Once a month, on a Sunday morning, a street in a nearby suburb is blocked off as local traffic makes way for the stalls of a farmers market.
Up the street and back again takes you on a happy, crowded and mouth-watering stroll. There's fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables displayed on trestle tables; their vibrant colours so inviting. (I never feel this way about the fruit and veggies at the supermarket!)
Baskets of fresh Summer vegetables.
(No styrofoam trays and plastic wrap either!)
As well as fruit and veggies, there's nuts, cheeses, meats, breads, cakes, fudge, flowers, coffee and much more.
There's the wafts of delicious foods cooking as you pass by. Everything from fresh Turkish breads and spicy sausages to hot crepes and little poffertjes (little Dutch pancakes). Following one's nose at the market can often lead to all kinds of delicousness!
Little Dutch pancakes cooked while you wait.
(Soft, hot and drizzled with maple syrup ... Mmm!)
There's the farmers and producers themselves, standing behind their stalls or out in front offering samples of their amazing food. If you ask them, they'll tell you when, where and how it was grown or made, when it was picked or baked or bottled, why it tastes so good! The conversations to be had about food and produce, with the people who actually grew or made it, are one of my favourite things about the markets. It's how to find out where your food comes from and what's in it or on it!
Tom grows apples in his orchard near Tenterfield (about 3 hours away)
& his free samples were fresh, crisp and delicious!
And ... just as you go over the railway line to enter the market or just before you cross back to leave, there's a guy wearing a fluro high-vis vest. You can't miss him and for relatively few bucks he'll sell you a copy of The Big Issue with a "Gday!" and a smile. His presence reminds me that there are many in our community who fall on hard times (for whatever reason) and that abundance (in whatever form) can be shared to make someone's life that bit better.
Lots of fresh food, and food for thought, from the markets.
In my market basket, along with my copy of The Big Issue, there was pumpkin from a farmer who also grows sunflowers too. Two types of bananas from the grower who helped me choose some that are ripe now and some that will ripen over coming days. There's corn so sweet you can eat it raw on the cob and sweet potatoes sold at the stall that has the most beautiful classical music playing in the background. (I talked about pianos and guitars with that grower, not veggies this time:) Little new potatoes and lettuce and capsicum came home with me as my garden has none of these growing over the Summer. (Try as I might, I am rarely successful at growing capsicums!) An armful of Tom's crisp and crunchy apples made it into my basket too, his free samples were soooo good!
Do you buy some of your fresh produce at a market? If you do, what do you love about your market?