Latest from Market Morsels

Healthier Choices Great Canberra Cook Off and fresh Icon Water at Market

What is not to LOVE about eating delicious food that’s healthier too? Healthier Choices Canberra is pleased to announce they are headed to Market for The Great Canberra Cook Off!  On Saturday 30 November, our Market will play host to the final cook-off event to find the winning ‘Stripped Back Chef’. Contestants are encouraged to cook in a ‘stripped back’ environment (think minimal cooking equipment) and will cook-off against each other in the great outdoors on barbecues.

Kicking off at 9am, contestants will cook up a storm and Market-goers will be able to taste the final products and vote. Plus, the kids will be entertained with a kids’ food treasure hunt where they can visit stallholders to spot various items. There are lots of prizes up for grabs, with the winner of the cook-off also gaining Canberra celebrity status and the opportunity to inspire us all with their tasty recipe. This is a fantastic initiative and a great way we can work with Healthier Choices Canberra to promote a common goal – healthier food choices.

As part of the day’s activities, Refill Canberra will install a new portable water filling station which will provide all our visitors with clean drinking water and remain permanently onsite to encourage all visitors to drink tap water and reduce single-use plastics.  Plus, our friends at Icon Water will be giving away reusable stainless steel drink bottles. It’s a great way that all our visitors can stay hydrated during the Cook Off. Entries for The Great Canberra Cook Off close Monday 11 November. See www.health.act.gov.au/cookoff for details.
Healthier Choices Canberra is an ACT Government initiative.

Hot Topic: Farmers Market produce is always seasonal

Remember the time you went to the supermarket fruit and veg section and bought those cherries in July? Mmmm mid-winter cherries. You know the ones, imported from the US. And not really very tasty. Buying fruit and vegetables out of season is not great for you, and not great for our farmers either. At our Farmers Market you can always be assured that the food you buy is truly seasonal. That’s because it is super fresh – often picked or harvested just a day or two before our Market on a Saturday morning.

Farmers market food is flavoursome and you know it has grown in the Australian season when it is naturally meant to be growing – a great way to connect to nature’s natural cycles of the local or surrounding region. And it’s also a great way to stimulate your senses and create food memories that you connect with the turning of the year. So, will it be the spring asparagus we have in abundance right now, delicious summer cherries and stone fruit, crisp autumn apples or winter Brussels sprout? They are the (tasty) reasons for the seasons. And speaking of seasons, we are fast approaching the festive season, so keep an eye out for the all the delicious summer fruits arriving in the coming months – cherries, plums, peaches, melons, nectarines – yum!

What’s in season: Fruit bowl fillers – apricots, cherries, strawberries and tomatoes.

The arrival of this lovely warmer weather has brought with it a great range of delicious fruits just perfect for a healthy snack, or for your lunch boxes, fruit salads and to fill up your fruit bowls. We’re so lucky to be seeing the return of Drive In Orchards who will be back this coming weekend, 9th November. Hailing from Young in NSW, our Drive In friends are back with absolutely delicious cherries, along with tasty and juicy apricots and mulberries.

On the topic of berries, we have plenty of strawberries in season. These bright red and juicy beauties are an excellent source of Vitamin C and manganese, with a good dose of folate and potassium to boot. You can eat your strawberries just as they are, or turn into scrumptious desserts, smoothies or cocktails. Strawberries are in abundance right now from Loriendale, C & D Camilleri and Hill Lock Orchard. And although not quite your sweet variety of fruit, we also have plenty of fresh tomatoes at Market from Auddino’s Produce, Greenhill Farm, Wollondilly Produce, Dilliro Vegetables and B&S Fresh Produce.

NEW: Majura Valley Natural Compost

Are you looking for all the benefits of composting but just don’t have the time or space to get into composting yourself? Compost is fabulous for enriching your soil, helping to hold moisture and reducing your need for any chemical fertilizers in the garden. And we have a brand new stallholder who can help you out. Majura Valley Natural Compost has just started at Market providing chemical-free fertilisers to help improve your Canberra soil. They will be selling their compost and worm castings, and their compost is lab-tested with high-quality contents. As a bonus, the compost comes in a natural compostable hessian bag that can be laid across garden beds to protect your plantings. Their pure worm castings come in a high quality 20 litre bucket offering over one thousand uses. Grab some on your next visit to Market, your garden will love you.

