Tag Archives: farmers’ market

Return to the Farmers’ Markets (and, hopefully, to blogging)

Well, that was a longer break than I expected it to be.  I’d like to thank the NHMRC’s insane grants schedule, Easter, and the cyst on my wrist for providing the synergy of silly working hours, non-existent weekends, pain, and general exhaustion that led to the blogging hiatus… hopefully, things will start to calm down soon, and you will see more of me here.

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To be honest, I haven’t even been doing much new cooking – these busy months are when I revisit old favourites and am quietly thankful for a fairly good repertoire of simple recipes in my head, and a large array of take-away options in my suburb.

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To read my blog this year, you might think that I’ve abandoned the Farmers’ Markets.  This is truer than I might wish (those aforementioned missing weekends have rather curbed my enthusiasm for marketing early on Saturday mornings), but fortunately not entirely true.  The good news in my marketing life has been that the Victorian Farmers Market Association recently began running a lunchtime market at Melbourne University on a Wednesday.  This is conveniently close to where I work, and also conveniently not early in the morning, and Andrew (who is also currently working in the vicinity) and I have become regulars at its stalls.  While the variety of fresh produce is not as impressive as at the weekend markets (they are still building their stable of stallholders), it has been a fine way to get *some* proper, farmer-friendly vegetables into our weekly shop, and it’s also a highly enjoyable way to spend a lunchbreak… and it’s always fun playing ‘spot the WEHI person’ as I wander around the market…

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Still, between my Wednesday indulgences and my weekend madness, it has been over a month since I last visited one of the weekend markets.  I was therefore pretty determined to get to the Flemington Farmers’ Market today, even though choir meant that my visit would be relatively brief… Continue reading

Flemington Farmers’ Market – Berries, vegetable mandalas, and a little present for you!

Hooray!  The new year has started and it’s back to the farmers’ markets for us, just in time for all those lovely tomatoes and long peppers and the last of the season’s apricots (already?  How did this happen?).

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Saturday was too hot for anything, and I wasn’t able to figure out whether any farmers’ markets were even on (not all of them start directly after New Years), but Flemington sent me an email promising berries and stone fruit, and that was good enough for me.

A symbolic representation of Saturday's weather.

A symbolic representation of Saturday’s weather.

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Bundoora Farmers’ Market – Return to the Farmers’ Markets, hooray!

Hooray!  Saturday was the Bundoora Farmers’ Market, and I got to go to it!  Better still, I got to go with a license to buy lots of goodies, since the fridge and freezer were significantly emptier than when I was last there.  And best of all… after several years of having to make do with slightly less celestial farmers’ market pies, we finally managed to reconnect with Gum Tree Pies, who now come down to Bundoora (from their home base, somewhere near Canberra, if I recall correctly) once a month.

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Flemington Farmers’ Market

My current nocturnal tendencies (which are driving me absolutely nuts, incidentally) are making it very difficult to get to the farmers’ markets of late, but Sunday was a choir Sunday, which means that one has to get up early anyway… at which point, one would clearly be a fool *not* to take the opportunity to replenish one’s supply of farmers’ market goodies.

Sunday marketing means a return to Flemington for us – we have not yet investigated the charms of the Substation Market in Newport, though I certainly have my eye on it (and also on Bundoora Park for next week, since I’ve heard rumours that Gumtree Pies are there monthly).  And this is rather lovely, as we get to visit old friends – and meet the odd non-market friend, too – as well as investigating the new stalls.

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Coburg Farmers’ Market with Summer Fruit in late Autumn

Seriously, we are a week out from the official start of winter, and I can buy raspberries at the market?  And zucchini flowers?  Melbourne, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this last hurrah of warm weather, but you’re making me a little nervous here.  I just know you will find a way to make up for it sooner or later.  Something tells me that you are plotting snow for this winter…

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Farmers’ Market Post: Return to Coburg Farmers’ Market

I am back, having survived the St Matthew’s Passion with my vocal chords intact!  It was a glorious, glorious thing, and I am itching to sing it again and also to learn all the soprano and alto arias and maybe sing them one day, and *also* I have the biggest music crush ever on Andrew Goodwin, the brilliant tenor who played our Evangelist.  He has absolutely the most superb tenor voice I’ve ever heard – he just floats over those top notes so easily and gently, but he can also be wonderfully dramatic in the sections where this is called for.  Swoon.  Being in Choir Two, I was able to appreciate this from pleasingly close quarters.  Though not as close as the altos.  Another reason I should have sung alto.  Yes, I am a very sad case.  But a voice like that doesn’t come along every day, and he seemed like a thoroughly lovely human being, too.

