Published: February 27th 2007February 27th 2007
Morning by the Brisbane River
The markets are right next to the river
NEW FARM FARMERS MARKETS
2nd and 4th Saturday each month at the Powerhouse from 6am-11am
After a terrible week with the baby waking during the night my husband offers "Would you like to sleep in on Saturday and I will get up with the kids and cook pancakes?"
Whilst this is a most wonderful offer, I know that I will still wake up around 5am with the baby, and that the kids will make lots of noise and I will have to try and sleep through that. So instead I countered with " How about I go to the New Farm Markets and you can stay at home with the kids?"
Now I have been to the markets once before with a friend but this time I wanted to go after my conscience was pricked by a National Geographic magazine article. It was about the environmental state of the world and that we have only 10 years to drastically change our behaviours as we have already added too much CO2 to the atmosphere and that runaway global warming is inevitable. The following caught my interest and I thought it was something that I could
this is just before 8am
"We have gotten used to eating across great distances. Because it is always Summer somewhere, we are accustomed to fresh produce 365 days a year. The energy cost of this is incredible - growing and transporting a single calorie of lettuce takes 36 calories of energy (across America). What would it take to get us back to eating more locally, to accepting what the seasons and smaller scale local farmers provide?"
So at 6am I get up and by 6:30 I am at the markets. I am up early every morning but I usually have all the curtains closed and don't really go outside until it is time to walk to school. Obviously I am missing out on how beautiful it is in the morning. There is this golden glow over everything that really only lasts till about 7am. Driving over the Story Bridge lit up with the sun and with a hot air balloon above it, I wished I could take photos and drive at the same time! I even thought about pulling over, but there is no where to stop. You will just have to believe me about how good it looked - It made me feel bad for not getting up and enjoying the early morning outdoors more often.
Now the parking can get a little crazy at the markets, so I suggest you park up further and walk. I, however am fortunate enough to know someone who lives very close to the Markets and I parked in her driveway, after I attempted to find parking in the parking
Roses and Gladiolas
lot which was unsuccessful, even at 6:30am (though this could be a busy time as those in the know are trying to buy everything before all the people turn up:)
I started off at the Herb stall. There was so much to choose from it was very difficult. They were selling 3 for $5 or 7 for $10. We don't have many plants at home so I thought some herbs might be good for the kids to practice on. We have had flowers previously but they didn't survive. I asked the lady at the stall "Now, I won't kill these will I?" and she responded "Well I can't guarentee that." So I think these herbs are doomed from the start, so everyone keep your fingers crossed. Also if you have any tips for keeping my parsley, coriander and lavender alive please feel free to email them to me. The life of my herbs depends on you!!
Now it was time to enjoy all the free taste tests. Yes, the best thing about these markets is that you don't need to eat breakfast before you come : ) I had a taste of yoghurt (there are 3
It is ultra fashionable at these markets to have your own trolley
yoghurt stalls, so you can have 3 tastes ;-) a taste of muslie, pineapple, organic dips and lebanese bread, olive oil and turkish bread, lemon curd, lillypilly juice, sugar easter egg and the Best Brownies ever. Those Brownies were a good hit to the system at 7am in the morning.
I was trying to choose which lollipops to buy at the lollipop stand (flavours included Rose water, passionfruit, caramel, strawberry, lemon, lime, blackcurrent etc etc) when the "Lollipop lady said I could have a whole bag for the same price as 4 lollipops. She had some that had crystalised and no one would buy them. I said my kids will love you, maybe this is too many. She said "Hide them and keep 'em for bribery". So that's how I ended up with 20 loveheart shaped lollipops. At the Honey stall I got to hear the Honey Farmer talk about the Queen Bee and he showed us a little metal catcher that he puts her in to keep her safe while he is doing things to the hive etc. He had a container of bees which was good to have a little sticky beak at. I also bought
Most stalls offer taste tests. This is Apple and Rubarb Yoghurt.
some homemade lemonade.... mmm so lemony, give you a little zing in the morning.
There is a flower stall that sells Gerbera's for $1.25 each. So I always go home with a couple of flowers. It was here that I finally learnt how to look after cut flowers. The flower growers were really helpful and nice. There was a sign outlining how to make the flowers live longer. I said that I had heard to put sugar in the water, lemonade, cutting the stems etc etc. They said that is a common misconception!! that people think they need to "feed" cut flowers. The grower said that "there is actually enough sugar in a Gerbera stem to last 9 months!" That the flower actually just needs water. It is the bacteria in the water that causes the stems to wilt and then the flower dies. So their suggestion is to put a little bit of bleach in the water and change it every 4 days. Apparently the record for keeping them alive this way is 3 weeks! I laughed and said to the man ... "So if they last 2 weeks just enough time before we come to the
A lot of produce at the markets
next market and buy more." He laughed and said "Exactly!!" So I am currently testing this out - anyone who wants to know the results - contact me.
Here's a clue for you all - If something doesn't have a price on it, it probably means you can't afford it. The Dello Mano Brownie stall has all these beautiful boxes of Brownies. They had Grandpa, Mum and Dad and two daughters all working the stall. Grandpa and Dad were offering taste tests to anyone who went past saying "Senorita, Senorita" well of course I had to try... and I just happened to walk past 3 times. On the third time I got up enough courage to ask how much they cost (no price signs). $16 for a small box and $45 for the big box. For an extra $10 they deliver them to your chosen friend (hopefully me.. wink wink... to all my readers!!) wearing their chocolate uniform. So if anyone is interested check out their website www.dellomano.com.au they were nice, but perhaps a little out of my price range. The two little daughters were even looking after customers and taking money, they were so cute.
The $40 Brownies
I didn't buy any, I just had 3 Taste Tests!!
I left buying my banana's till last as I obviously am not trendy enough ( or smart enough) to have a trolley to pull along all my purchases. Well I almost missed out as at $2 kg that is a pretty good price considering the "current banana situation" in Queesland. For those overseas readers there was a cyclone in our Banana growing area a year ago and it knocked down all the banana trees. Prices are better now, but were around $12 kg for about 8 months. Hence everyone is madly buying bananas now to make up for lost time. I know my girls are eating them by the bunch because they haven't had them is so long. Bananas could almost be currency around here!! Also just as the next season of banana's had finally grown back, we had some floods up north a few weeks ago and this stopped the trucks with the banana's from getting through, so the price went back up. There was a line of people buying atleast 2 kg each. I got my 2 kilograms and headed back home happy with all my purchases.
I often go to the New Farm Park on
This guy is always holding up fish yelling out the price... $50 $30 etc
weekdays so look out for that blog next. I think I will bring the kids next time to the markets as the park was empty at 7am in the morning - not so any other time of the day as it is a popular park.
I really enjoyed the Farmers Market so hopefully I can make it a regular outing in my weekend schedule and help save the planet at the same time :)
There are more photos below