Fresh, local, seasonal produce – the best!

Whilst at Kureelpa, over January, my friend Margaret McCaughey, gave me a lovely book called ‘The Shed: the cookbook’, written by Richard, Oliver and Gregory Gladwin, and is all about the foraging, growing and cooking of local and seasonal food, right in the heart of London, at their restaurant in Notting Hill. It is a great book and portrays what many Australian chefs are also doing; some have been doing this quietly for years, such as Serge Dansereau in Sydney.

My food philosophy has always been to eat local food in season.
Eating in harmony with the seasons connects us to a healthy rhythm of life. Food tastes best, at its peak, in its season. This means we enjoy a wide variety of foods when they are at their best – flavoursome and full of vitamins.
Each new season has its produce strengths and so cooking with fresh seasonal produce, when the food is at its best, is simply common sense. Nature’s changing seasons allow us to vary our diet beautifully, gives us something to anticipate and savour.

With limited space at Cooking on the Bay, I have created my own balcony herb garden, which supplies most of my cooking school herbs, plus a few vegetables. It always excites me to see the garden flourish and to pick the fresh herbs before class.

My recent garlic crop supplied us fragrant new season’s garlic.

Shopping at the many Farmers’ markets around Melbourne and Australia is a great way to ensure you are buying produce which is fresh, usually organic, local and in season. Read about the Melbourne and the French Market scene in Market day – every day – here as well as in France in Tonya’s Musings.

Yandina Farmers’ Market Sunshine Coast
The closest farmers’ market to Kureelpa, is a quaint little ‘authentic’ market at Yandina and whenever we are here on a Saturday, Michael and I go. We have the Cricket Club barbeque breakfast, and eat it while watching the local cricket teams. I feel like I am in ‘Midsommer’. This is great little market, and we buy our weekly supply of fruit and vegetables, superb tomatoes pineapples bananas, sometimes some fish, prawns and calamari tubes, Fromart and Maleny cheeses, delicious local, organic meats, wonderful sweet, fresh local honey, directly from the bee-keeper, who is always on for a chat. The spice man supplies me with most of the seeds and spices I use at Cooking on the Bay.

We buy our herbs from the plant stalls, plus lots of herbs, trees and shrubs for the garden. Last November, I bought some sorrel seedlings and I have been making chilled a sensational sorrel soup. It is a wonderful rich green colour and tastes delicious.

Noosa Farmers’ Market

This market is held every Sunday, and when at Kureelpa, I often pop in to buy some of the produce available there. Last night, I stayed for a sleep over with my ‘London’ friends, Margaret and Terry, in Sunshine Beach. We all rise early up here, and so, at 6am we are awake and off we go to the market for some delicious produce and breakfast.

We arrive around 7am and the place is humming with people everywhere. I bought some deliciously ripe lady finger bananas, bright red tomatoes, some salad greens, carrots, beetroots and other bits. There are countless stalls, including the fishmonger, Spanner Crabs Noosa, Richard Mohans, the grower of my pimento de padrones,

which I love and, when available, we cook in the Mediterranean classes. Wonderful breads, relishes, pastes, salts and a fabulous bottle of ….as a present for my friend when I visit for lunch tomorrow.

Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association

You may like to read the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association weekly bulletin about what is available in the markets over the weekend. This association, the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association, supports and promotes authentic farmers’ markets throughout Victoria.

These authentic farmers’ markets operate regularly at various locations around Melbourne and Victoria. They provide a perfect environment for farmers and food producers to sell their farm origin product and their associated value added primary products directly to us customers.

Each week they email newsletter with which markets are operating over the weekend and where they are located. Plus there is a list of the fruit and vegetables in season, some information on some of the producers and usually a recipe made by a producer using her produce.

You may like to register and receive this useful and informative newsletter – it is a good read.

My local market is Veg Out St Kilda Framer’s Market which is held on the first and third Saturday of each month.

The Slow Food Market is held on the last Saturday each month at the Abbotsford Convent, 8am – 1pm.

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:33+11:00 March 5th, 2015|Farmers' Markets, Food, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Fresh, local, seasonal produce – the best!

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