Monday, July 30, 2012

hitting the farm gate trail

We had such a lovely weekend. Saturday was filled with a visit and delicious (if I do say so myself) lunch with grandparents and great-grandparents. Sunday was spent taking a leisurely drive through the rural district not too far from us.

We hit the Mangrove Mountain Country Market. I wanted to check out the local, organic produce and had visions of filling my eco-bags with delicious, cheap, and maybe a little rough-looking fruit and veg. We grabbed some jackets, snacks and the kids and took the lovely drive through farms, lots of orchards. It was nice to have a change of scene from our beachy place to more country surrounds.
I bought some hot drinks and some best-ever-bacon-and-egg-sandwiches and the kids had a play in the dappled winter sunshine.
The market had a lovely array of stalls. We wandered into the hall, greeted by an elderly gentleman playing the clarinet. We saw beautiful local honey, spice mixes, hand-knitted clothing and hand-made wooden toys. And a dog in a stroller.
Outdoor stalls included the bloke with the orange truck, beautiful artisan bread, handmade jewellery and hair clips, some second hand stalls, some goat meat, organic soaps, pretty hippy things, olive oils and a small organic fruit and veg stand.

I bought some pretty hair clips, a white sourdough loaf and a bunch of citrus fruit. Yum!

We drove home along Peats Ridge Road, stopping in at farm gates along the way. One of the little shops was just fantastic. I got almost everything I needed for green groceries, lots of it organic, and all of it with some free advice on how to choose, store, cook or eat it. The farmer running the stall apologised for the state of some of the produce as I walked in. That front table is all organic, he said, That's why it all looks a know. Signs around the little stall informed me that most of the produce was grown on this farm, the rest was sourced from other local farmers. And that these pumpkins were the "Best I've ever grown!" I was so, so happy with my shop, and crossing my fingers I'll be able to find him when I'm ready for more! We also stopped at an avocado farm, and I got the giggles when my husband asked the young chap that came out to greet us whether he had any avocados left. Here is the sum of our Farmers Market/ Farm Gate Sunday Shopping Tour:
This cost a total of $46. The beautiful bread was $6, and the oranges, mandarins and lemons cost $10- they were from the market. The bag of avocados was a fiver, direct from the grower. The rest was $25, from my new best mate. I've decided I'm more of a farm gate shopper than a farmer's market shopper. I think I get a little overwhelmed with the super fancy gourmet produce that my family are highly unlikely to eat. In the end, I still need to feed the five of us on a reasonable budget. My tips for hitting the farm gate trail are:

1. Take snacks and drinks, especially when you have kids in tow. If you are making a day out of it, take along a picnic basket for lunch- perhaps a thermos to make a hot drink and some knives to cut the bread and avocados!
2. Take cash.
3. Take it slow. Be prepared to stop and have a chat at each stop. It's half the joy.

Do you shop at farm gates?


  1. I enjoy buying from farm gate stalls. It's nice to know that the farmer gets paid directly for their produce.
    All your fruit and vegies look delicious. x

  2. A satisfying day out. Fresh farm produce it so good. Love your second photo.

  3. Oh yum - that looks and sounds delicious and what a great market! It is so great to be able to discuss produce with the people who produced it, and to know that they are also getting a fair price. Gorgeous pics :)

  4. These pictures are so lovely! Sounds like a great farmer's market!

  5. @Zara- you know,, I hadn't thought of the money-direct-to-farmer factor, another reason to be satisfied!
    @Allana- it really was fun to chat, and I found out all sorts of stuff, like, you can eat calendula leaves and you should choose skinny stalk produce (rhubarb, spinach etc)
    @Pieces and Ariel- thanks, I seem to have an obsession with taking dandelion pics :)

  6. thanks Elisa- it helps that he is a handsome fellow! :)



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