What better way to kick-off your Saturday or Sunday than hitting up farmers’ markets to sample fresh produce, chat with locals and soak up the sunshine?! More often than not I return home inspired and armed with goodies, ready for a fresh, healthy, and sometimes slightly indulgent week ahead (how could I be so rude and dodge the raw dessert stalls?!) Since Sydney offers some of the best varied, organic and sustainably sourced markets I thought it'd be great fun to sample 12 markets in 12 months across our beautiful city and give you the low-down on what I discover. The first cab off the rank is my old local hangout: Frenchs Forest Organic Farmers Markets.
Market #1 – Frenchs Forrest Organic Farmers Markets
Address: 35 Frenchs Forest Road East, Frenchs Forest, Sydney
Open: Every Sunday 8am – 1pm
The girls and I hit the Frenchs Forest Organic Food Markets, one of the biggest markets in Sydney on a gorgeous Sunday morning in April. Unlike other food markets that start bright and early, this one doesn't open its doors until 8:00am, which is great for those who need a lie on Sunday morning without missing out.
First stop was brekkie, of course. We didn’t make it past 10 stalls before stalling (excuse the pun) to sniff, stare and drool over the organic egg and honey-cured bacon rolls. A personal favourite of mine! How could we resist these little guys? We sat in the sun with BBQ sauce dripping off our elbows, totally enthralled and somewhat intimidated by what seemed like a never-ending pile of bacon stacked in our gluten-free rolls. Rest assured we rose to the challenge and they were devoured within 5 minutes.
After filling the gap we could actually focus on perusing the stalls, chatting to the stall owners and of course splurging on goodies. Whether you go there with an intention to buy or not, be warned – you will. Most stalls offer taste-testers, which once you’ve tried, oohed and ahhed over, it’s pretty hard to resist and just keep walking.
There’s stall after stall of organic and conventional (keep in mind that it takes 10 years to be certified organic so some stalls offer low pesticide/chemical free) veggies, fruit, herbs, eggs, yoghurt, bread, fresh pasta, meat, raw food desserts, pesto, cheeses, hot smoked salmon, pates, candles and clothing. There are also ample stores selling hot take-away food and smoothies/juices – two of the most popular are the Japanese pancakes and Turkish Gozlemes.
Now don’t say I didn’t give you the heads up - the desserts and wholefood brownies are pretty hard to resist. In fact, my brownie didn’t even make it home. I quickly gobbled it in the car so I wasn’t obliged to share it with my hubby when I walked in the door. A rather selfish move on reflection, but oh so worth it.
My 3 Favourite Stalls
1. Fermented Tea - Ginger Brew
This is the best kombucha I’ve ever tasted (other than the real-deal traditional kombucha in Latvia). One of my friends was so adamant not to try it, but when she was finally convinced she was hooked! So hooked in fact she’s become a fermenting queen and has jar after jar of fermented veggies lining her kitchen table.
Remember kombucha is a natural source of pre and probiotics, which reduce inflammation, aid gut health and modulate your immune function!
2. Brasserie Breads (www.brasseriebread.com.au)
I am not a massive bread girl but the Organic Quinoa and Soya Loaf was out-of-this-world. Simply slap some ricotta and fresh tomato on it and it’s a party in your mouth.
3. Eclipse Wholefoods (www.eclipsewholefoods.com.au)
We spent at least half an hour chatting to the gorgeous couple running this stall. I am really passionate about high-quality, organic, locally-run businesses and Eclipse ticks all the boxes. So much in fact, that Eclipse products are stocked in my nutrition packs that clients receive as part of their naturopathy program!
Don't miss out on these markets! I love that there is a real sense of community belonging... you've got couples walking hand in hand, families for miles and dogs happily being walked by their owners.
Olivia McFadyen, based in Mosman on Sydney's Lower North Shore, is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist and Homoeopath. Whilst Olivia is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist, she is also a realist and understands the demands of modern day life, offering nutrition, herbal medicine and homoeopathic consultations and support without compromising on the enjoyment food can bring. She is passionate about supporting patients to reach their lifestyle goals, optimise their health & develop a healthy yet balanced way of life through naturopathy and homoeopathy. She services her clients by offering 4 and 12 week natural health programs from her clinic in Mosman on Sydney's Lower North Shore.