Latest from Market Morsels

Scott Baron, grower from Bonza Apples

Scott Baron, grower from Bonza Apples

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.

Pesticide-free greens from Nelligrow Hydroponics

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.

Stikkie Bikkie is back!

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.

What’s in season: Flavoursome figs

Jiggety Jigs. Come to Market and get your figs. March is the month when you can pick up some luscious figs from our friends at Hill Lock Orchard. Khodr and Mohamed Hamdan grow their figs on their property in Wombat, a town in the South West Slopes region of NSW, not too far from Young. They’re fresh and flavoursome right now.

The common fig, Ficus carica, is a flowering plant in the mulberry family, a native to the Middle East and western Asia. Rich in fibre, figs are also a good source of calcium and full of vital vitamins and minerals with Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and phosphorus. So, now that you know they are healthy, what can you do with your fresh figs? They make a lovely breakfast topping, you can roast them with honey, turn them into jam or chutney, stuff them with cheese and bake, or add them to your favourite salads. Figtastic!

15 years feeding the community

Happy Birthday to us! 15 years feeding the community

Happy Birthday to us! This month our Market celebrates 15 years feeding the Canberra community. After 15 years, the Capital Region Farmers Market is still thriving in Canberra. It’s been 15 years of fresh produce, 15 years supporting local and regional farmers and producers, 15 years supporting community projects and contributions through Rotary, and 15 years successfully feeding our community.

We will mark the occasion with a celebration on market day, Saturday 16th March. Visit us for your chance to win one of 20 bags of fresh Market produce. We will also have stalls set up by some of the many local organisations who have benefited greatly as a direct result of contributions from the Capital Region Farmers Market. Food affiliated stalls will also be on site to celebrate, and visitors can get a real birthday party feel with a huge 15th birthday model cake onsite to mark the occasion.

We really have come such a long way since the Market’s inception back in 2003. We started out in 2004 with just 15 stalls and around 850 customers, and today we are a busy Market offering a range of new and familiar produce to the discerning shopper.  The Market now has around 100 stalls and welcomes around 6000 customers each week. We welcome the Canberra community to come along and mark this very special milestone with us and hope to see a bustling Market on 16th March to celebrate.

Calling all long-term customers – have you been with us since the start?

We can’t quite believe it, but in March this year, our much-loved Market is turning 15 years old.

We have come a long way in these past 15 years, from humble beginnings with just 15 stalls and around 500 customers, to our bustling Market of today attracting more than ten times the customers each and every Saturday. Have you been with us since the start? If you have been a Market customer since 2004, we’d love to hear from you!  What do you like about the Market? Why are you a loyal customer? What’s changed in 15 years? What would you like to see for our Market in future?

If you’re keen to share your thoughts, please get in touch at  market.manager@crfm.com.au by Friday 22nd February 2019. Your feedback is welcome and may be used as part of our 15th birthday commemorations and celebrations, and to inform future planning for our Market.

What’s in season: Mountains of melons, great grapes, beautiful beans and broccoli

Isn’t this warm weather just divine. February’s glorious weather brings a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Market each Saturday.

We’ve got mountains of melons – with watermelon and rockmelon in abundance right now from Armanini Produce from Yoogali in NSW. Watermelons are wonderful in fresh summery salads, juices, smoothies, ice blocks and cocktails. And rockmelons pack a good punch of Vitamin C, folate, beta carotene and fibre, and are just all-round delish. If you like your grapes, there are plenty of Menindee seedless table grapes also available from Armanini Produce right now. Beautiful, fresh green beans and broccoli await from our growers at Kurrawong Organics in Kirkconnell, NSW. Perfect for a green healthy boost.

NEW: Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse

Sweet, sweet smoked meat. Husband and wife team Anthony Ainsworth and Marie Bucher know a lot about smoked meats. And they’re happy to share their knowledge and goods with you as one of our newest stallholders, Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse.

Tracing its history back to the early 1930s when the current business premises were first established as a butcher shop in Albury, today Butt’s produces a growing range of high-quality meat products using traditional and contemporary recipes. And what a range! Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse produces everything from smoked chicken breast, lamb, beef, turkey and duck, to the more exotic kangaroo and eel. This sustainable operation uses Redgum wood sourced from the Riverina for smoking all products, locally sourced raw materials and locally sourced meats, vegetables and spices wherever possible. With no e numbers in any of the products, the wide selection of smoked products with some gluten free options are available at the Market now.

NEW: Farmer Brown’s Pastured Free Range Eggs

When you think farm produce, thoughts can’t be far away from delicious, farm fresh eggs. And although you might not have the luxury of fresh eggs from your own hens at home, with our new stallholder you can be assured they’re super fresh with very low food miles.