Farmer in Focus: Ian and Helen from Majestic Mushrooms

Shop local. That’s what we like to say. And when it comes to mushrooms, it doesn’t come any more local than the mushrooms from Majestic Mushrooms. Ian and Helen Chu are the proud owners of Majestic Mushrooms located in Murrumbateman. Both University of Canberra graduates, the pair left their professional careers in 2006 when they built a mushroom farm. They are now the closest mushroom farm to Canberra, and the local supplier direct to our Market, along with many good fruit and vegetable shops, supermarkets and restaurants in the Canberra Region. The pair started off producing just two to three tonnes of mushrooms per week and within five years they expanded to a whopping 20 tonnes of mushrooms per week. Majestic produces mushrooms all year round, and manage 15 staff per week, with some local staff. They say the secret to their success is the quality of their mushrooms – which they produce in white and brown button, cups and flats, along with Swiss Brown and Portabello varieties. Stop in and grab some of these mushrooms on your next visit to Market, they really are majestic.

Knowing where your food comes from

Hot Topic: Knowing where your food comes from

One of the best things about shopping at the Farmers Market is the comfort in knowing exactly where your food comes from. When you buy with us you can be confident in knowing the food’s provenance– where it was grown, how it was grown, the various methods used, and how it arrived at the Market for you fresh each Saturday morning. Visiting us is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from by meeting and talking to our wonderfully friendly farmers and producers at their stalls.

Each week we have over 100 stallholders who bring their freshly picked and grown produce to Market, and they travel to us from their farms locally, throughout the Canberra region, the Riverina region, and from the South West Slopes, Snowy Region and South Coast of NSW.

As we like to say – you CAN get your oranges from California, or you can get them from Mick Auddino from Auddino’s Produce, picked on his family farm in Leeton NSW. You can make the choice.

Asparagus Arrives

What’s in season: Asparagus arrives

We love spring for all the fresh vegetables the season brings, and we are so pleased to see the asparagus starting to arrive at Market. This spring veggie, a flowering perennial species of the genus Asparagus, offers its young shoots which are delicious for eating.  Water makes up 93% of asparagus’ composition – and this green beauty is low in calories and very low in sodium, whilst also being packed with Vitamin B, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre.

Asparagus is delicious roasted at this time of year, and you can also add flavours like cheese and garlic when roasting. Add asparagus to your carbonara pasta for a delicious twist, or wrap the spears in bacon. It is also a lovely accompaniment to chicken and fish dishes. You can get your fresh asparagus from Market from Donald Smith Horticulture, Melissa Pure Fresh Honey and from Shane Armanini from Armanini Produce, located in Yoogali not far from Griffith, NSW.

Idyllic Hills Wines

NEW: Idyllic Hills Wines

Is there anything better than sitting in the glorious spring sunshine, glass of wine in hand? Yep! It IS even better if the wine is locally made from a family-owned producer in the Canberra District.

Idyllic Hills Wines is a boutique producer of high-quality Canberra District Wines. Their vineyard, located in Murrumbateman, is now over 20 years old and is planted with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Viognier. Adopting only the best viticultural practices in growing the fruit, they use extensive bird netting in the final ripening stages, with no pesticides used.  The fruit is then vinified and bottled under Idyllic’s supervision at a neighbouring winery.

Idyllic are now at Market every weekend and offer packaged wine for purchase by the bottle or case. Cheers to that!

Shane from Armanini Produce

Farmer Focus: Shane from Armanini Produce

Variety is the spice of life as they say, and for farmer Shane Armanini he certainly has a variety of things on his plate. As a family farmer with a property located in Yoogali just near Griffith in NSW, Shane’s focus shifts with the seasons as he moves between the produce that grows well at each time of year and gets it fresh to Market for discerning shoppers who want the freshest in fruit and vegies direct from a quality grower.

Shane started Armanini Produce back in 2004, and has had a long history with farming. Having grown up on horticulture farms – mainly stone fruit and wine grapes – he married into a family that also grows wine grapes which he continues to grow, with the addition of vegetables grown seasonally.

Right now, asparagus is in abundance. You can find Shane at Market with his fresh asparagus which he transports himself each Saturday on the four-hour one-way journey from Yoogali. After October, Shane will then return to Market in mid-January with table grapes and mixed melons on offer for your summer fruit platters. Say hello to Shane and hear all about what he’s got growing on your next visit to Market.

Windellama Organics

Farmer Focus: Russell and Lyn from Windellama Organics

Did you know the Market has one very special stallholder who actually makes their own tea? Russell and Lyn from Windellama Organics are creating their own herbal teas made from their own dried herbs – and with no black or green tea in sight!

Russell and Lyn farm on their property in Windellama NSW, which is situated to the east of Lake George, between Canberra and the South Coast on the Southern Tablelands of NSW. The farm is organically certified and there they grow stone fruits, vegetables, and free-range eggs which they sell at Market. And it’s their teas which have been gaining attention of late. They’re producing a range of around 15 tea blends that can be enjoyed hot or cold with varieties including their Lemon Thyme and Ginger tea, and their BOOST tea made with all organic nettle, black peppermint, raspberry leaf and aromatic heritage pink rose petal. Other varieties include Chamomile Plus, Princess Grey, Clean & Green and Black Velvet.

