Two farmers from Bungendore NSW have a unique technique for growing their produce. Sue Armstrong and Greg Oliver have been farming at Greenhill Farm for over 20 years producing a wide range of summer and winter veggies, and 100% grass-fed beef from a farm bred, Angus-based herd whilst being certified biodynamic farmers.
Being certified biodynamic involves a spiritual, ethical and ecological approach to agriculture. It is this certification that means that the produce supplied by Greenhills has been cultivated in an environment that is structured around the lunar and astrological cycles. This type of farming differs from Organic farming in that biodynamic farming has a greater focus on astrological cycles and the idea of the farm as a single ‘organism’
Sue and Greg have been a part of the Capital Region Farmers Market for 12 years.
They currently bring a wide range of summer and winter veggies such as carrots, potatoes and parsnips to the markets and enjoy building relationships with their customers.
As a certified biodynamic farm, Greenhill Farm has a strong focus on sustainability and significantly healthier food and produce.
We enjoy having these farmers as part of our markets and look forward each week to their new fresh produce.
We all want to try and do the best we can for our environment – but shopping at the supermarket can produce extra anxieties over how much plastic packaging is actually coming home with your shopping. A common frustration for shoppers is also a lack of locally produced products (as well as long waits in checkout queues).
So, shop at your local Farmers Market. Here’s five reasons why it’s a great idea:
- Less excessive plastic packaging
Bananas wrapped in plastic, lettuce in sleeves, tomatoes in trays, everything fresh wrapped in plastic – it’s enough to cause anxiety in the calmest person – but when shopping at your local Farmers Market, we try to use less single use plastic bags, and offer recyclable bags and reusable mesh bags.
- Direct communication with growers
Consumers like to know where their food comes from. At the market you are can find out where your food comes from and directly communicate with growers, giving you confidence in what you are buying.
- Longer lasting freshness
We’ve all done it – you’re in a rush so you go to the supermarket to buy some veggies, go to eat them the next day and their already soft and past their use. By shopping at your local farmers market, you can be sure that you’re getting the freshest produce, so no more wasted veggies. With products often being picked and harvested then coming directly to Market you’ll have the freshest veggies and won’t be wasting your money.
Would you rather pay less for something that doesn’t taste good or pay slightly more and have it last longer, taste better, and come from a more ethically grown source? Most stalls have comparable prices to the big supermarket chains, some are slightly higher in price – however, what you’re paying for is better tasting produce with a longer shelf life, and to support your local and regional farmers.
- The atmosphere
When you’re shopping at the supermarket, do you feel rushed and pressured? Shopping at Farmers Markets have a much more relaxed feel because people have more time to think about what they’re buying, being able to pick up and smell produce is a great thing for the senses. You can often take samples to taste-test, and the growers are readily available to chat to in a buzzing atmosphere.
There’s something to be said about warm baked goods on a cold winter morning. Whether it’s freshly made Bombolini filled with fresh custard, an almond and brandy croissant or a peach and rhubarb danish, nothing tastes as good as that first bite of pastry (well maybe once you’ve sat down after a busy morning market shopping)
Our two new bakers Origin Bake and Cibus Goodness from Nature offer tasty winter pastries and delicious baked goods, while also bringing traditional cooking techniques from two unique cultures.
Karim from Origin Bake brings ancient Egyptian techniques to his modern baking, like using high fibre flour and only natural and fresh ingredients.
Alberto from Cibus Goodness from Nature worked in a café for more than 30 years in his hometown of Rome, Italy. After moving to Canberra ten years ago working as a chef in Yarralumla he noticed his customers really enjoyed his fresh Bombolini, so he decided to sell them.
We welcome our two bakers to the market and look forward to trying all their goodies over winter.
Truffles are back! These hard to grow ‘black diamonds’ aren’t just your home-and-garden-variety fungus. Aromatic and delicious truffles are now back in season. There are many words to describe the truffle flavour – mould, garlic, soil, onions without heat, sweet body odour – but this isn’t what truffles are all about. Truffles are so irresistible because their aroma mimics reproductive pheromones. The reason they are so pricey is purely down to them being so difficult to grow.
