Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published August 10th 2020
The freshest ingredients still on offer at local markets
I don't know about you, but I adore my local markets. You get the freshest produce straight from the grower or maker. It also supports the local community and the local people who are passionate about their produce, such as beekeepers, jam makers, veggie growers and so many more.
We need to help keep these small makers and growers going strong. Especially, as the big stores seem to be controlling the ebb and flow of produce and goods and charging sometimes three times the amount for specific products, even though there is no supply shortage. Yes, we did have a small hoarding time, but we can feed over 75 million people in Australia. Products we normally ship overseas, we would retain here. Also, we make toilet paper, why do we need to horde it?
This is very discouraging when so many people are on little or no income. Every dollar counts. We are saving a fortune on petrol, but we still need to get the best for our money.
But you can still get to your local market. Yes, there are travel restrictions, but as long as you abide by those, you can get to your favourite market. I have been researching to see which markets have still been approved to go ahead and I was quite delighted there were many. I could not list them all, as it is an extensive list, but I can a least give a guideline to the rules at the market.
You must wear your mask.
You must still give 1.5 meters till the person beside you. Everyone seems to think, 'I do not need to do this anymore, I have a mask.' THIS IS NOT CORRECT. It is not just the mask that protects you but being out of the breathing range from another person.
You must bring your own bags.
You must abide by the 4 square metre rule.
Some have disallowed dogs.
You may think these rules are not being enforced, but they most certainly are!
I have a close call myself just recently. I went to the shops to pick up essentials. I have had cancer in the past and asthma, so I am extra pedantic about keeping myself safe. I have worn a mask and gloves since almost the beginning of this epidemic. I wear them and more importantly, properly dispose of them. I was at my closest shops and there was a man coming out of the burger shop, headed to the main shops. He was muttering to himself and had his mask off. He changed his direction and started to head toward me.
He seemed determined to come toward me. I have no idea why. I put up my arm and I said, "Stay back, I have had cancer". I then received a stream of verbal abuse and nasty words which I ignored. Thank goodness, still yelling at me, he did turn and head into the local shops and leave me be. The next thing I know, a police car came into the shopping centre car park and proceeded to look for him. The burger shop had already rung them about his totally inappropriate behaviour and abuse. I was very lucky he backed off. But this goes to show how tightly they are policing things and I cannot thank them enough.
We have all had to sacrifice during this time. My family has had to sacrifice our fresh dairy milk and free-range fresh eggs directly from the farmer. I would travel from work in Croydon, once a week, to Launching Place, Tyronne Brown's dairy farm and then next door to Yarra Free Range Eggs farm. So weekly I got the freshest food direct from the farmer. Unfortunately, this is no longer within our allowed distances. It is too far out of my way between work and home. So I am so happy I can still travel to my local market, which has these lovely fresh items.
The silver cloud in the lining is I am saving a huge amount of money on petrol. And I am learning to cook more from scratch. I have learned how to make fresh chicken stock, mushroom risotto and veal scaloppini. I would never have had time before.
Markets that are open with strict guidelines:
Queen Vic Market is open.
The Berwick Farmers Market at the Old Cheese Factory is running once a month the 2nd Saturday of the month.
Dingley Village Farmers Market 15 Aug 2020.
Mulgrave Farmers Market - No dogs, and now doing home delivery.
Bentleigh Farmers Market - 4th Saturday of the Month.
Alphington Farmers Market - Twice a month.
Flemington Farmers Market - 3rd Sunday of the Month.
Eltham Farmers Market - Open every Sunday.
Yes, the list is endless. Many are indeed closed, but they are following the guidelines of the government and their local council as to whether they can operate.
The secret is to check online the direct website for your market. If they are closed, unfortunately, it is back to the shopping centre or better yet, greengrocer.
Be strict with your hygiene, keep yourself safe. This seems to be vastly different than the flu. You feel terrible but you recover quickly after having the flu for two weeks. This pandemic seems to linger and impact your long term health. So I am personally organising my and my family's life around "Safe, not sorry."