out and about · shopping / or not

To market, to market …

Being fifty-something, I love knowing where my food comes from.

You can journey a long way down the food miles graph by getting out to your local farmers market and connecting with the people who grow and produce your food.

Today, we did just that, headed off to the Central Geelong Farmers Market on this chilly but (thankfully) sunny day.

Of course, my new shopping trolley had an outing and she wasn’t alone – I would have felt naked without my trolley this morning: seems like almost every other shopper there was loading up their pull-along-pal with the region’s freshest.

My favourite farmers market sport is actually chatting with the people “behind the jump” and understanding their passion for what they do.

These breads were fresh-baked this morning (they must have been up early!) in a traditional wood oven by folk who had been selling their wares at markets for almost 20 years. Nothing smells as good as genuine fresh.

Free range farm eggs are another treat that are much more inviting at the farmers market than from the confusing array at the supermarket. Simple. Fresh. Smiley. The vendor was absolutely beaming; it was no trouble to slip his hands out of his warm gloves to help us load our purchases.

The Central Geelong Farmers Market only operates once a month (second Saturday) but these guys are there every time … the petting zoo of farmyard animals that the grown-ups seem to enjoy as much as the kids. Lambs, goats, rabbits, bantams and more. (Once again, I got up close and checked: and goats do have rectangle-shaped pupils … google it!)

Then, of course, there are the vegies. We’re set for potato and leek soup and a vegie-filled crockpot curry in the next couple of days.

We also picked up some home-made jams (think: pear and vanilla combo) and a bunch of lilies for Mr P’s mum for Mother’s Day.

A highlight of the morning was being approached by the casting scouts for the next My Kitchen Rules TV series. When they asked if we’d like to audition, Mr P was emphatic: “I’d rather go to gaol.”

They were a little taken aback … they weren’t to know that Mr P cultivates a hefty loathing for reality TV and wasn’t going to let any stars-in-his-eyes dazzle his view.

As I’ve said before … I’m not much of a shopper. For my money, farmers market shopping is an experience rather than a drudgery. I only wish Geelong had a farmers market EVERY week. There are others – like the Newtown Farmers Market  on the fourth Saturday of the month – but what would really inject some life in to this town is to have a permanent growers/producers market or at least a weekly calendar so we could all (young and not-so-young) make that connection between farmer and food … and enjoy produce as it was meant to be enjoyed: fresh and seasonally.

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