The Périgord black truffle is intensely flavoured, so should be cooked low and slow. With this versatile little fungus, you could try a truffle toastie, truffle risotto, even truffle ice cream. You can add a small amount to sauces and side dishes to transform an otherwise humble meal into something to remember. Truffles aren’t cheap, but you only need about five grams per person per dish – which works out quite affordable. The best way to get the most out of your truffles is to actually cook them in your meal, and not just use them as a garnish. This is because the heat turbocharges the flavour. You can get your truffles at the Market from La Truffiere or Terra Preta Truffles.
Winter is here, but don’t let the cold weather keep you from enjoying fresh produce. Fresh vegetables and fruits seem to be under-represented on restaurant menus and cooking them at home is a great way to eat enough of the good stuff (and knowing you’re helping a local grower never tasted better). Eating fruits and vegetables during the summer is easy, since so much produce is at its peak. During winter, it’s a little trickier, but we are the best place to buy all your winter veggies, fresh to Market each week.
Brussels sprouts (available from Kurrawong Organics) are high in nutrients, rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and are one of the most dividing vegetables. Being rich in vitamin C, B6, A and vitamin K means they are the perfect winter vegetable.
Eating more of these low-calorie, nutritionally-dense vegetables could add great benefits to your diet. Brussels sprouts when roasted, caramelises their edges leaving them soft and tender inside. Bake with some ham, lemon juice and garlic for some tasty winter sides.
Some of the more robust vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower are well known and loved veggies at winter time. Roasts are a staple in most households and perfecting the roast veggies is a lifelong mission. With World Bee Day last month, you may have re-stocked your cupboard with some beautiful honey from our stallholders. Honey is a great way to enhance the natural sugars in caramelised roasted vegetables – with over 17 million searches for ‘honey roasted veggies’ you can’t go wrong.
Chard (available from Kurrawong Organics, Greenhill Farm, and Rita’s Farm Produce) is a nutrient-rich and deeply flavoured versatile cold-weather ingredient. Usually found in three variations – green, which have white stems and a fairly mild flavour, red, which closely resembles beetroot greens in look and taste, and rainbow, which is a mix of both. The secret with cooking this vegetable – as with most winter veggies – is to cook them low and slow.
With some inspiration, you can easily work more winter produce like Brussels sprouts, potatoes, chard, cabbage into your diet with delicious fresh produce from some of our stallholders including
Kurrawong Organics, Greenhill Farm, Rita’s Farm Produce, Deua River Farm Produce, Dilliro Vegetables, Auddino’s Produce, Ingelara, Lindfield Park Produce, Warrick Morris – Fruit & Veg, Windellama Organics And more!
There is a certain peace of mind that comes from knowing what you are feeding your family. And this is one of the drivers behind family business Canowindra Farm that specialises in pasture-raised chickens. Husband and wife duo, the Doldens, are parents to three young girls and have always felt its important to know exactly what they are feeding their family. And it is with this in mind that they rare their chickens, pasture-raised from sunlight to sundown. All their chickens are ethically raised, sustainable and free of all chemicals and pesticides. Canowindra Farms are at the Market each week with their whole singular prepared chicken cryovaced ready for cooking or as a ‘ready to cook’ pack complete with Pepe Saya butter and thyme sprigs. Come in and see why pasture raised chicken just simply tastes better.
As the last weeks of Autumn are upon us, now is the time to dose up on that lovely Vitamin C – it’s your best chance at helping to fight those nasty winter bugs the natural way. And did you know orange coloured fruits are the way to go?
Fruits coloured orange and yellow aid in eye health, help to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, promote healthy joints and are often full of that great Vitamin C. Lucky for you there are loads of orange fruits in season at the Market right now. We have delicious persimmons. Known for their sweet, honey-like flavour, persimmons are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and loaded with fibre. Imperial mandarins are also in season now. Another of the vitamin-packed orange fruits, mandarins are great for school lunches, a snack on the go, used in juice, cakes, desserts and sorbet. And everyone’s favourite winter immunity booster, navel oranges, are on their way to Market too. We should have plenty of navel oranges available within the next two weeks. You can find persimmons, imperial mandarins and navel oranges from our friends at Auddino’s Produce – just look for the splash of bright orange colour!
