Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend Market: Gisborne Olde Time Market

One thing about moving to the country is that a whole slew of markets which were previously out of reach are now just a hop, skip and a jump away! Weekend markets and now farmers' markets, have become huge in Victoria, so much so that there is a thick little book for sale which lists hundreds of craft, food and treasure markets across the state.

The change of clocks for daylight saving, meant that we were actually up reasonably early for once and managed to get to this market just as it was opening at 9. When we left 2 hours later, it was absolutely packed; hopefully this will strengthen my resolve to ignore the lure of the warm bed and make it bright and early to other market days!

The Gisborne Olde Time Market (why not "Olde Tyme" I know?) is a mix of crafts and food, plants and toys. Vintage Action Men for $3 next to a poffertjes stand. Kiddiwinks got a salty Bretzel and had to be dragged protesting from the bouncy castle. Figman found a decent local Pinot Noir for $20 and managed to add to the organic herb collection. And me? Not surprisingly, I was mostly weighed down with food! The bread pictured above - a light rye and a dense heavy rye, the kind I've been craving. I grew up with traditional German rye bread and a lot of what passes for rye these days doesn't cut it with me (or the lovely bakerina either)! 2 kilos of oranges, unsprayed and picked just two days ago. A couple of kilos of tomatoes (I contemplated the 10 kilos for $15 box and walked on. Let's face it, was I really going to get around to making sugo?).

Two lovely little jars - lemon pesto and red curry paste from the Flambe preserves range. I haven't tried the curry paste, but the lack of nuts appealed to me as the mother of a toddler. And the lemon pesto - simply amazing. The stallholder told me that the pistachio pesto was her bestseller, but to me the zesty lemon one just sang. This goes up on my list of The Best Things I Put in My Mouth in 2006.

Some of the produce was not particularly local. The nice chap behind the rocky road stand assured me that his confectionery was made locally - in his kitchen in Altona! That bread? Baked in Richmond. And the oranges and their seller came from 350 kilometres away in Swan Hill. I gazed at the orange man in astonishment. "How can that be worthwhile for you?" "As soon as it stops being worthwhile, I'll stop doing it" he replied dryly. I suppose with the orange glut and dumping of 25,000 tonnes in this state recently, $2 a kilo might not be so bad after all.

This particular market only runs from October to May (I know, just when I found it!) but the Gisborne Farmer's Market starts up soon. I've had a flick through the list of local markets and I think we're going to be very well fed around here. And you thought moving to the country would change my ways .... !


At 3:13 PM, Anonymous helen said...

Oh I love farmers markets. The bestest way to start a weekend aren't they?

At 1:30 AM, Anonymous vanessa said...

Sounds like a beautiful market. I can't say that I live in the country, but our fair little city is starting to have a growing farmers market and for that i am extremely thankful. it's nice to see it get bigger and bigger every year.

and yes! it is so helpful to be there early on. you may not to get to sleep in, but there always time for a lazy saturday nap :)

At 9:57 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Helen - yes, they are great. I'm off to another tomorrow, so hopefully it will make deserting the comfy bed worthwhile!

Hi Vanessa - the farmers' market movement has really taken off here and it's such a treat to be able to chat with the producers and taste all their gorgeous stuff!


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