Stop in and see Russell and Lyn on your next visit to Market and take home a blend for your own delicious cuppa.

Martin's Honey

NEW: The buzz about Martin’s Honey

We’re all abuzz with the news that we have a new honey stallholder at Market. Martin’s Honey started at the Market late last month and is a sweet addition for all our lovers of fresh honey and honey products. Just to confuse things, Martin’s is actually owned by Kevin who has been a beekeeper in the Central West of NSW for many years, attending several different markets around NSW. Unfortunately, his hives have been affected by the state’s severe drought forcing Kevin to move his bees to the South Coast for a better climate. Now that the bees are in their new home, Kevin has honey harvested from Cabbage Tree Creek just near Nelligen on the coast and will be at Market with honey – both pure and raw – honeycomb and beeswax products. Get your fresh honey and honey products from Kevin at Martin’s Honey on your next visit.

Rita's Farm Produce

What’s in season – spring celery and tomatoes

With spring comes an abundance of fresh seasonal fruit and veg. Celery has been springing up and is ready to go from Rita’s Farm Produce. What you might not know is that celery is a marshland plant, with shallow roots and a high demand for water and nutrients. With a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves, celery is wonderful for flavouring stocks, in salads, and in recent times has been hailed for its health benefits when juiced. Celery is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins such as folate, potassium, Vitamins B6, K and C. The luteolin in celery protects skin from the inside and prevents UV-induced damage. What a fab vegetable! Rita’s Farm is a family owned farm operating in Wallacia, NSW, with Head Farmer, Rita, previously a nurse in rural China using herbs and vegetables to ensure family, friends and patients lived and ate healthy.

This month tomatoes are also in abundance at Market, with a range of tomato varieties available from Rita’s Farm, along with Dilliro Vegetables, B&S Fresh Produce and Wollondilly Produce. Tomatoes have endless uses, and there are some different ways to use lovely fresh tomatoes such as in homemade bruschetta or tomato soup or stuffed, pickled or roasted. Yum!

Canberra in bloom

Keeping Canberra in bloom

Canberra has such a keen gardening community, and now is a wonderful time to get out and about in the garden and get your garden looking its best in the springtime sunshine.

We have a great range of stallholders selling flowers, plants and garden goods, with a lovely selection of natives and landscape plants, fruit trees, seedlings and shrubs.

Head to Market to see the spring plant selection from our friends at Canberra Native Nursery, Canberra Colour, Cascades Nursery, River Road Nursery, Super Seedlings and Sutton Road Nursery. And if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, come in and buy some fresh cut seasonal flowers to brighten your home from Jonima Flowers.

Marymead MULCH

Come out of your winter hibernation for A Taste of Spring

At last, spring has sprung! You can see and smell it around town with the eruption of the cherry blossoms announcing the new season’s arrival, and of course, our city welcomes Floriade on Saturday too.

To join in the spring fun, the Market is hosting A Taste of Spring this coming Saturday 14th September. As part of the day, the CIT Kitchen will be moving up to the front of the Market to create a range of delicious recipes using the freshest in seasonal produce straight from the Market. Watch these talented local chefs create warm spring salad of eggplant, tofu and greens, roasted cauliflower with almond sauce, bbq pork ribs with radish and spring greens, and for the sweet tooths – vegan pavlova with strawberries.

Our friends from CIT will have printed recipes on hand so you can shop the Market for everything you need to create these spring recipes at home. And if spring gardening is more your thing, we will have the crew from Marymead’s MULCH onsite. MULCH is a horticultural social enterprise supporting adults with disability to engage in a productive urban farm. They will have a community stand on-site with their participants selling colourful potted tulips.

A Taste of Spring is on Saturday 14th September 7.30am – 11.30am.

The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers

NEW: The peak in cheesemaking

Mmm cheese. Mmm French-style artisan cheese, even better! We have some delicious new cheeses for you direct from Market newcomer, The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers, and boy are these cheeses good. The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers are Luke Armstrong and Vanessa Lipscombe, and all their cheeses are handmade from their micro cheese factory located in beautiful Northeast Victoria, using locally sourced organic cow and goat’s milk. And their goal is simple – to make beautiful cheese from the highest quality local milk.

Both their cow and goat milk is sourced from single herds in the Victorian Alpine region, and single-source milk means minimal processing and maximum freshness. The Peaks currently have four different kinds of cheese available – two soft goat’s cheeses, one soft cow’s cheese, and a hard cow’s cheese. The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers will be attending the Market monthly, and if you want to come in and sample some of their cheeses, you can find them at stand number 123.