Saturday, September 26, 2009

The inaugural Newtown Farmers Market

Newtown Farmer's Market
Cnr Shannon Ave & West Fyans St
(Mel 451 F7)

Today was the first ever Newtown Farmer's Market and at 8.30 this morning, my family and I went to check it out. Sitting at the bottom of a grassy valley, the market had a good number of stallholders and patrons, despite the freezing morning wind.

The stallholders were selling products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to olive oil, cheese, smallgoods, fresh pasta and condiments, as well as ready to go food at the sausage sizzle and dumplings stall. Many of the products were award winners, such as this marinated goat's cheese from Meredith Dairy, winner of the Consistently Excellent Product award in the Vogue produce awards.

Screaming Seeds Spice Company, a regular at markets and a family favourite for their Dukkah.

One of the best things about farmers markets is the people. Its fantastic to be able to talk to the people who produce your food and see the genuine passion they have for their products. One stallholder, from Jean's Famous Relish, claimed his wife's tomato relish was the best pizza base you'd ever try. The pride these people have for what they've created makes for a great atmosphere, as your purchases support someone's passion.

There's also the people who don't actually make the products, but genuinely enjoy selling them because they know they're selling quality. If you're ever at a market and you see the banner for Wun Hung Lo, be sure to stop by and say hello to the friendly sales guys with great senses of humour. We sampled their dim sims and chicken dumplings and bought two frozen Chinese containers full of dumplings at $5 a box - they were beautifully fresh with not a trace of gristly meat as you sometimes find.

Trampy Tomato Relish, from Olive Branch Preserves - so called because "It goes with everything".

Our purchases, Clockwise from left: La Madre seeded sourdough, $5.50; Wildings Pantry Essentials spiced Indian relish, $9; Bagdad Foods Kashmir chutney, $8; Lemon curd (from the Meredith dairy stall), $4; Jean's Famous Relish in chilli, $7; Boosey Creek camembert, $7; Meredith Dairy Chevre Dill, $7.

The market had a great first day, with a family atmosphere and friendly stallholders and, with the large amount of space it has to expand, it can only get better.

The Newtown Farmer's Market will be held on the 4th Saturday of the month, from 8am to 1pm. The next market will be held on the 24th of October.

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