Farmers’ markets bring community and a taste of the country to cities and towns across Australia. We round up the best farmers markets to be found across the country.
Willunga Farmers Market, Willunga / Willangga, SA
Mark and Lisa McCarthy grow more than 10 varieties of apples and nine types of pears at their McLaren Vale property, McCarthy’s Orchard, which also has 70-year-old shiraz vines. The McCarthys are regulars at this pioneering farmers’ market, the first to launch in South Australia back in 2001. Manager Jenni Mitton says the 80-stall Saturday event, 45 minutes south of Adelaide, specialises in produce from the Fleurieu Peninsula and surrounds. Stock up on Fleurieu Milk Company’s full-cream milk; Little Acre Foods’ hand-crafted pâtés, rillettes and terrines; and Kangaroo Island Shellfish oysters. Once the shopping’s done, satisfy your appetite with brilliant Bull Creek Bakery pies.
Barossa Farmers Market, Ngadjuri Country, SA
Housed in a rustic shed down a scenic country lane in Angaston, this 50-stall Saturday market is the Barossa in a nutshell. Head straight to the Trevallie Orchard stall to sample local apricots and pears grown on half-century-old trees. Then look for Gumshire Pork’s marbled Hampshire cuts, the Dairyman Barossa’s milk-fed veal, Fenton Farm Fresh greens and coffee from Bean Addiction. Be sure to fossick for gems such as quail eggs, goose eggs, mettwurst and delicious fudge to savour later.
Farm Gate Market, Hobart / Nipaluna, Tas
An offshoot of Farm Gate, these night markets inhabit Hobart’s historic Franklin Square on Fridays during Tassie’s more hospitable months (December until the end of March). Again, the focus is strictly local but this is all about bringing a picnic blanket and eating on the lawn while watching local performers. About 20 stalls line the square under twinkling lights; favourites include Harissa Hobart’s vegan burritos and the charcoal-grilled Taiwanese-style squid from Formosa Bites. Don’t skip the bevvies: Captain Bligh’s ales and spirits, plus Endangered Distilling Co’s Bread Vodka.
Alphington Farmers Market, Wurundjeri Country, Vic
Coburg Farmers Market, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country, Vic
Mullum Farmers Market, Bundjalung Country, NSW
Carriageworks Farmers Market, Eveleigh / Gadigal Country, NSW
A Sydney culinary institution, held each Saturday morning at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops, this 76-stall market attracts the best-known gourmands from around the state. There’s a swathe of award-winning names: LP’s Quality Meats, Berkelo breads, Block 11 Organics, Country Valley Dairy, Kurrawong Organics, Pepe Saya cultured butter… the list goes on. Chef Luke Powell is a regular with his outstanding hotdogs and Flour and Stone’s much-adored baked treats are a must.
Rusty’s Market, Cairns / Gimuy, Qld
Held inside a cavernous warehouse in central Cairns from Friday to Sunday mornings, this 180-stall cornucopia of all things tropical offers a sensory overload in a rush of colour and an intoxicating blend of fragrances. Stacks of cut watermelon compete for attention alongside pineapples, dragonfruit, rambutans, lychees, coconuts, mangosteens and verdant herbs, all grown and sold by farmers who’ve attended the market for as long as 25 years. Call in at the dining area for a cracking Saigon Hut green papaya salad and wash it down with a fresh juice – sugarcane, of course.
Noosa Farmers Market, Gubbi Gubbi Country, Qld
This 90-stall Sunday morning market is a classic of the genre, drawing farmers 3from the lush Sunshine Coast and Mary Valley hinterlands, plus chefs from Noosa’s best eateries. The produce is astonishing; go home with a huge bag of local tomatoes from Noosa Reds, a pile of Noosa River mud crabs and a kilo of Mooloolaba prawns, while Woombye farmer Mick Dan from Good Harvest Organic Farm will load you up with crisp salad greens. Keep one hand free for a brunchtime steamed duck bun from the Embassy XO stand.