 1pm for the market this Saturday:
1. Cherries: The first of this years cherries appeared 2 weeks ago. The Victorian cherry picking season often kicks off on or around Cup Day and so the first cherries appear at Farmer’s Markets in early November. I bought a box 2 weeks ago from Smiths stall and they were absolutely sensational. The growers told me that it has been a difficult year for cherries, lots of fruit spoiled by the rain, so I am definitely going to make the most of them while I can.
2. Having a peaceful breakfast while the kids play happily: Because it is held in the grounds of the primary school Coburg Farmer’s Market has the wonderful combination of a stall selling Dutch pancakes (cooked by the Primary School kids), next to a sausage sizzle, coffee vendor and a kids playground. I can feed the kids, then send them off to play while I eat my egg and bacon roll and get my caffeine hit.
3. Seeing what Maria has brought. There is a wonderful stall at the market run by the lovely Maria and her husband whose name I should be able to remember but can’t. They sell home made pasta, which is fab, but more excitingly for me they bring produce from their garden to sell. Their garden is situated in Northern Victoria, somewhere near to Swan Hill I think, and seems to be incredibly abundant. In recent weeks they have had broad beans, leeks, and the last of Autumns pumpkins. Last market they brought down the first of the peaches and some amazingly juicy grapefruit. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this week brings.
4. Peas in a pod. At my daughters school they have time set aside during their morning schedule for the kids to take a short break to eat fresh fruit and/or veg. Usually she takes an apple, or strawberries, or blueberries or if we have run out of everything else, some carrot sticks. Lately though the craze has been for peas in a pod. Apparently a large portion of her class sit around shelling peas every morning. Unfortunately my pea crop failed this year and they seem remarkably difficult to come by elsewhere. Thank goodness for the market, and the lovely couple who sell peas in a pod along with other fabulous veg. (I can also recommend their baby carrots – just delicious).
5. The bagel man Bagels are remarkably difficult to come by in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs. Good bagels even more so. As a result the bagel man’s monthly trip to the Farmer’s Market is much appreciated. He only comes on the 4th Saturday of the month but as that is this Saturday I can start stocking up on the smoked salmon now!
Do you have a favourite Farmer’s Market? What do you love about it?