Farmer Brown’s Pastured Free Range Eggs is a locally owned family business producing free range ‘pastured’ eggs. The Brown Family were one of the original settlers in the Hall region, and their 20 hectare farm is located in Hall today where their eggs are ethically and sustainably produced – a mere ten kilometres from our Market! The hens have free roaming access to pastures, plenty of space and live in a low stocking density under 100 hens per hectare. Try these high quality, chemical free eggs on your next visit to Market. You’ll be egg-static!

Calling all genuine growers

Are you a genuine grower? Are you in horticulture, fruit growing, or vegetable growing and want to be involved in the Market as a stallholder?

We are seeking genuine growers who can offer something unique and local to Canberra’s biggest and best authentic Farmers Market. With thousands of shoppers passing through our doors each week, we would love to offer opportunities to become a stallholder to the right people.

Please get in touch with our Market Manager, Karen Cook, if you would like to be a trader at this growing and vibrant Farmers Market.

Christmas gifts Market-style

Know a hard-to-buy for foodie? We’ve got some great Christmas gift ideas that we are sure they’ll love. How about a Farmers Market Gift Card, our Recipe Book or some reusable produce bags?

Market Gift Cards are available for purchase from the Rotary Desk in the north-western entrance to the Market and are available in denominations of $10, $30 and $50. And you can head there to buy reusable mesh produce bags from Tulgeen at five for $15. And why not get your hands on the Market’s Recipe Book. More than just a cook book, it offers a brief history of the Market, the charitable work Rotary is involved in, and an array of seasonal recipes selected by our stallholders.

All proceeds go to Rotary Club of Hall so you’re doing a good deed at Christmas time too.

REMINDER: Changed access for last Market for 2018

Well, we can’t quite believe it but it’s almost tools down for our Market for 2018.

A reminder that the last Market day for the year is Saturday 22 December, and we will close for trading at midday. Access points will also be changed for our final market. All vehicle entry must be via Old Well Station Road, or Morisset Road where the shipping containers are, this will take you to Gate 7 where there is plenty of parking as well as disabled parking spaces. There will also be pedestrian access via Gate 4, AKA the McDonalds and service station entrance.

Let’s make our last Market for 2018 a great one.

Fresh, light summery produce available now

It’s so much easier to eat ‘light’ when the weather is warmer.

Salads are the go-to with most meals, and the only thing you need worry about is just how daring you want to be with your salad ingredients. Right now, the Market is packed with seasonal salad staples including leafy salad greens, beetroot, carrots and more. For a great range of leafy salad greens head to B & S Produce or Dilliro Vegetables, and for beetroot find Rita’s Farm Produce,  B &S Produce and Dilliro Vegetables.  Hit Mowbray Park Produce for fresh kale, carrots and silver beet, and Wollondilly Produce for cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

COMING SOON: Christmas Trees on their way

If you’re firmly in the ‘real tree’ camp at Christmas time, then pop in to the Market for a great range of live Christmas trees. Enjoying the fun of the tree selection, the scent of real pine in your home, and being able to trim and size the tree to suit your own style are just some of the reasons why real Christmas trees are a wonderful idea.

Christmas trees will be available at the Market from Saturday 1 December. Come in and see our friends at Santa’s Shaped Christmas Trees. These little elves have been providing the highest quality pruned and shaped pine Christmas trees to the Canberra region for over 15 years. And just as beautiful are the trees from Christmas Trees To You. This family operated business sells direct from their farm across Canberra, the Southern Highlands and NSW South Coast, and this year brings their delightful trees to Market. Prices vary depending on tree height.

Come in and ho ho ho-me in on your favourite real Christmas tree. While stock(ings) last.

Pre-order your Christmas foods now

Did you know you can now pre-order some of your fave Farmers Market foods in time for Christmas?!

Whether it’s hams, puddings, or baked goods you’re after, pop in and see just who of your favourite stallholders are now filling pre-orders for Christmas. If you’re salivating at the thought of ham-time this year, then pre-order your Christmas hams from Formichi Smallgoods, Wagga Free Range Pork – Berkshire Pigs or Boxgum Grazing. Christmas pudding lovers can pre-order from Rosa’s Home Bake, and for a huge range of festive sweets including yule logs, fruit cake, shortbread, fruit mince tarts, ginger bread houses and ginger bread men, head to Creme n’ Sugar, Uncle Juan’s Bakehouse, and Amanda Eats Cake.

Vegans can pre-order the popular Veganarchy roast and delicious Christmas cake from Veganarchy, and if you’re looking for Christmas gift packs, take a look and pre-order from La Barre Olives and Black Horse Fine Foods.

We’re making your Christmas a simpler AND tastier affair this year so get those pre-orders in.