Sunday, 16 January 2011

Gasworks farmers market

Farmers markets are wonderful but the window of opportunity is small. I didn't visit them much last year. Weekends were crazy with Sylvia's swimming lessons on Saturday mornings when many of the markets are held. I hope this year might be a better one for us with farmers markets. We have visited them the last two weekends. This weekend we went to the Gasworks Farmers Market in Albert Park.

The weather was perfect but E had the car. So Sylvia and I hopped on a train and a tram and made it to the other side of the river. My sense of direction let me down and the tram driver was helpful but clueless about the markets. Fortunately we could depend on the kindness of strangers. (Thank you young man who showed us the way!)

I was surprised how large the market is (after visiting Williamstown farmers market last week - more on that another time). This market is more the size of Collingwood children's farm farmers market. There were lots of interesting pockets of stalls but I enjoyed this one by the redbrick of the old gasworks where I found a fruit bun for Sylvia. This made her content to sit in the pram while I browsed and made a few small purchases. She didn't even notice that I bought some of her favourite vegetable, broccoli.

But my main aim was to find some apricots because the ones I bought at Williamstown last weekend were so amazing. I am so used to ignoring bland hard or soggy apricots in the supermarket but these ones are just like the ones I got off my nan's tree as a child. They don't last long - either a good appetite or mould will rid you of them within a handful of days. What a joy to find real apricots that are filled with flavour and juice.

There were lots of fruit and vegetable stalls. We were unfortunately too late to buy any raspberries but there was lots of stone fruit and rhubarb. I was also peckish. I was tempted by vegetable curry wraps, chocolate muffins and almond croissants. I sampled jam, dried fruit, and crackers with rosemary and pink sea salt.

Then I found that orange juice icy poles were sold in not one but two stalls. A brilliantly simple way to sell orange juice in summer. I had one and had almost finished it when a dog stuck its face in Sylvia's causing her to howl in fear. It wasn't easy taking her out of the pram with the remains of my icy pole. The place was full of dogs and children. We sat and watched the Little Feet musical entertainment for kids for a while.

Then we moved on to make a few last purchases before leaving. Fresh fenugreek and watercress were a few of the foods you don't normally see in the shops. This friendly service at this stall was also something no supermarket would ever offer. I liked being offered a variety of spring onions - large, medium and small - and the complementary sprig of parsley in my bunch of watercress.

Then Sylvia and I left via this little park of gum trees and mosquitoes. Sylvia played with gum leaves while I swatted the mosquitoes. Unfortunately dolly's nose will never be the same after being dragged along this brick wall but it was a pleasant place to relax a while. The beach is only a short walk away. We wandered by on the way back to the tram but had to leave it for another day.

Here is my haul (which had to be limited given that I had to lug a stroller and the goodies on and off a tram and a train). Pink fir lady potatoes, goats cheese and sundried tomato ravioli, fresh apricots, spring onions, sundried tomato and olive bread, broccoli, watercress, and dried apricots. I hope to return to this farmers market for more warm fuzzy feelings soon.

Gasworks Farmers Market
Gasworks Arts Park
21 Graham Street, Albert Park
Tel: Gasworks Reception - 03 8606 4200
8:30am - 1:00pm, 3rd Saturday of every month
Website: http://www.mfm.com.au/content/gasworks-albert-park

20 comments:

  1. Such lovely pictures and what a great market. The sign that says "fresh fenugreek" caught my eye- I love fenugreek and wish more local farmers would grow it here.

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  2. This farmer's market sounds awesome! Such a wide variety of goods and treats.

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  3. The farmer's market is what I miss most about summer during the winters in Chicago!

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  4. It sounds like you had a lovely day and what a haul indeed. I yearn for all your lovely ripe summer fruit just now :)

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  5. What a wonderful haul! Here in the UK most of our farmers' markets tend to switch to selling honey, bread and cakes in the winter. To see such vibrant offerings makes me mildly envious but happy to know there is green out there, somewhere!

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  6. What a wonderful market!! And fresh fenugreek? oh my how wonderful!

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  7. Hey Johanna you've just been tweeted- thought you'd like to know :)

    "RT @VicFarmrsMarkts: Whether dedicated regular or never been to Gasworks FM, blog by Green Gourmet Giraffe is gorgeous http://bit.ly/gSWEqn"

    Wondering what the fresh fenugreek smelt like - the dried stuff is definitely "goaty" but I'd imagine the leaf could be a lot nicer?