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(And that was the sound of me losing several minutes to looking up said tenor on YouTube and listening to the sadly small number of his recordings I was able to find. No CDs yet, alas…)

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(Also, the Palm Sunday service I was at read the entire text of Matthew 26 to 27, which is basically the text of the St Matthew Passion, with different readers being different characters and the congregation doing all the crowd responses.  It was all I could do not to burst into song.  In German.  Because it turns out that somewhere along the way I memorised all the German crowd bits.  Oh dear…)

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I have even more singing ahead of me, with Easter coming up next weekend, but this is probably not why you are here, so maybe I should consider getting to the point of this post, which is that Andrew and I actually managed to get back to the Coburg Farmers’ Market this weekend, for the first time in over a month.  We did manage a flying visit to Flemington last week, but there was no time to write about it afterwards, what with choir followed by Bach.  Due to singing, work, and the resulting extreme levels of exhaustion, I’ve been having to resort to the local greengrocer, and sometimes even the supermarket, for my fruit and veg for about the last six weeks, and it’s really not the same.  In the meantime, Melbourne has moved from high summer into quite definite autumn, with more varieties of apple than I can poke a stick at, and nuts of all kinds, as well as the last of the corn, eggplants, beans, capsicums, and even a tomato or two.

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Slow Food Market, with the season turning

Melbourne is in fine form today.  As we left for the market, it was drizzling, but by the time we were halfway there, the sun was shining so brightly that Andrew was making plaintive remarks about sunglasses.  But it started raining again not long after we reached the market… which might explain why it was a little less crowded than usual and there was NO QUEUE FOR THE TIVOLI ROAD BAKERY STALL.

Seriously, you have no idea how rare this is.  In fact, I’ve never been to the Tivoli Road Bakery stall at that market, because the queues are usually so long that I haven’t even bothered looking to see which stall it was – I am fickle, and I’m really not at the market to stand in queues, especially with so much glorious produce on display elsewhere…

Having realised that this was, indeed, a queueless Tivoli Road Bakery stall, we interrupted our first circuit of the market to get right in there and grab some salted caramel donuts and jam donuts.  Because Tivoli Road Bakery donuts are not to be ignored.

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Garden Update and Flemington Farmers’ Market

I realise that I’m not posting many recipes here at present.  Quite frankly, the weather just isn’t conducive to culinary experimentation – it seems to be endlessly, wearyingly hot, in a manner that saps energy and creativity alike.  Right now, I’m feeling grateful for my cookbooks, which allow me to continue making moderately healthy meals without doing too much thinking.

But – almost miraculously – my garden is still alive.  In fact, it’s even producing tomatoes at last, as well as zucchini of supermarket-worthy size (though, pleasingly, of farmers-market-worthy shape and colour).

gardentomatoBehold, yesterday’s harvest!

Harvest time!  Tomatoes of many colours, zucchini, green and purple basil, and parsley!

Harvest time! Yellow, red and stripey tomatoes, yellow crookneck zucchini, green and purple basil, and parsley!

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Coburg Farmers’ Market – first of the year!

Hooray, our local farmers’ market is back!  It was quite a small market this weekend, but that was probably actually a good thing, given how crazy I went on vegetables last week.  The really important thing to note was that I finally – finally! – managed to get my hands on some raspberries!

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Coburg Farmers’ Market with Summer on the way

I have been so busy with one thing and another that I’ve actually missed the last few farmers’ markets at Coburg.  A terrible fate!  And in these few lost weeks, the season has changed noticeably, with the asparagus gone, broccoli on the way out, and stone fruits, berries and green beans beginning to appear.

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No tomatoes yet – Summer isn’t that far advanced (and in fact is doing a fine job of teasing us with a day or two of hot weather followed by three or four of freezing cold and rain), but I saw the first zucchini of the season, and the first zucchini flowers I’ve spotted this year.  Sumer is definitely icumin in (which is good, because I’m well on the way to being cuckoo)… Continue reading