Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published February 11th 2014
Fresh and delicious local produce plus gourmet treats
Maybe it's the popularity of cooking shows. Maybe it's the longing for a more sustainable lifestyle, or the desire to support farmers. Maybe it's just a matter of taste. Whatever the reason, many people are seeking out fresh food from local producers, and finding that the best place to do this is a local market like the Kalamunda Farmers Market. From a modest beginning, this market has been so successful that it's been featured on national TV and won a silver medal in Perth's 2012 tourist awards.
Every Sunday morning the Central Mall fills with stalls offering a great variety of fruit, vegetables, honey, seafood and other gourmet foodstuffs. It's a foodie paradise with the stallholders happy to chat about their products, offer samples and even provide cooking tips.
I hadn't been to the market for some time so I decided to browse before doing some serious shopping. It's never a good idea to shop on an empty stomach so I happily sampled a few slices of apple and stone fruit, followed by a sliver of traditional cake from The Honeycake stall.
The helpful folks at the information booth explained that not all vendors are there every week but the latest information could always be found on the Facebook page. They also sold me a raffle ticket for a Harvest Hamper full of market goodies - a bargain at $2 even though I didn't win. The market encourages people to bring their own bags but if you've forgotten yours you can buy a sturdy hessian bag with the market logo.
My first purchase was a litre of Sunnydale Dairy milk. This milk comes from Guernsey cows and is bottled in glass for taste and ease of recycling. The milk is not homogenised meaning the cream rises to the top. Even the low-fat milk is creamy and sweet and I enjoyed it all week on my breakfast cereal.
Then it was on to the fruit and veg section where I saw kale at $3 for a large bunch. Kale is the latest superfood and I'd never tried it, but at that price it seemed the time had come to experiment with green smoothies or kale chips.
This was an unplanned visit so my purchases were only a fraction of what I might normally buy. The range of products is large and includes artisan breads, tea and coffee, jams, pickles, nuts and more. There was also a garden stall selling very healthy-looking vegetable and herb seedlings and The Pea Straw Man nearby with bales for mulch.
Every week the market features entertainment and information from local community groups. During my recent visit the Fire Brigade was offering advice on bushfire safety and a folk duo was performing. As well, takeaway treats, local cafes and a bouncy castle for the children make a visit so much more enjoyable than a suburban shopping trip.