My husband and I run a small mixed farm on the Mornington Peninsula. You can check us out online at heritagefarm.com.au or in person at our fortnightly tours
Published December 3rd 2012
Worth visiting regardless of the weather
Red Hill Community Market, run by Craft Markets Australia, is on the first Saturday of each month during the warmer part of the year. From September to May, the markets begin at 8am and finish at 1pm.
Red Hill Community Market, unlike Red Hill Farmers Market sells more than just produce. With everything from crispy calamari to adult sized onesies, this market is widely considered the best in Melbourne.
Well and truly worth a gander, the market is crowded even in the rain! Market entry is free, so you've got nothing to lose in having a look. Parking is $4 unfortunately, but there's a way around this if you're lucky.
Are you ready for my super-awesome-local-tip? There's an op-shop just opposite the market. It has its own parking area of about six spaces, and is totally free. I know, it only saves you $4, but that's a kilo of beautiful apples, or a bar of handmade soap inside...
So, you've taken my awesome advice, you're at the market, and now you want some tips: what stalls are not to be missed.
I buy my tea from Red Hill Market. My current favourite is called Liven Up, and is spearmint and sweet licorice root. I buy from The Functional Beverage Co. who are at every market. They're organic, fair-trade, and simply delicious. John was manning the stall last time I went. He's always happy to chat about where he gets his herbs from (all over!). The teas are then blended in our very own Yarra valley. Missed him at the market? Check out their website and try their scrumptious tea anyway!
Cider is also a regular on my shopping list at the market. Seven Oaks Cider is made on the Mornington Peninsula, from apples grown on the same farm. Lisa Cresswell produces 6000 litres of cider per year and we were lucky enough to have a chat with her on market day. She recommended their prize winning Kingston Black: a cider that is well balanced, but a little too dry and tart for my tastes. I much prefer their sweeter range.
The best thing about the Seven Oaks stall is that you can taste their ciders before you buy, much like you would with a wine tasting. Also like at a wine tasting, the people working on the stall are incredibly helpful, and can talk you through which of the ciders you may like. This is important given that Seven Oaks uses an extraordinary 29 apple varieties that were traditionally used in French and English cider!
I also adore the Mornington Sea Glass stall. Their jewellery is made from sea glass that has been collected locally, or during their holidays. Perfect as a gift at any time of year, but especially at christmas, I highly recommend having a chat to Amanda or Paul at their stall. Their sales also contribute to the Dolphin Research Institute. Their work is inspired by their love of the sea, and they want it to remain a beautiful ecosystem.
Do you need more information? Need to know what other delights await you at the Red Hill Market? Put it in your diaries folks. The best way for you know what it's like is for you to go your selves.