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  8. Going to farmers markets is something that I have to do more of this year. You probably know about it already, but this website is really helpful for finding out where farmers markets are on in Victoria - http://vicmarkets.blogspot.com/

    Also thought I would let you know about a muesli giveaway on my blog at the moment, it ends in a couple of days and there aren't many entries so far, so your odds are good!

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  9. I love the farmers market and get to them about twice a month. I love the fresh fenugreek. Bought some and made curry!

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  10. But, Johanna, were these fresh apricots as magical? I do hope so! That icypole looks perfect for a summer's day. In fact, I can even imagine eating it, orange and all! :D

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  11. That packet of dried apricots looks like some I got from the market at Abbotsford Convent a few months back. If so, I know they're incredible! I poached them with some other dried fruit I picked up for a kind of Winter fruit salad/compote thing and it was the bomb. This market looks great - worth the trip across the river? It's gotta be good for (no car/lazy) me to cross.

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  12. Hey Johanna - I was there too on such a glorious day & in fact that's me in your second to last photo in the park! I am about to head home (Elwood) via the seafront with my Jack Russell Billie in tow (the very special weiner mobile)...am cooking up a Gasworks feast this week - you should venture to St. Kilda's as it is a good one too and you can visit the Vegout Community Garden (where I have a plot)....

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  13. I love farmers markets! You always get the best produce there and so fresh too. Plus I don't know why but I love buying directly from the farmers themselves :)

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  14. I just LOVE farmers markets! and am super excited when I find rhubarb, its sometimes hard to get a good bunch. Supermarket rhubarb is usually old and crusty so I try and buy mine at farmers market. I have started to judge farmers markets on how good they are by whether or not they have rhubarb, sad I know :)
    Good to know this one passed the test ;-)

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  15. Thanks Nupur - I almost bought some of the fresh fenugreek but was so blank about how I would use it

    Thanks Joanne - yes it is a good one - shame it is so far away

    Thanks Maris - glad you can look forward to it coming back in summer - even though it must seem far away in the depth of winter

    Thanks Jacqueline - always lovely to get outside and come home with lots of goodies

    Thanks English Vegan - yes it is always nice to know there is green in the world - even if yours has spent a lot of time under the snow :-)

    Thanks Lisa - yes must work out how to use it if I see it again

    Thanks AOF - nice to know that is where the traffic is coming from - and I didn't smell the fenugreek - another missed opportunity but hopefully next time I will bury my nose in the stuff :-)

    Thanks Tara - yes that is the url I often go to - it is a great resource

    Thanks Penny - that is great if you are able to get to farmers markets that often - so much nicer shopping there - and lots of fenugreek opportunities

    Thanks Hannah - lovely apricots - maybe a frozen apricot nectar icy pole would be better for you - if only they sold such wonders!

    Thanks Lexi - lots of similar stalls to abbotsford - in fact they seem to on a rotation with them and collingwood and st kilda - so if you can get to abbotsford easier you can go there but gasworks has the added attraction of the beach afterwards and a nice vibe

    Thanks Duncan - wish I had recognised you and I would have said hello though sylvia probably would have distracted me anyway - cool weiner mobile - I was admiring it - must try and get to st kilda market this year as it is another one I have been wanting to visit

    Thanks Food Mentalist - yes I have bought rhubarb at farmers markets and supermarkets and there is a huge difference in quality - I like your yard stick for farmers markets - now I will be checking out that there is rhubarb and thinking of you :-)

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  16. Those apricots sound amazing and how wonderful to eat them straight off the tree. Can't believe how blue that sky is - you can just tell by the colour it's not the UK. Albert Park is where we spent our two weeks in Melbourne - a nice very nice area we thought.

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  17. I hope to go to more farmers' market thiss year as well!! Have been far too busy to spend time in one...

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  18. Sounds like a lovely day was had by all. I really want to get to the Farmers Marckets this year too - hope we have lovely blue skies like you did ;0)

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  19. Thanks Choclette - apricots off the tree are amazing - my mum was telling me they stop producing sugar when they are picked so those from cold storage just don't taste the same - Albert Park would be a wonderful place to stay - you would have loved the market

    Thanks Anh - hope you get some farmers market time this year

    Thanks Chele - really appreciated some blue skies - ours have been so grey lately - hope you have some glorious farmers market weather too

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  20. Oh wow.. am loving the look of that icy pole... I wonder if they do snowcones as well? Do they? I have to go check out the farmers market too!

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