Foodie heaven – farmers’ markets

Cover of Guide to farmers' markets Australia and New ZealandI am a farmers’ market convert. It’s hard to know what turned me. Was it the crumbly goats’ cheese? Or the oyster pie? Or the locally-sourced smoked eel? Or maybe it was the delicious apple, chocolate cake/tart thing that was very lucky to make it to the shared morning tea I was going to as it could easily have been scoffed there and then.

Farmers’ markets offer the chance to buy fresh produce, meats, and baked goods direct from the local people who grow and make them, cutting out the middle man and they’ve grown in popularity it recent years. Christchurch people can now choose from weekly markets in Riccarton, Lyttelton, and Akaroa, though if you’re willing to venture further afield there are even more farmers’ markets throughout the Canterbury region.

But what about those of us who live a bit more centrally? The new Downtown Farmers’ Market, which has its inaugural outing this Sunday at The Commons, might be just your cup of artisan hot chocolate. With dozens of stalls, food trucks, and other entertainments, this farmers’ market has the benefit of being right in town (on the Kilmore/Durham St corner) and not to mention just down the road from Central Library Peterborough. The market will run 9.30am-2.30pm every Sunday.

Cover of Get fresh with Al BrownOnce you’ve picked up some fresh ingredients, create some delicious meals and dishes using these farmers’ market titles as inspiration.

What’s your favourite farmers’ market buy?

Farmers’ Markets

Book coverFarmers’ Markets seem to be popping up everywhere. Farmers’ Market New Zealand Inc defines a farmers’ market as one “where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell their wares directly to consumers. Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from within a defined local area”.

If you like the sound of that and want to find a market near you, take a look at  Guide to farmers’ markets : Australia and New Zealand. Another new book on the topic is Market Day : a taste of life at New Zealand farmers’ market. This beautiful looking book has lots of recipes, a guide to regional specialties, and a directory of lodgings and restaurants committed to using and serving good regional produce. Sounds yummy.