Beneath majestic gum trees on a fresh sunny morning, it's wonderful to shop your heart out at the Toowoomba Farmers Market. This market supports the local farmers who 'do it tough' as Aussies say, meaning that farm life is hard work for little reward. These country markets are also about choice in fresh seasonal produce, locally grown meats and live animals in a rustic setting. Ninety-five stalls are well worth taking some time over.
Fresh produce at the markets.
Christmas trees, old style Russian fudge and coconut ice, Angelo's Fresh Pasta and Prudence's Pantry are some options at the stalls. Lettuces are for sale from Ghost Gully Produce, UB's Farm had unusual items such as heirloom pumpkins and okra and there was a wide variety of vegetables at Bauer's Organic Farm where the slogan is 'Need a life changer? Eat a Bauer's Spud'.
The Grove Country Gardens sold bay trees and grape vines for $18 or a Giant Victoria Rhubarb may appeal for $15. An array of rock salt in every form from chunky to powder, Aussie Pepper also had garlic and pepper varieties. Recipes were available from Mormor Food whose stock concentrate livens up nuts and seeds soaked for cooking. Kym's Home Grown Organics were full of legumes, seeds and grains such as millet. Mung beans, linseed and sprouts were bagged in practical amounts for cooking ingredients. The products are all gluten and gliadin-free.
Piglets in the Animal Nursery.
Take the kids for a face painting, glow balloon and visit to the Animal Nursery.
If you're after some animals for a farm of your own, Boutique Bantams drew the children with adorable ducklings and Polish Frizzle chicks among other feathered creatures.
The Fairymount Farm of Jandowae offered grass-fed Spring lambs, lamb's fry and locally produced beef.
Happiness is a tub of Crested Ducklings at the Boutique Bantams stall.
From Paddock to Potager, the farmhouse experience, was a pork profferer, owned by the woman whose brainchild the markets are, Fiona May. Ms May has a background in agriculture and teaching. She conducts farm tours during summer as well as courses in farming for primary school children. Contact her on 0439 844 849 for details.
Refresh yourself at one of the numerous coffee stalls.
Plenty of eatery choices were a good reason to stick around and relax with a gourmet burger with chilli or cheese chips. Oil and vinegar taste tests helped you understand why the prices were a little more. The caramelised balsamic vinegar sweetened and puckered the tongue as a bread-soaked snack.
The Bunya Park Scout Group encouraged families to introduce their children to a new set of skills for bush living.
Beginning in 2015 the market has already seen close to ten thousand visitors. To help the farmers further, Ray White Real Estate sold bottled water with the proceeds going to buying bales of hay to be donated. They also had a raffle to win a generous-sized picnic hamper of goodies. Balloons helped to attract visitors and create a festive atmosphere.
Finish your browsing relaxing by the Family Park lake with a steaming cup of coffee.
Serenity coffee sipping by The Rotary Club of Toowoomba, Family Park adjacent to the markets.