Are you looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly-baked bread, seafood from the trawlers, fresh meat from the farm and home-made produce that is full of flavour? Then you really can't go past the traditional Farmers Market. Each weekend all around Australia, people are waking up early, throwing their recycle bags in the back of the car and visiting their local Farmers Market to support local growers and stock up their fridge with colourful, vitamin-enriched foods. Many of us enjoy knowing where our food is coming from, so being able to talk to the growers makes us informed about the quality of food we are putting into our bodies. You can taste the difference!
Here in Canberra we have two large Farmers Markets on either side of the city - so depending where you live, or where you are staying, they are both one-stop-shops for all things fresh and delicious. You don't get this kind of colour at the supermarket...
Fresh fruit and vegetables, straight form the grower
The Capital Region Farmers Market is the most popular Farmers Market in Canberra, located on the north side of Canberra at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC). It is held every Saturday morning between 7:30am - 11:30am, so get there early with the locals for the most choice! This market is run by the Rotary Club of Hall and has over 100 stalls to browse each Saturday. Shop for fruit, vegetables, bread, pies, plants, seafood, baked goods, gourmet foods, dog treats, local meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, small goods and much more. Approximately 6,000 people attend this market each week! See here for a directory. For a full article on the Capital Region Farmers Market, see here.
Take a look at the You Tube clip below and meet some of the growers from around the Canberra region.
The Southside Farmers Market is held every Sunday in Phillip, between 8am and 11:30am. As this market is held the day after the Capital Region Farmers Market above, you often see the same traders who come to Canberra for the weekend to sell at both markets. This large market has many different areas to explore, with fruit, vegetables, breads, pastries, eggs and takeaway food to enjoy on the day such as coffee, pancakes, home-made porridge and locally-made pies. Our family love this market for their apples, apple juice, fresh seafood and particularly good vegetable plant stall, whose vegetable plants thrive in our veggie patch every time. Over 3,000 people visit this market each Sunday! See here for details. For a full article on the Southside Farmers Market, see here.
Fruit, vegetables, plants, bread, baked goods, meat, eggs and much more at the Southside Farmers Market
As well as these two Farmers Markets on either side of the city, there are also two permanent fresh food markets that are only open later in the week and on weekends. They are located in Belconnen in the north and Fyshwick in the south and are Canberra's "original" farmers markets.
Belconnen Fresh Food Markets has been selling locally-grown food in Canberra since 1976, supporting local famers and businesses for over 40 years. It is open between Wednesday and Sunday and has 30 specialty stores which sell fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, breads and more. This market is located conveniently under cover, so you can shop easily in all weather. See here for details. For a full article on Belconnen Fresh Food markets, see here.
Fresh fish from the South Coast
... as well as well-priced fruit and vegetables, seafood and bakery items
Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, on the south side of Canberra, is also a permanent and long-standing market in the community. This market is open between Thursday and Sunday and is laid out in a U-shape, with open shopfronts around the outside and parking in the middle. Walk around the perimeter under cover and shop for fish, meat, vegetables, nuts, cheese, local wines and more. There are also many cafes to choose from, if you wish to stay for a meal. This is an enjoyable, bustling market to walk around, with green grocers often calling out their latest specials. See here for details. For a full article on the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, see here.
These are the four biggest and most popular Farmers Markets in Canberra, however if you have another favourite market, shop or outlet that supports local growers, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your tip. Once you buy fresh from the Farmers Markets, it is hard to go back - the apples are juicier, the carrots are crunchier and the tomatoes explode with flavour in your mouth. As well as being good for shopping, they are also social places to meet up with friends, stop for a gourmet lunch or try something new. Why don't you visit your local market this weekend?
Do your shopping and meet up with friends for lunch at the markets! (Photo taken at Deli Planet, Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets)