When and Where?
A wonderful way to spend a couple of hours while stocking up on some of the best produce you will find anywhere in Australia is to go to the Byron Bay Farmers’ Market. Held every Thursday morning from 8 am to 11 am on the Butler Street Reserve, the markets deliver so much more than wonderful fruit and vegetables.
What can you buy?
The answer? Almost anything, providing it’s in season or freshly made and comes from the Northern Rivers. Of course, regular market goers look for their favourite things: amazing marinated olives, Tenterfield lamb, decadent offerings from the Byron Muffin Man and the French Patisserie, fresh Ballina prawns, piping hot samosas, Bangalow sweet pork, dry land rice from Nimbin, cheese from Burringbar, beef from Casino, a freshly brewed latte, fruit and vegetables and so much more! This week I restrained myself: I bought carrots that smelled like carrots and broccoli that had been picked that morning. Just putting them in my basket made me feel ten times healthier. I noticed that the apple man from Stanthorpe was there. I read their family story.
Then I tasted and filled my basket with apples and pears. Will my selection last long enough to make an apple tart? Mmm … maybe not. I bought some more just to make sure.
Some fresh silver beet and shallots and I was nearly done. I bought freshly cut pumpkin and the stall holder gave a great tip. Cover your cut pumpkin with a paper towel and it will keep for ages. I also purchased tomatoes and capsicums from Hayter’s Hill Tomatoes.
Veggie Lasagne will definitely be on the menu this week! A loaf of sourdough from Heartbreads and my basket was full.
And then there was more!
Purchases completed, I could turn my attention to the entertainment on offer. There was a young indi trio whose original songs were very engaging.
Further down the market, was an older entertainer whose guitar work was amazing.
I love it when someone does something new with a song that you know well. It’s like meeting an old, rejuvenated friend. I reflect that talent doesn’t reside only with the young but also with the young at heart.
No market day is ever exactly the same. The performers change and the offerings change with the seasons. New stall holders appear often with unusual produce to sample. Besides wanting to feel more connected to the food we eat, I think that is part of the reason,we enjoy farmers’ markets so much. What do you think?