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Best of Canberra – Fresh produce

By Bec Cuzzillo 7 July 2015 24

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My dad grew up on an orange farm and has instilled in me a love for only the freshest and in season fruit and vegetables. There is just something so satisfying about biting into the first apple of the season or tossing a salad with crisp lettuce leaves and juicy fresh tomatoes.

Unfortunately, I think it can be pretty hard to find good quality fresh produce and maybe I’m too cynical, but I just don’t trust the big supermarkets to provide the goods. This week, I am looking for Canberra’s best fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this quest, so I want to know where you get yours? Whether it’s your local greengrocer or your favourite stall at the markets, tell me Canberra – where can I find the freshest fruit and vegetables in town?

To vote, let me know where to find Canberra’s best fresh fruit and veg in the comments below. I’ll try the two most popular places and let you know the verdict in next Monday’s Taste Off article.


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Best of Canberra – Fresh produce
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purple diva 1:36 pm 12 Jul 15

Well I think it’s pretty obvious by previous votes that you will be checking out EPIC markets and Choku Bai Jo, but I’ll throw in my opinion anyway!

The three best places I have found for quick purchases are Jardin Fresh in the carpark at Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Freddy Frapples at Weston, and Freska Fruita at Woden Westfield. Every now and then I go out to the Fyshwick Markets, which I find are absolutely the best for choice, price and quality. I used to go to the Woden CIT markets on Sunday mornings, but find them to be rather expensive now, and the real quality isn’t always there. But I still go there for the bust mushrooms ever, and the gorgeous cheeses made by the lady from Hume!

Jenny_y 8:16 pm 09 Jul 15

Choku bai Jo’s apples the ones straight from the grower are the best in town.
They have my vote.

wattsie 6:12 pm 09 Jul 15

Yep, farmers markets for sure. Epic on a Saturday or woden CIT on a Sunday. Epic is good in the rain as it’s all indoors. I always try to buy from the producers stalls… If you do go to epic, make sure you try the mead (just inside the entrance on the far right as you walk into the shed)… It alone is worth getting out of bed for!
If I can’t make it to the markets, then Freddy frapples at weston Creek. At least it’s a local small business even if the food isn’t all local.
….I don’t think people realise that a lot of the food at fyshwick is trucked down from Sydney, and not locally grown…

srcyb 1:49 pm 09 Jul 15

Im a big fan of Frank, who runs Jabals Halal butcher and grocery in Mawson. The prices are great, customer service exuberant and friendly and the selection is fantastic. If you eat meat, it seems like they have a good selection of that too!

bryansworld 1:30 pm 09 Jul 15

From my recollection, the stuff at Choku Bai Jo is just as fresh as that at EPIC. Without the crowds and the hypothermia.

Garya 6:40 pm 08 Jul 15

Choku Bai Jo Curtin and Choku Bai Jo Nth Lyneham!
they are like the farmers market but open 6 days a week! great range of locally sourced produce, and a great organic selection.

Genie 1:24 pm 08 Jul 15

I’ve only recently started shopping there but I am loving the produce at EPIC farmers market on a Saturday morning. The crowds are insane but if you can get past that it’s a great place to shop.

Prices can be a little bit more expensive than the stores, but it’s been a long time since I’ve visited Belco or Fyshwick markets to compare.

bryansworld 9:19 am 08 Jul 15

sepi said :

Yep – the backyard is a great source of super-fresh veg – well herbs and beans mostly at this time of year. and lemons and rhubarb.

I love to grow fresh veg, and it would be great if everyone did, but I understand that most can’t and don’t have time or space.

It is a shame the exercise fanatics cant understand that not everyone can walk, jog or ride to work every day. Great if you can – it isn’t for everyone.

Is this a merge of two separate threads? 🙂

Ezy 8:24 am 08 Jul 15

Oh! And I would also love to keep bees!

Ezy 8:24 am 08 Jul 15

Maya123 said :

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

From your own garden. When you come home from work, walk out to the garden, and say, what’s for dinner? Then base dinner around whatever you find ready to pick in the garden that night.

Are you serious? I would love to know if there is anyone out there in Canberra who is totally self sufficient food wise. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the people growing their own food – but it is a big ask for you to come home from work every night and be able to cook dinner.

I had a tiny plot in my last townhouse that I managed to cook some meals with. It does require some knowledge to do all year round though, which people may not have the time or the expertise. Another factor is the space? What are people meant to do in flats?

In my opinion – if you can’t grow a little garden to give yourself some fresh produce, support those that do.

In my last house I grew most of my vegetables. I managed to find this part of dinner each night by eating what was available and not expecting to have something that wasn’t available. So if I didn’t have any carrots available I would eat what was in the garden. One needs to be flexible. I stored potatoes, pumpkins and dried beans for winter. Plus bottled fruit and made my own jams, sauces, etc. I did buy meat, flour, oil, etc. It was only the vegetables that I was mostly self sufficient with. If necessary, mostly I could usually put together an all vegetable dinner if that was all that was available, but I mostly just had the vegetables as part of the meal, although a large part. It is possible and lots of people manage it. I did have a house garden though, so I had room on my 450sq. mt block for gardens. I wasn’t living in a unit. Yes in a unit it would be difficult, but I would hazard a guess most people live in houses.
I will be growing many of my vegetables again, when my new garden is up and running.

