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What to look out for at the farmer’s markets in December
While the drought is impacting on the produce that you’re likely to find at any farmer’s market in the Byron area, the good news is that there is still plenty of fantastic options available in December if you just know where to go and what to try. Here’s some tips.
Two of the region’s favourite producers really come into their own at this time of year.
Coopers Shoot Tomatoes are turning out the most fabulous tomatoes at the moment. The heirloom varieties are phenomenal and for something really incredible, grab yourself one of the beefsteak tomatoes and just enjoy. You don’t need to do anything more elaborate than slice – horizontally to get the best impact – drizzle with some good quality olive or macadamia oil and be generous with the salt and pepper. Sublime.
And then there’s Picone Exotic Fruits. John and Lyndel have over 400 varieties of fruit and produce growing on their property and summer is when it really pumps out the produce at New Brighton, Byron and Mullum markets. What caught my eye most recently is their capers. It is incredible to be able to enjoy locally grown capers and they don’t even come in a jar! Be sure to give them a try.
I’ve also started to see new season garlic coming to market, and some incredible looking baby potatoes as well. Tiny little nuggets that would go gangbusters in a breakfast hash.
One of my favourite vegetables, fennel, is beautiful this time of year and is looking great at the markets now. And it really is so versatile. Slice it finely for a salad; braise it slowly to put through pasta or on top of a thick slice of sourdough; or put wedges on the BBQ for a simple accompaniment to some grilled haloumi, steak, snags or chicken. Yum.
You’ll also find plenty of zucchini, capsicum and incredible bunches of basil. Local blueberries are insanely good and corn is starting to come into sweet supply. Sweet potatoes are strong in the region and also in good supply.
So much to taste and so little time!
Of course, the best way to experience the market is to get a local’s perspective on what’s good, and who to get it from. Why not come on a Market Tour with us? We take tours of the Byron Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and the Mullumbimby Farmer’s Market on Fridays. Both are brilliant markets and by coming on tour with us you’ll get an insider’s experience that you’ll never forget.
Find out more here and then we’ll see you at the market for some real food, from real people at real places.