Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Shopping Local at the Echuca Farmers Markets

Well, the first day of Autumn certainly did provide a gorgeous day for walking around our local Farmers Markets.

The Echuca Farmers Markets are held every 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday of each month. With between 18-25 stall holders, there is always a good range of local and fresh produce available, and all grown or made within 100 km of Echuca. 

Farmers Markets, in both the city and country, are becoming more and more popular with customers wanting to feel a bit more connected to their food source. The Echuca markets have been running for ten years and have more than doubled in size since they first began- a healthy sign that this style of buying produce is definitely here to stay and a tribute to the organisers who have worked so hard to ensure we have a good variety and great quality goods available.

The markets are such a great way to learn about what produce is in season and therefore buying fresh goods at a reasonable price. I find in a supermarket, as most produce is available all year round, its very easy to forget whats in season and whats not- except of course, for the price! Also, what is Australian and what is imported! It is a great way of chatting with farmers and producers and knowing that what you are buying has been grown or made with hard work yet much love. 

Being a keen cook (and lover of all things foodie), I love chatting and swapping recipe ideas with the stall holders. Especially with the ladies who have been making preserves for years-lots of good tips! I then find myself (slightly distracted and incredibly inspired !!)  buying a few kilos of fruit or vege (that perhaps weren't on the shopping list but looked too good to resist). My challenge is then to sift through recipes and cook my way through the bag. 

And unlike that supermarket shop we all dread, a trip to the market is a fun excursion and lovely way to spend an hour or two on the weekend, whether your by yourself, with family or friends. Grab a coffee, bacon and egg roll, a fresh juice or freshly baked muffin…..meander around and get to know the stall owners. You will learn lots and grab some bargains and come home feeling inspired. 

Best of all, you are supporting our farming community who are yet again facing another drought and the unknown prospect of when it might rain again. It really is important more than ever, to support these kinds of markets and in turn our local farmers and producers. 

Echuca Farmers Markets- For more details check out their facebook page and the Victorian Farmers Markets Association. Located at Altin Reserve, Hare Street, Echuca. Every 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday on the month.

Stallsholder details-
Eggs available from Little Forest Produce- Barham
Bunbartha Beef- Bunbartha (online shop available or via Farmhouse Direct). Follow them on Facebook.
The Old School Winery and Meadery- Womboota (Can be purchased online from Farmhouse Direct)
Details on other local producers in the area can be found on the Backroads Trail or the Farm Gate Trail.
Sauci Sista Gourmet Preserves- available online here.

1 comment:

  1. Kylie, you are so lucky to visit this market, I would shop there all the time, it looks so fresh.


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