Latest from Market Morsels

Market mains for Christmas Day

Here we go! Time to go ‘round again for Christmas. The excitement is palpable. And what’s a good Christmas without an unforgettable Christmas feast! Whether you’re a stickler for seafood, prefer poultry, or love to ham it up, the Market has you covered for an array of festive themed main courses. Over the coming weeks, you can buy turkey (whole and in pieces), goose (whole), and chicken from Thirlmere Poultry Supply – orders are essential for pick up on Saturday 21st December. Pasture-raised chicken is also available from Canowindra Farm.

If you’re keen on the Aussie summer tradition of seafood at Christmas, you are spoilt for choice with many fresh seafood options at Market. Oysters come fresh from the Clyde River on the NSW South Coast from Rod Terry Oysters, opened or unopened. You’ll also find oysters at  Warren’s Fresh Seafood. If prawns take your fancy, Warren’s also has Crystal Bay prawns, cooked or green, and you can choose from fresh wild-caught Australian king prawns and frozen wild-caught green prawns from Narooma Seafood Direct.  Warren’s will also have lobsters and fresh fish, and Narooma will have fresh whole, filleted or smoked fish, octopus and live or cooked lobster – by order only.

If you’re a big fan of the Christmas ham, you can’t go past the traditional Christmas leg ham from Wagga Free Range Pork,  clean label Australian grown leg hams and glazed ham kits including leg ham prepped and ready to glaze, glaze, glaze brush, temperature probe and instructions from Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse (order only), and Christmas ham legs (full and half) from Formichi Smallgoods– available 7th and 21st December. If you prefer a hot roast meal on the big day, enjoy free-range pork from Boxgum Grazing, and beef and lamb from Kurrajong Country Meats and Minto Galloways and Moorlands Biodynamic Lamb (order for pick up on 14th December). Make it a great Christmas feast with a Market main.

Where to buy the best real Christmas Trees

Do you know where to buy the best real Christmas Trees in Canberra? The Market of course! Lovers of real Christmas trees know just what makes a real tree such a special addition to their home – the joy of selecting a tree, the smell of fresh pine wafting throughout the house, the satisfaction of making it look even more beautiful with your own decorations. Real Christmas trees are now at Market only for the next three weekends – Saturdays 7th, 14th and 21st December. Come in and select your own tree from Santa’s Shaped Christmas Tree Farm or Christmas Trees to You. Santa’s have been providing pruned and shaped pine Christmas trees to the Canberra region for over 16 years and are grown between Gunning and Gundaroo. Christmas Trees to You is a family operated business that has also been providing fresh-cut Christmas trees for the last 11 years, with trees grown on a property in Bungonia NSW. Ho Ho Ho-p to Market for your fresh tree while they last.

Salads, sides, nibbles, seasonal veggies and stuff from the dairies

What are the best foods to go with your Christmas mains? At Market we have so many options when it comes to salads, sides, nibbles, veggies and dairy produce to finish off your festive flavours. There’s a full range of seasonal vegetables including salad greens and herbs to make the perfect Christmas lunch or dinner, available from over 20 fresh vegetable Market stallholders. Burnbar Fruit has the best avocados to add to your salads and Christmas sides (available 14th December market only). Christmas nibbles are a breeze with walnuts from Alpine Nuts, a range of flavoured nuts from World’s Best Nuts, and kabana, twiggy stix and beer stix from Wagga Free Range Pork.

From the dairy you can buy fresh milk, yoghurt and cream from Country Valley and Tilba Real Dairy, from the vineyard taste wines from Idyllic Hills Wines in Murrumbateman, and you can also find a great range of foodie gifts including olive oil from Homeleigh Grove and Tawarri Grove, relishes and sauces from Black Horse Fine Foods, Chai gift packs from Real Chai, and vinegars from Windellama Organics. Vegans are well catered for with so many delicious sides and mains from Lily’s Vegan Kitchen. Try the Christmas non-meat nut loaf, the roasted vegies tartlet or the kale & leek tartlet to name a few.

Christmas for the sweet tooths and fruit freaks

Christmas is the time of year to enjoy a little sweet indulgence. Over the coming weeks, we have all the Christmas goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth including Christmas fruit cake, fruit mince tarts, shortbread, and Christmas spiced macarons from Crème n’ Sugar Patisserie – they’ve even got gluten free options available.