Don’t you just love it when a tried and true Market favourite brings you something new?! In the case of our friends at Meze Fresh Mediterranean Cuisine it’s gozleme they’re delivering. Gooey, tasty gozleme. And how good is that! Starting this month, Meze Gozleme is the offshoot of our much-loved Turkish food stall and they’ll have plenty of gozleme to gorge on a Saturday morning. Gozleme is a traditional savoury Turkish flatbread and pastry dish. Usually created with unleavened dough made with flour, salt and water, it’s rolled thin, filled with toppings, sealed, brushed with butter or oil and cooked on a hot plate. Meze Gozleme will bring you three gozleme varieties – spicy meat, spinach and ricotta, and a sweet option with walnut and brown sugar. And of course, you’ll find all their favourites at the regular Meze Fresh Mediterranean Cuisine stall including dips, salads, stuffed vine leaves and zucchini fritters.
As a proud sponsor of World Bee Day which takes place on Monday 20th May, we are inviting all visitors the Market on Saturday 18th May for a special day focused on honey and the importance of bees to food production. We will be a hive of activity with a honey breakfast and the bee’s knees of fresh, wholesome produce on offer.
A big marquee will be set up at the front of the Market with a display of hives, native plants and flowers, and their growers, local and regional honey producers, and experts on hand giving advice on what people can do to help save bees by way of the best plants for attracting bees and plant diversity.
Bee at the Markets will have both modern and historical beehives on display with beekeepers available to talk to the shoppers, honey tastings and visitors can also enjoy a special honey breakfast in the Slovenian style with bread and apples, along with honey of course. CIT will also be holding a special kitchen demonstration focused on cooking with honey.
To support World Bee Day visitors to the Market can buy a special eco-friendly, reusable, shopping bag available only at the Market on 18th May. The limited run bag features a delightful bee logo and the message – Keep Buzzing. No Buzz. No Food. The bag can be coloured in and customised with crayons supplied, so is a great one for kids too. All funds raised from the sale of bags goes to World Bee Day.
A number of our local and regional stallholders will have fresh honey available on the day including Melissa Pure Fresh Honey, Dilliro Vegetables, Cypress Valley, and Lindfield Park Produce.
A free mini shuttle bus will be running continuously between the new Canberra Metro Light Rail Network station at Exhibition Park’s Flemington Road Gate and the Market during Market Hours. It’s a great chance to catch the free light rail and visit the Market.
Fresh buttery butter. Mmm, how good is it. It’s even better when fresh made. Market newcomer, Bow Butter, has the real good stuff. Owner Kate Bow makes her own butter hand-churning it on the South Coast of NSW. Kate makes the butter with cream she purchases from South Coast Dairy, and once churned she whips it with produce from her garden including garlic, chilli, chives, lemon, orange and passionfruit. Each butter is individually made into 100gram blocks, and Kate says they’re delicious on toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins and scones. Bow Butter’s Cinnamon butter is particularly good for apple crumbles, caramelised fruit and pies, whilst the garlic butter makes garlic bread easy. Come in and give it a try.
There’s much talk of veganism lately. And there may be a good reason too with growing evidence on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Lilian Falero, owner of Lily’s Vegan Kitchen, may be new to the Market, but not to veganism, having started her business in 2017 with a range of whole food, organic, plant-based tarts, snacks and catering services to people in the Canberra region. Lily’s Vegan Kitchen comes from the belief that healthy food can be approachable, delicious, indulgent and healing for people and the planet – and Lily has incorporated a plant-rich menu, eco-friendly packaging and mindful ingredient sourcing too. Dishes on offer include caramelised onion and pumpkin tart, mushroom and leek tart, tomato, basil and vegan ricotta tartlets, chocolate chip biscuits and blueberry and coconut cake. Bet you’re itchin’ to get to Lily’s Vegan Kitchen!
