Saturday, 12 April 2008


Today I found a little bit of peace and a whole lot of passion at the Willunga Farmers' market. I arrived soon after 9am and the place was already 'pumping' as son Hugh would say. Sometimes when you go to things it is hard to get involved straight away but they have achieved just the right mix of anticipation and immersion with the location of this new version of the market. You can see it all happening up and down the street while you are looking for a park and as I approached today and walked towards the site I could hear the distant sounds of a guitar playing and the general hustle and bustle of people engaged in enjoying their shopping (not something you hear in a supermarket!).

The growers / makers / creators were all so nice and so enthusiastic about what they were doing.

Like these two lovely people whose sign is at right. I never did ask Mark about those pomegranates!

Every stall was dripping with produce , some specialising in one product or creation, such as oysters or soap and others overflowing with vegetables and fruits from their gardens or farms, home-made jams, cakes, honeys,venison, ducks, breads, spices - anything and everything edible or useful. (No jewelry or nick-nacks etc). In the centre, under the shade of 2 lovely lilly-pilly trees, tables and chairs were set up and coffees, teas and the best-looking cakes and pastries I have ever seen were available around the circumference. Every stall had excellent quality and the range of goods available was amazing. It was impossible not to want to buy something at every stop.

I tasted and bought the Paris Creek soft cheeses which I hadn't ever seen before and they were as good as any I have had (and often paid a huge amount for!) - from delicate to totally dripping with full-on mature flavour. I even bought a bottle of Love Valley beer. There were so many to choose from but I liked the sound of the one simply called "Bloody Lovely".

The man at left was shucking oysters from Eyre Peninsula and I wanted to buy them and scoff them there and then but I jut took the photo instead. Barry Beach was there with his vegetables, his breads and his ever-expanding range of 'small batch artisan products' including the two I bought - traditional ground coconut palm sugar infused with ginger, and vanilla beans. If you think you could resist buying these special, south east Asian spices, then wait until you are given a taste. Barry just sort of nicely insisted that I at least try the palm sugar with ginger, and, well, as they say the rest is history! Some people take drugs, but after one taste, I am addicted to this rich, powerful, spicy, sweet, sensational, grainy delight! This is it in the photo below.

Now I am all au fait with Italian (OK I know this saying is French!) I couldn't resist coffee at the Piccolo Espresso where they redefined the would 'wait'. Ordering was quick but by the time the coffee was ready I had chatted to all the other customers standing around 'waiting' and the men's choir (who were also waiting) started singing out the names of the people as the coffees became ready. Most people had probably forgotten they had ever even ordered a coffee by the time it arrived! It was all rather jolly but next time I would go elsewhere.

Click on the photo at left to read about Earth Hour, Soy candles and some suggestions for future Earth evenings. Note the bowl of water for dogs.

Of course there were mountains of fresh vegetables and fruit but I thought we might all be over seeing photos of yet more garden produce, for now.

It was nice to sit on this lovely seat on my way back to the car and contemplate the extraordinary success of the Willunga Farmers Market, between the sea and the hills and surrounded by vineyards, an hour or so south of Adelaide.

Tomorrow - the Stirling Autumn Garden Festival. Check the side bar for details. See you there.


Jumbleberry Jam said...

I'm a farmer's market junkie. During our 6 month tour around your lovely country in 2006, we hit as many as possible. We really loved one in Port Douglas, Qld and wished Hobart's Saturday market had more produce. Still none - in any country I've been to - compare to the lovely Willunga Farmer's Market. We are lucky to have many opportunities to go during return visits as our family is in Southeastern Adelaide. So happy to have found your site to watch your gardens grow from afar :-)

Kate said...

What a compliment! Now I know we really are so lucky here.

I look forward to hearing from you again.