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Farmers' Markets Abroad

Earth + City got its start selling wares at farmers’ markets around Toronto. In this series we are exploring farmers’ markets around the world, different cultures, the foods that make each unique and what we can learn from them.


Image: Jacquie Manning

As the resident Aussie at Earth + City, I’m here to tell you about my favourite farmers’ markets back home. The first thing you need to know is that Australia is food obsessed! We love our seasonal produce and love supporting local farmers and businesses.  We take our food culture very seriously!

There are a couple of things that make Australian farmers’ markets different from Ontario.

For starters, they run through the year, outside, as we don’t have to worry about real winter weather.

Because our seasons are so mild, there is a much wider variety of produce available during the winter months, and crops like pumpkin (squash for you Canadians) are available year round.

We also have ready access to a lot of tropical fruit. Mangoes, pineapples, avocados and bananas are plentiful and local: no need to ship them from South America! This is because northern New South Wales and Queensland have subtropical and tropical climates.

Native Australian produce, once the preserve of fine dining, is also becoming more widely available at most farmers’ markets. This means ordinary consumers have access to things like warrigal greens, bush tomatoes, wattleseed, lemon myrtle and even kangaroo and emu meat from local producers.

In Sydney, there is a plethora of farmers’ markets to visit, each with its own distinct characteristics. If you were to visit the Bondi farmers’ market you would encounter not only a sea breeze, but hundreds of bronzed market goers in bare feet and more green smoothies than you’ve ever laid eyes on.

At Sunday’s Addison Road Farmers’ Market in the inner-western suburb of Marrickville you might have an entirely different experience. There you would be more likely to find yourself perusing the used books stand, munching on a mung bean burger or hanging out under the Moreton Bay fig trees at the chai tent.

Image: Jacquie Manning

But my favourite Sydney market has to be the Carriageworks Farmers’ Market, my local until I moved to Toronto. Sure, it may sometimes get accused of being bougie and expensive, but I love it with all my heart and soul. You can check my bank statements if you don’t believe me.

The market is located in Carriageworks, a multidisciplinary arts centre housed in an old train maintenance warehouse in Sydney’s inner west. The space is unique and industrial, and means you can check out the latest exhibitions while you enjoy your flat white and bacon and egg roll.

 Image: Lee Samantha

My favourite organic veggie stall is run by Kurrowong Organic Farms. I could wax lyrical about their broccoli and don’t even get me started on their peaches during stone fruit season.

Other notable producers are Pepe Seya Dairy, known for their cultured butter, which graces the tables of many a Sydney fine dining restaurant, and Bread and Butter Project, a social enterprise that makes awesome sourdough bread (the whey and rye is my favourite) and trains refugees as bakers.

Image: Daniel Linnet  

The market also hosts many established eateries, including Kylie Kwong, Lankan Filling Station and Cornersmith, who’ve set up stalls to tempt the foodie crowds. There are often public workshops during market hours and a few times a year Carriageworks curates a night market with Sydney’s top restaurants and bars, often with a theme.

Suffice to say that next time I’m in Sydney I’ll be heading straight to Carriageworks Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning to catch up with my friends over some tasty treats.

Do you have a favourite farmers’ market in Australia not mentioned? Do you have a favourite farmers’ market elsewhere abroad? Let us know in the comments below!  

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