Illustrations: Rebecca Grant
There should be a vital ingredient on all our shopping lists – food with a face. In other words, healthy food lovingly nurtured by hard-working farmers, who regularly ferry their harvest to your nearest farmers’ market.
Think of freshly dug spuds, snap fresh asparagus, plump, juicy peaches, organic rice, extra virgin olive oil, succulent strawberries, creamy, ripe white mould cheese, golden yolk eggs, and whatever else the season delivers. Farmers’ markets offer a colourful bounty of fresh produce for you to explore and enjoy.
Farmers’ markets have boomed across Australia in the past 20 years, creating an exciting nutritious link in our food chain. There are about 200 authentic farmers’ markets trading regularly in all states, from Albany to Byron Bay, Mackay and beyond.
The farmers’ market paddock-to-plate offering is simple. You shop directly from the people who grow, fatten, catch or craft the food you buy, or their family or farm staff. It’s a direct transaction that should come with verbal guarantees of snap fresh quality, evocative farm stories and dollops of laconic country humour.
Eating seasonally not only supports the hard-working farm folk who put food on our dinner tables – it also brings you the joy of real flavour. Once you have eaten a tree-ripened, just-plucked peach on market morning, it’s hard to revert to the taste found in supermarkets.