Husk Bakery has created a 1.2kg Christmas cake (!) along with homemade fruit mince tarts and festive croissants. There are more fruit mince tarts available fresh from Bush Bread of Australia, Uncle Juan’s Bakehouse and Origin Bake, with the latter also offering up a tasty German Christmas Bread. Delicious Christmas themed chocolates make an appearance from Jasper and Myrtle Chocolate, and rocky road from Junee Liquorice & Chocolate Factory (14th December) is a tasty treat for Christmas stockings.

For those wanting their touch of sweetness from a more natural source, we have SO much fresh fruit to fill your Christmas fruit bowls, decorate your platters, create summery desserts and refreshing cocktails. Cherries are hot right now from Torry Hill Orchards, Drive in Orchards, Hill Lock Orchard and M&N Topspot. Raspberries are just the thing from Borenore Berry Farm, whilst the blueberries are ripe and ready from Clyde River Berry Farm. Strawberries are sweet from Charlie Camilleri, Borenore and B&S Fresh Produce, and there is new season stone fruit including peaches and nectarines from Harrisons & Sons and Willayoung Orchard – be sure to get in quick as we’re sure these fresh fruits will sell out early. Sweet!

Hot Topic: Farmers Market foods use low food miles

While the fat man in red travels laps around the world on Christmas night delivering all the toys to all the boys and girls, aren’t you glad your Farmers Market food doesn’t have to travel that far to make it to you? In fact, shopping at our Market is one of the best ways to ensure a very short distance from paddock to plate. Shipping methods used by large supermarket chains use vast amounts of natural resources and contribute to pollution. This is because they often receive their produce from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away – even from overseas. The refrigeration involved to keep food fresh also has a big impact on the environment and on the freshness of what you buy. Farmers Market produce doesn’t have to go anywhere near that far from the farm to your table – in fact, most of our stallholders come from Canberra and surrounds, or within a three-hour drive from the capital. And many of our farmers transport their fresh produce direct to Market themselves. Low food miles is just another great reason to shop at Market.

When will the Market be closed for Christmas break?

The countdown is on. With only three Market days remaining in 2019 – Saturday 7th, Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st December – we look forward to seeing you all as you come in for the best in fresh seasonal produce. A reminder that our last CIT Cooking Demonstration for the year will be on Saturday 14th December, with the final Market for this year on Saturday 21st December, after which time our organisers and all our hard-working stallholders will be taking a well-earned break for the holidays. We will return next year on Saturday 11th January 2020. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our Market customers, farmers, producers, makers, stallholders and supporters a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a safe and fresh-food filled holidays!

New water refill station takes the heat off customers

Did you know you can now get fresh clean water to go with your fresh clean Market food? Last month Refill Canberra installed a new portable water filling station which provides all our visitors with clean drinking water. It’s a great addition in this summer heat, and will encourage all visitors to drink tap water and help reduce single-use plastics.  Stay hydrated people!

The Great Canberra Cook Off hits the Market this Saturday

This Saturday’s Market will be a biggie as we host The Great Canberra Cook Off! Coordinated by Healthier Choices Canberra, this exciting foodie event is the final cook off event to find the winning ‘Stripped Back Chef’. The four finalists were announced late last week, and they are all super excited to be cooking off against each other on outdoor barbecues at the Market.

The finalists are Andreas who loves cooking with fresh produce; Melissa – a Uni student who loves food blogging and travelling for inspiration; Franzi who wants to show Canberrans how easy it is to make healthier food delicious; and Mary who is passionate about inventing and adapting recipes to make them more nutritious, healthier and packed with flavour, while still being budget-friendly.

The four will battle it out with their stripped-back, healthy recipe from 9am this coming Saturday 30 November. They will cook up a storm and Market visitors will be able to support the finalists, do some taste testing and vote for their favourites.  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 scoring a Webber Family Q thanks to Burning Log, and also gaining Canberra celebrity status and the opportunity to inspire us all with their tasty recipe.

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.

Healthier Choices Canberra is an ACT Government initiative.

What:              The Great Canberra Cook Off – The Stripped Back Chef

When:             Saturday 30th November 2019

Time:               9am to 10am

Where:            Capital Region Farmers Market

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.