Groceries from farm gate to plate

If you buy your fresh produce at the supermarket for long enough,
it’s easy to forget just how much flavour you’re missing out on.

That is, until you ditch the supermarket aisles for the outdoor stalls brimming with fresh produce at the Newcastle City Farmers Markets at Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow. One bite into a sweet, juicy organic tomato from Mikor Farm is all it takes to remind you how good a tomato can taste.

“Choosing the markets will make your weekly grocery shop a pleasure rather than a chore,” Founder and Director of Newcastle City Farmers Markets Kevin Eade said.

Kevin first introduced the Hunter Region to farmers markets in 1999 at Morpeth before establishing the wildly successful Newcastle City Farmers Markets in 2005. Sixteen years on, you’ll see 8000 market-goers milling about the 130 stalls every Sunday between 7am and 1pm.

Meet the makers

A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food is coming from as you meet and talk to farmers and food artisans. The fruit, vegetables, meats and other fresh produce you’ll discover at the market are as fresh as it gets.

“Bill’s Organic Bakery bakes his sourdough bread Sunday morning … it is out of the oven at 3am and at the market at 4.30am … how’s that for fresh,” Kevin smiled.

“One of the major benefits of the market is that the food you buy is brought directly to you from the farm gate. There is no gassing to stimulate the ripening process and no sitting in storage for weeks,” he explained.

Take the family-run certified organic fruit and vegetable grower, Mikor Farm, from Chichester Dam as just one example. It’s not just their tomatoes that are outstanding. They have a beautiful selection of seasonal produce from plump stone fruit and crunchy cucumbers to corn, apples, cauliflowers and zucchinis.

“Our produce is picked a day or two before the market,” Emma Fortunaso from Mikor Farm said.
“It comes straight from the farm to here. I can even tell you which paddock it comes from. We pick it, we pack it, we do it all.”

Read more in the Autumn issue of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here. 

Story by Nathalie Craig, photos courtesy of Newcastle Farmers Market