Although Southern Queensland is not to far away, many of us don't get the chance to high-tail-it-outta-the-city and get away from it all; to taste that crisp country air and get lost in the moment, forgetting deadlines, housework, and homework, and instead, savouring seasonal produce and squeezing in a cheeky glass of vino on the way.
Southern Queensland Country presents Autumn on James from Friday 14th - Sunday 16th March when the James Street precinct of Fortitude Valley will transform into a virtual orchard with deciduous trees and fresh seasonal produce brought fresh from the farms. Bringing that special taste of the country right to our city-slickin' door step!
Rustic bins and honesty tins - James St transforms into an Autumnal avenue - image courtesy Wikipedia Cabbage Market by Vaclav Maly
The big day will, no doubt, be Saturday when Adam Liaw from SBS Destination Flavour and Masterchef fame, teams up with the James St Cooking School for hourly cooking demonstrations "Perfectly Seasoned", on the hour from 11am - 3pm. These will be held outside the James St Market where Adam's infectious love of food and local produce will inspire a renewed enthusiasm for all the fabulous things from this region.
Farm fresh produce on our city-slickin' door step - image courtesy SQC Facebook page
From 10am - 2pm on Saturday the 15th, Centro on James will play host to Market Day, with stalls lining the street selling fresh, seasonal produce and authentic country wares.
Across the entire 3 days, in the lane-ways between Calexico Boutique and Witchery, artisan producers and growers from some of Queensland's most abundant regions - including the Granite Belt, Southern Downs, Toowoomba, the Darling Downs, South Burnett, and the Western Country - will be touting their wares in rustic carts. These "farm-gate" stalls will be overflowing with just-picked and homemade seasonal produce, and there will even be honesty boxes to pay for what you choose, so make sure you bring plenty of cash and coins!
Homemade in Southern Queensland - image courtesy SQC Facebook page
There will be wine tastings from acclaimed local wineries from the region and these can be sampled at Cru Bar on Saturday and Sunday. There are some stirling wines winning all sorts of awards so make sure you can sneak a sip while the rest of family are meandering through the markets.
Many of the local James St restaurants will be using Southern Queensland produce to serve up wonderfully inspired signature dishes to tempt and please. A highlight will surely be Gerad's Bistro for their Sunday BBQ where you'll be able to get yourself on the outside of some free range pork - reared right in the Granite Belt.
What a lovely way to herald the change of seasons; the weather just beginning to turn, it's time to leave the beach (for a little while), and get social amongst the stalls. Nothing says community more than a farmers market and this one will be a great celebration of our Southern Queensland growers.
You can find more details of each day's events here.
So bring the whole family to the country in the city this March 14th - 16th, it will be a delightful weekend indeed.