There is nothing more enjoyable than a Farmers’ Market where you can meet the grower, the maker, the ardent foodie or the brains behind the produce. As one of Victoria’s longest running FM’s The Boroondara Farmers’ Market is always a delight to visit but my true joy is meeting the stallholders who are passionate about their creations. Their journey, their stories, their wares are always the best part for me.
Like many Farmers’ Markets this one offers a diverse range of produce from across the state with the usual seasonal produce, eggs, honey, bread but also licorice, organic tea, kiwi fruit the size of berries (oh so delicious) and olives / olive oil. The handmade pasta, jams, pastry items, dog biscuits are all part of this wonderful market.
The only reason I stopped at Flavour Station (above) was the offer of reduced prices as it was nearing closing time. I’m not a big cake person but I was having 10 teenagers invade my house that day and thought these might be a good buy. The chocolate cake was a huge hit and I asked the teenagers if they could taste the beetroot that has been added to replace sugar and they couldn’t and then started on the carrot cake. I was told I can slice the cake before freezing so tried this and it worked so I can now just take one piece each day for a snack in the afternoon at work. You can find more information about Flavour Station from their Facebook page here.
Who can resists food cooked in front of you that smells fantastic and tastes even better? With three teenage vegetarians visiting and a fan of falafels myself, I tried a few samples (yum) so quickly snapped up a couple of packets to take home. I can tell you that later that day I was getting ‘wows’ from my diners. These falafels and veggie patties are all-natural and gluten free. I didn’t try the chicken products that were available but I’m excited to test them out next time especially because of how they allow the chickens to roam stress-free are hormone free and are slow roasted. You can find more information about Bite Me here.
I spoke with Peter from Greece who is the owner of Nicolas Olive Estate, an olive grower from Dimboola whose magical cold pressed olive oils and Kalamata olives are a must buy. The Nicolas family come from Gargaliani, Kalamata where they have grown olives for three generations. Here in Australia, they have over 21,000 olive trees which were planted in 1945 and its a testament to Peter’s commitment to his business that he’s able to keep is produce free from chemicals and sprays. Popular with restaurants and cafes, Nicolas olives have been favoured by Jamie Oliver and Guy Grossi. You can read more about their beginnings here.
Uncle John’s Licorice is hand-made from licorice root and molasses which has a lovely texture and taste. It’s smooth and more importantly – fresh. I guess if you’ve been making it for over 30 years then you’ve probably got it right by now. You can find more information about UJL here.
Accredited with the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA), the Boroondara Farmers’ Market this is a regular must visit place on your calendar. There are plenty of samples to test out – my favourite on this visit was the kiwi fruit the size of berries.
If you haven’t filled up on the samples, indulge yourself with a good coffee, pastries or some freshly squeezed juice.
There are a couple of stalls that sell special treats for dogs and on this day I spoke with the owner of Pawprintz who make all natural dog biscuits and dehydrated meat, fish or vegetarian treats. Where possible they endeavour to source organic and all ingredients are ‘human grade’. You can find more information about Pawprintz here.
As I was finishing my shopping I stopped at Yumm Tastes mostly because the display was so stunning. I am a lover of condiments but have plenty in my cupboards and fridge but the colour of the packaging caught my eye and then of course I taste tested some and that was it – I bought Thai Zing, Kinsei & Traditional. No artificial colours or preservatives. You can find more information about Yumm Tastes here which also has recipes to go with their products.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can register your interest and book a stall by ringing 03 9844 4495 on weekdays during business hours only. Or try their Facebook page here. Please ask about start times, size of your stall and conditions. Telephone: 9278 4444 firstname.lastname@example.org
OPENING HOURS: 8am to 1pm. Operates the third and fifth Saturday of every month.
LOCATION: Patterson Reserve, Auburn Road , Hawthorn East on
PARKING: The best parking is in Auburn Road, parallel with the Reserve. There are plenty of parks on the west and east side of Auburn Road and there are no parking fees.
TRANSPORT: For information on trains and trams please visit PTV here.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good disabled access however, as it’s on grass beware when it’s wet as it may be a little boggy.
ATM: The nearest ATM is some distance away so suggest you bring enough cash. Please bring small notes as it’s problematic if everyone brings $50’s. Many stallholders have EFTPOS and credit card facilities.
ENTRANCE FEE: $2 donation is used by the Rotary Club of Glenferrie to fund various activities and projects.
DOGS: Permitted on a leash and under the owners control. I was fortunate enough to meet Otto the Hungarian Vizsla and his owners. Gorgeous pup.
FOOD: Pastries, coffee, organic sausages, baked goods. The closest cafe is some distance from the Reserve, so enjoy the stallholders wares.
TOILET FACILITIES: There is a hockey ground north of the Reserve and there are public toilets there. Here you will find toilet facilities.
On Facebook – Boroondara Farmers Market
On Instagram – Boroondara Farmers Market
Twitter – @BoroondaraFM
Website: Melbourne Farmers Markets
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the Boroondara Farmers’ Market. Likes, dislikes, tasty treats you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.