Buy fresh food from the grower with over 100 stalls
The Capital Farmers Market is held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) every Saturday between 7:30am - 11:30am.
Run by the Rotary Club in Hall, it is a popular market with a constant line of cars pouring in and plenty of parking on the fields near the market. With the number of people arriving and the people walking out with bags stuffed to the hilt, you know it is going to be a market full of quality produce at good prices.
The Farmers Market has over 100 stalls every week and an average of 6,000 people attending. Some of the stalls are located outside however most are inside under cover, so the weather doesn't play a big part in the market each week.
The market sells meat, seafoods, bread and baked goods, honey, nuts, chocolates, wine, cheeses and more - all straight from the grower or maker.
As you walk inside the huge variety of food on offer hits you, with a bustling market atmosphere and smells to awaken your senses. If you weren't hungry before, you soon will be with people walking out eating pies, sausage rolls, danishes, and samples of pizza. It is a good idea to arrive with an empty stomach.
Gumtree Pies was a popular spot for a second breakfast, or you can buy the variety of pies by the box to take home and have for dinner. For $6 a pie, or 6 pies for $30 the stall was packed, with customers walking away with boxes piled high. You need to get there early for this stall, as a lot of favourites had sold out by half way through the market.
Another busy pie stall was Pie Day, "A Paddock to Pie Enterprise" with all their ingredients coming from their farm in Tharwa or close by. With pies including Organic Butter Chicken, Kampot Pepper Steak and Lamb Mint, it was another stall which had customers walking out with boxes to take home for future meals. It was good to see some interesting vegetarian options such as Beetroot, Feta and Pistachio Pie on the list. If you like their pies, they also have a food truck at The Hamlet, in Lonsdale Street in Braddon.
It was the sausage rolls that got my attention however, as they were some of the biggest I have seen. There are lamb or beef sausage rolls to choose from and you could taste every ingredient in these home-made monsters.
The fresh meat from the butcher stalls from local farms is competitively priced, with several stalls to choose from. One of them is Gilmore Braes Heritage Beef, which have their farm in Batlow in NSW - two and a half hours from Canberra. They raise free range and grass fed Scottish Highland Cattle and you can learn more about what you are eating when you chat to the stallholders at the markets.
Capital Region Framers Market also sells fresh seafood, with stalls from Batemans Bay and other parts of the South Coast, such as Narooma Seafood Direct. With such a variety of meat and seafood at market prices, we will be returning with the largest esky we can find next time, like the rest of Canberra it seems.
There is a huge range of fresh breads available from a number of stalls, including Bush Breads of Australia, which was particularly popular with their breads, sweet slices, buns, spring rolls, pies, sausage rolls, dips and croissants on the table.
This market brings the grower and the customer together, so you can learn more about the product, how to cook it or look after what you are buying. These markets have been running since 2004, and it is refreshing to learn that all the money raised by the stallholders goes directly to the Rotary Club of Hall and reinvested into community projects. For a full list of stallholders see here.
After moving to Canberra last year, our family can't believe we waited this long to experience The Capital Region Farmers Market. With so much choice on offer, as well as tastings available, you are sure to find something there to enjoy or take home.
Taste test delicious pizzas at La Pizza Cucina, which are vacuum sealed to stay fresh for you to take home and enjoy. Source: Capital Region Farmers Market website
Why? For a fun morning out buying produce where you can meet the grower or maker.
When:7:30am - 11:30am every Saturday. The Market is not held on selected Saturday’s throughout the year including the Christmas new year period, SummerNats, The Royal Canberra Show and The National Folk Festival
Phone:Market Manager (General and stallholder enquiries):0400 852 227