A is for Autumn. A is for April. A is for apples. A is for…Attention! It’s apple time at the Market! Apples are very much in season right now with many apple varieties in abundance from Bonza Apples, Ellamatta Orchard, Linfield Park Produce and Tree Tops Batlow. Bonza Apples are purveyors of rare and endangered apples with their namesake Bonza apples, along with Jonathon, Five Crown and Rome Beauty among other more popular varieties. Over at Ellamatta you will find Jonathons, Golden Delicious, Delicious, Braeburn, Granny Smith and more. Our friends at Lindfield Park Produce have a good range of apples, whilst Malcolm and Rhonda at Tree Tops have got Pink Lady, Rosy Glow, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious and more. An apple a day…
Image credit: Paul Chapman, Mode Imagery
We all know the farmers need our support – the news often highlights the effects of drought, especially on cattle. But how about our growers? Have you ever given any thought to the simple things that can have a massive impact on our growers?
Take for instance, apples. Have you ever stopped to think about the apples on your supermarket shelves? The fact that the varieties that were once popular when you were a child eating apples on the school playground, just aren’t around anymore?
Apples, seemingly, come and go like fashion. Today the big-name supermarkets are stocked to the brim with apples – usually four or so red varieties, and one green. You’ll usually find Pink Lady, Gala, Fuji and maybe Jazz. But what ever happened to the good old Bonza? It’s just slipped off the radar, in favour of other more ‘fashionable’ varieties.
The Bonza is an apple known very well by apple grower Scott Baron of Bonza Apples – after all this apple is the namesake of his apple stall, and rightly so as it was his Grandfather, Ben Atkinson, who discovered the humble Bonza apple in Batlow in the early 1950s. Ben named the apple Bonza, a combination of two words – the Australian ‘Bonser’ and the nod to good fortune, ‘Bonanza’.
Scott Baron calls himself a purveyor of rare and endangered apples. Because that’s what these bonzas are, endangered because the demand from the big stores just isn’t there anymore. But Bonzas really are, well… Bonza!
Scott still grows his Bonzas in Batlow. All his Bonzas are tree ripened which allows them to gain their full flavour potential. They are chemical free and grown using only organic methods. Scott says the first ever Bonza discovered by his Grandfather just grew from a seedling on a fence of his property. Thought to be from parentage of the Democrat and Snowy apple varieties, Scott says these apples are just beautiful with firm, crisp white flesh which doesn’t brown as easy as other apple varieties when cut. Scott explains that Bonzas have a good, even flavour – not too sweet and not too sour – are good keepers and good cookers.
In addition to Bonza, Scott grows other heritage apple varieties including Jonathon, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Five Crown and Rome Beauty, along with mainstream apple varieties including Pink Lady, Royal Gala and Fuji.
So, next time you’re at the Market, say hello to Scott and save an apple from becoming an endangered species by bagging some Bonzas.
Steph and Mark are a pair that know a lot about the benefits of growing greens that are herbicide and pesticide fee. That’s how they do it with their hydroponic set up, Nelligrow Hydroponics, located around five kilometres out of Nelligen on the South Coast of NSW. They set up Nelligrow Hydroponics farm around two years ago and are set to start at our Market in time for our 15th birthday on Saturday 16th March. They grow a good range of lettuce and herbs with no herbicides, no pesticides, and no chemical sprays. Steph says the hydroponic set up and the fact that the plants are off the ground gives them greater control over insects and pests.
Nelligrow produce Baby Cos, Red Oak Lettuce and Green Oak Lettuce, along with watercress, salad mixes, herbs such as coriander, basil, chives, parsley and beetroot leaves, and microgreens. They will have their range available at the Market including whole heads of lettuce, washed bags and punnets of micro herbs. Stop by and check them out.
One thing’s for sure, our Market community is seriously loved by our stallholders and customers alike. So much so, that some return after leaving. Such is the case with long-time Market favourite, Stikkie Bikkie. After ten years at our Market, Henny and Amy departed in September 2018 taking their delightful Dutch Stroopwafels with them much to the disappointment of many of our customers. But we are super pleased to say they’re back this month after missing the Market community too much.
Stikkie Bikkis are traditional Dutch stroopwafels that go back hundreds of years. It’s a waffle made from two very thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. They are served hot with the filling sticky – delish! Henny bought his own machine from The Netherlands and was one of the first to start making them in Australia. Stikkie Bikkie will be at the Market fortnightly from 23rd March on.