Skip to content

Valley harvest

February 11, 2010

By coincidence, both Mr History and I needed an excuse to get out of the house this morning, so we decided on an early-morning rendezvous at the weekly farmers’ market. The Grafton farmers’ market, held appropriately at Market Square in the centre of town, is a pretty modest affair. Unlike your fancy-pants city markets, there are no queues for ‘gourmet’ bacon and egg rolls; no queues for boutique coffee carts. In fact there are no queues for anything. This of course means that there are also no pesky, pretentious types with their 4WD-sized prams and yap dogs elbowing you out of the way to get to the heirloom tomatoes. How’s the serenity darl?

The produce on sale is an eclectic mix, and most of the stallholders are small market gardeners. Offerings of heirloom pumpkin and squash varieties sit alongside homemade preserves, marinated local olives, duck and turkey eggs and rustic cakes and slices. A steady stream of locals peruse the haphazard displays, ladies buying rosellas by the kilo for jam and tomatoes for the seeds to plant next season.

Despite the availability of this local fare, food retail in town is dominated by ‘the big two’ who have recently expanded their operations in the bohemoth new shopping centre which dwarfs the town square. This city of only 18,000 people is serviced by not one, but two Coles supermarkets, a Woolworths, a Bi-Lo and an Aldi. In fact, I can only think of two independent greengrocers in town, one of which is only open one-and-a-half days per week. Most people I know, the Explodys included, buy their produce at ‘the big two’. Pensioners tend to favour Aldi for their low, low prices. If one desires variety and convenience, there is little other choice.

For this reason, Thursday morning’s offerings are a breath of fresh air and ease my sense of blatant hypocrisy. On second thoughts, I probably wouldn’t even mind queuing. Especially for some of those bloody awesome tomatoes.

Tyndale tomatoes

To market, to market

Pick a pumpkin

Warts and all

Harping on

Going bananas

Be my valentine

Duck egg blue

The best sponge by a country mile

One stop shop

Made at home




10 Comments leave one →
  1. Boom permalink
    February 11, 2010 20:54

    Can’t wait til u check out Alumy Creek Markets! Awesome photos!

    • felixexplody permalink*
      February 11, 2010 20:56

      I did a drive-by of Alumy Creek markets the other day but it started raining. Looked pretty budget, but I’ll try again next time! I wonder if they still have camel rides?

  2. February 11, 2010 21:09

    Well, you never see bananas at our Farmer’s market! Looks like a lovely spot…

  3. Horatio Bunker permalink
    February 11, 2010 22:36

    $6/kg for organic oxhearts? Gimme gimme!

  4. February 12, 2010 10:37

    love your blog, I grew up on the north coast ( mullumbimby) but have been in the concrete jungle for nigh on 20 years, so your posts are full of nostalgia, longing, and salivating! thanks muchly.

  5. felixexplody permalink*
    February 12, 2010 10:51

    SJ: This be banana bending country. People even grow them in their backyards!

    Horatio: The tomatoes are the business. Last week I made a gorgeous panzanella with them, as posted here by my buddy Reemski! If you’re in Sydney, Stefano Manfredi recommends the Haberfield greengrocer for tomatoes.

    Pickled: I’m glad you’re enjoying my little slice of North Coast living! I have just returned after 10 years in the city and I’m really enjoying rediscovering my spiritual homeland 🙂 I hope to get up north to Bangalow, Byron and surrounds soon to find some delicious eats.

  6. February 12, 2010 16:00

    That market though small, looks perfectly formed…

  7. February 14, 2010 00:10

    I thought that I’d posted a comment, but I must have posted a comment in my imagination or something….I can’t remember what the comment that I thought that I’d posted was, but I do love that photo of the pumpkins!

  8. LORRAINE permalink
    February 15, 2010 21:23

    the blog looka great and such an interesting read. I really like the pics from the markets, makes me want to get the calico bag and bicycle out !


  1. Hey pesto! « the amazing adventures of felix and limpy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: