Every Sunday morning I tear myself away from the sleepy scenes at my house and rush off to the Farmers Markets. I get there bleary eyed most times, but by the time I make it to the first stall I am in high spirits. I love the markets.
I’m sure that on a cellular level, my body is thrilled to be there; to be surrounded by such goodness, so many nutrients piled up on tables. Like a kid in a candy store, I become mesmerised at the sight of thoughtfully and traditionally grown fruit and vegetables.
I need to get there early because I’ve got to get fresh produce to the people at estabar. It’s not unusual to get texts from my team telling me to hurry up with the avocados. All this aside, I would go early anyway. I talk too much to be part of a big crowd of people. I’m not sure I’d ever get out. (and I’m not sure I would have an issue staying there all day, either)
Want to make the most of your market trip? Here’s a few tips...
1. Talk to your farmers
Really, how often do you get to talk to someone who - on a daily basis - works right alongside nature. These men and women rely on their understanding and relationship with nature to bring produce they can be proud of to your table. They know things we don’t know and they see things we don’t see.
That storm that soaked your boots might have swept their crop away. It might have shaken all the buds from the orchard or it may have just been the cold snap that was needed to turn the fruit from tart to sweet. That stinker of a day that sent you scrambling to the beach might have cooked a whole field of watermelons or it may have dried a grain crop out just nicely, ready for harvest.
When you understand the backstory of your produce you can’t help but appreciate it so much more. So just start with the basics; did you grow these; where is your farm; what do you typically grow; what do you enjoy about farming? Once you start that conversation, it will go on and on for weeks and weeks and be immensely satisfying for you and for your farmers.
2. Take a list
Now, taking a list to a Farmers Market is not like taking a list to a Supermarket. Not everything you want will be there. This is wonderful. It means you’ll be eating in season, which means you will be eating fruits and vegetables at their freshest and best and when nature intended for you to have them. Yippeeeeee says every cell in your body!
3. Get some wheels
Over the years I’ve used builders trolleys, furniture trolleys, granny carts and wheelbarrows. In the days before kids, my husband followed me around the markets with a builders trolley. That’s when you know it’s true love, I think.
Lots of people take their pram - minus the kids - and fill it with produce. Find something with wheels and bring it, you’ll be glad you did.
4. Have a treat
Good golly, there are all kinds of wonderful treats at the markets. There’s truly delicious food, made from scratch, by small scale bakers and makers. So don’t rush in and out. Take a seat, listen to the jazz band, watch all the like-minded people moving about and enjoy something made by an artisan just for you.
5. Take more money than you think you’ll need
Making a list is a good idea, but, you’ll be surprised what you can find at the markets. You’ll be surprised how you can really feed your whole family for a week by doing a big shop at the farmers markets. You’ll be surprised by what you’re inspired to cook and you’ll be surprised how much you honestly want to eat truly good food.
Something wonderful happens when you find yourself surrounded by fresh breads and cakes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, local honeys and flowers, & pasture raised meat and eggs. Let yourself become a market addict. It’s the best kind of addiction. Like a kid in a candy store, only better.
Enjoy your market run.
Bec Bowie owns estabar. With a passion for whole foods, sustainable methods and seasonal produce, Bec has created a space where people can feel nourished and at home. For the past 13 years, Bec and her team at estabar have been creating locally sourced menus and preparing speciality coffee with an intention to feed people's imagination and truly nourish their bodies.