The Weekend Wrap – 19 August, 2012

Brrrr, we’ve shivered through another cold and wet weekend here in Melbourne, really it’s getting a bit boring.  Time for Spring to sneak through I think, the blossom on the trees certainly indicates that, but the weather has been decidedly wintry.

My weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market was thankfully child-free for a change and given the conditions this was a real blessing.  I had decided to check out the Gasworks Market in Albert Park  with my sister and a friend for a change.  It was awarded Outstanding Farmer’s Market Award earlier this year by delicious. magazine.  With that in mind I thought it was definitely worth checking out.  So what did I think…. I’m reserving judgement for another visit.  We went on the coldest, wettest Saturday you could imagine and after rain most days for the last week the ground was sodden, squelchy and insanely slippery.  The mud was everywhere.

  

 

 

In the end we did the fastest trip around the stalls, bought whatever looked goodand then sort refuge in a cafe to see just exactly what we’d bought.  As it turned out I bought quite a bit.

   In the haul included another whole chicken, a bag of gorgeous Dutch cream potato (plus a cabbage that the stall holder was begging me to buy at two bucks for a whole cabbage otherwise the cows would get them!  There really weren’t many people there), some amazing prunes – if you’re into prunes which we are – from the Happy Fruit people, ham from Gypsy Pigs – heritage breed pigs, it was very strong in flavour – raspberry jam and mulberry jam, rhubarb (this is the first time she hasn’t sold out before I got there), Swiss brown mushrooms, Green eggs (from near where I grew up, I was very excited to see them) and…. wait for it…. the first tomatoes!  There a few other bits and pieces but that’s the bulk of it.  I did want some honey, but the stall was in such a precarious spot down a slippery slope that I wasn’t game to try and navigate my way there without ending up on my rear end with potatoes and mandarins flying everywhere.

As we were in the area, the cafe we found was right next to the South Melbourne Market.  So after we had warmed up and dried out a little we had a wander around – it’s great, I must go back for a better look one day.  There I picked up some fresh pasta, a handful of prawns and some Parmesan cheese with the last of my grocery budget… how long can a family of four go on two rolls of toilet paper?

What I love most about getting my food from the farmer’s market, aside from the knowledge that it’s organic and local, is planning how best to use the things I buys.  I have much more respect for the meat and the veggies taste so good I want to make them the star of a meal.  So far I’ve made fettuccine carbonara with the ham, tomatoes, eggs and Parmesan and a roast chicken with some of the potatoes plus some carrots, turnips and peas from the garden – the only thing better than farmer’s market food is veggies from the garden!

And what were the girls and Mr Good up to while I was off on a foodies adventure…. whatever it was it must have been exhausting for Miss One to fall asleep half way through lunch.

There wasn’t much on the cards today, except to take my new and very sharp secateurs to my fruit trees now that they have started to bud again.  I should have taken photos, but I didn’t think that far ahead.  I trimmed off the lower branches of the apples trees as well as taking a bit off the top so they don’t get too tall and finally I cut out any branches growing inwards.  This was all on instruction from my mother-in-law who grew up on an apple and pear farm in South Australia.  The plum tree I was a bit more confused about, there are so many tiny branches I wasn’t sure what to cut back and what to leave.  In the end I didn’t do much, a few bottom branches and anything growing inward and a little off the top.  There are still a lot of branches, should I leave it like that or should I thin them down more?  I did, however, keep the bigger apple tree branches thinking I might be able to use them in a trellis for beans or cucumbers or something.

And with that, I’m going to enjoy the rest of Julie and Julia with some dark chocolate and a little crocheting.

 

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8 Responses to The Weekend Wrap – 19 August, 2012

  1. That’s how I feel. Buying from the farmers market is the next best thing to growing you own produce. Sounds like a very wet weekend. I also am looking forward to spring.

  2. I have been able to avoid most foods from the grocery store since the farmers market opened here. Not only does the food taste better, and I’m doing my part to support local people, but it also costs a fraction of the cost the stores charge for a poorer quality food. Here a small container, (less than a cup full) of raspberries costs $3.95 I purchased a whole pint for $4 at the market. I’m going to be very disappointed when it closes end of September.

  3. I love farmer’s markets and that one looks like it is normally fantastic – pity about the weather 😦
    Does remind me of a funny piece of sketch comedy though… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afY4v0y4fL4&sns=em

  4. looks like a beautiful market. Totally over the rain, BORING with a capital B, I’m sure we’ll be pining for it again come summer but enough already for winter, very squelchy round here.

  5. Liz says:

    In answer to the toilet paper question – not long, particularly if one of the family is 2 and thinks its hysterically funny to run down the hall with the end of the roll in one hand, and then spills water over the “train” he’s just made…

  6. Andrea says:

    Your selection of foods from the market look great, $2 for a cabbage a great buy ! Lucky for the store holders there were plenty of buyers like yourself braving the cold and rain……….
    Our farmers markets don’t start until next month after a winter break, the rain has been constant for so many weeks now, all our tanks and dams are full, creeks in flood and water just oozing out of the ground…………….. we do have blossom on our fruit trees too …..one little sign of spring !
    Love the pic of little miss good sure must of been a busy morning.

  7. Farmers markets are the best! Our local markets have a lot of farmers but also a number of people whi get “left overs” from the Brisbane markets where the big vege autions are held for the supermarkets each morning. It can take a while to work out who grew it and who bought it….
    Our markets are huge – proably 300 stalls from junk, to plants, to collectables, to fruit and veg, to massages and haircuts, amway and raleighs. Plenty of home made food and eggs and a number of commercial butchers (the goat guy left as not enough people were buying from him…) We have just had 30 days without rain… Its great after 18 months. I may have to start watering my garden soon! – Kara xx

  8. leduesorelle says:

    We can always tell the committed farmers’ market customers — they come out even in the rain!

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