One of my absolute favourite things to do on a Saturday morning is to visit a Farmer’s Market. Wandering around the stalls, buying beautiful fresh vegetables, fruit, bread and other goodies, drinking a coffee, listening to a live band and eating something sinful … it just doesn’t get any better.
My absolute favourite is the Matakana Farmers Market, right in the centre of Matakana village. I just adore the atmosphere at this market, somehow I am transformed into the crystal wearing, basket carrying, folk singing bohemian earth mama that I long to be.
At Matakana they, of course, have an incredible selection of organic fruit, veggies, breads, and other lovely food stuffs - as farmers markets do. But there are all sorts of little extras - organic buckwheat crepes made by Rainbow Valley Farm students, amazing mustards, whitebait and mussell fritters, freshly made vietnamese spring rolls, gourmet beers - its foody heaven. And to top it all off, you can then take your goodies, get a coffee and sit down by the river, listening to a wonderful live band.
Sadly, Matakana is nearly 2 hours away from where I live, so visits there are a special treat.
For my weekly fix I head to Oratia Farmers Market, which is newer and not quite as large as Matakana, but still fabulous. I was there this morning, and as you can see in the photo I brought home a rather delicious haul - apples, pears, plums, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, courgettes, capsicums, eggplants and some stunning bread - and I spent less than $20. I think that is incredibly good value, especially given that the majority of the produce is organic.
I managed to resist the temptation to try the icecream, and our ‘budget of doom’ meant I couldn’t buy the salmon, freshly made pasta or gourmet olive oils … but it was lovely to look.
Buying from authentic Farmer’s Markets means you are buying fresh, local produce. Supporting local farmers you are making alternatives to the big name retailers viable.
Its ethical, its sustainable, and the food tastes better. What more could you ask for?
For a list of Farmers Markets in New Zealand visit www.farmersmarkets.org.nz
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