Well that is awesome – it is something that I would love to be able to do at some stage. I was surprised with how much food I got from my small garden in my old townhouse. It was enough to be able to cook a whole dinner with, but it wasn’t big enough for it to be sustainable for every night of the week.

I am hoping my next home will be able to get me closer to that ideal situation of not needing to buy a good majority of my produce. We are also planning to have chickens to help out with frittatas etc.

If you haven’t already – please check out this guy. http://wholelarderlove.com
Rohan is based outside of Melbourne in the otways and tries his best to live off his land – which includes hunting deer etc.

pepmeup 2:08 am 08 Jul 15

Unfortunately the EPIC farmers markets have become too expensive, in the early years it was great but now stall holders seem to think they can charge what ever they want and people will pay, a few examples are Sabago potatoes at $5/kg at epic and 99c/kg at Fyshwick markets, pumpkin $4/kg at epic $1.29/kg at Fyshwick.

It’s still great to buy from local growers, I was a bit surprised to find ginger at the farmers markets, so I’m not sure where these farmers are farming.

For me Fyswick markets has good competition and great range I shop at wiffens first

sepi 10:03 pm 07 Jul 15

Yep – the backyard is a great source of super-fresh veg – well herbs and beans mostly at this time of year. and lemons and rhubarb.

I love to grow fresh veg, and it would be great if everyone did, but I understand that most can’t and don’t have time or space.

It is a shame the exercise fanatics cant understand that not everyone can walk, jog or ride to work every day. Great if you can – it isn’t for everyone.

curlylocks 9:44 pm 07 Jul 15

Canberra’s Farmers Market at EPIC BEST EVER!!!!! Freshest fruit vegetables, honey, meat , seafood you name it they have it. HATE visiting any other markets for my fresh vegetables and Fruit and anything else

Maya123 7:42 pm 07 Jul 15

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

From your own garden. When you come home from work, walk out to the garden, and say, what’s for dinner? Then base dinner around whatever you find ready to pick in the garden that night.

it is a big ask for you to come home from work every night and be able to cook dinner.

When I used to work (I’m retired now), I came home from work and cooked most nights, as did my tenants. None of us found that difficult. Takeaways were rare. I would have one about once a fortnight, and from memory I think the tenants were similar. We all came from backgrounds where it was natural to cook dinner, and takeaways were not part of our life experiences.

Maya123 7:34 pm 07 Jul 15

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

From your own garden. When you come home from work, walk out to the garden, and say, what’s for dinner? Then base dinner around whatever you find ready to pick in the garden that night.

Are you serious? I would love to know if there is anyone out there in Canberra who is totally self sufficient food wise. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the people growing their own food – but it is a big ask for you to come home from work every night and be able to cook dinner.

I had a tiny plot in my last townhouse that I managed to cook some meals with. It does require some knowledge to do all year round though, which people may not have the time or the expertise. Another factor is the space? What are people meant to do in flats?

In my opinion – if you can’t grow a little garden to give yourself some fresh produce, support those that do.

In my last house I grew most of my vegetables. I managed to find this part of dinner each night by eating what was available and not expecting to have something that wasn’t available. So if I didn’t have any carrots available I would eat what was in the garden. One needs to be flexible. I stored potatoes, pumpkins and dried beans for winter. Plus bottled fruit and made my own jams, sauces, etc. I did buy meat, flour, oil, etc. It was only the vegetables that I was mostly self sufficient with. If necessary, mostly I could usually put together an all vegetable dinner if that was all that was available, but I mostly just had the vegetables as part of the meal, although a large part. It is possible and lots of people manage it. I did have a house garden though, so I had room on my 450sq. mt block for gardens. I wasn’t living in a unit. Yes in a unit it would be difficult, but I would hazard a guess most people live in houses.
I will be growing many of my vegetables again, when my new garden is up and running.

Catty 5:49 pm 07 Jul 15

Just today realised that greengrocer in Jamison Centre has closed. They always had a good supply, usually much cheaper than the neighbouring Coles. I have a family member who eats pretty much nothing but cabbage and cauliflower, and this shop always had BIG ones. Their mushrooms were always cheaper too. Very sad to see them go. Will have to go back to the Belco markets. Colesworths just doesn’t cut it in the fruit and veg department.

bryansworld 4:29 pm 07 Jul 15

Argonaut said :

Farmer’s market at EPIC on Saturdays. All produce is labelled so you know if it comes from the stallholder, or if they are acting as an agent for another producer. I LOVE this system, as it means consumers know exactly who they are supporting.

I can’t face EPIC in winter, and the crowds the rest of the time. Choku Bai Jo works well.

Argonaut 3:31 pm 07 Jul 15

Farmer’s market at EPIC on Saturdays. All produce is labelled so you know if it comes from the stallholder, or if they are acting as an agent for another producer. I LOVE this system, as it means consumers know exactly who they are supporting.

rubaiyat 3:14 pm 07 Jul 15

Maya123 said :

From your own garden. When you come home from work, walk out to the garden, and say, what’s for dinner? Then base dinner around whatever you find ready to pick in the garden that night.

Got any recipes for paspallum, crab grass, gum leaves and copious quantities of ivy?

Ezy 2:18 pm 07 Jul 15

Maya123 said :

From your own garden. When you come home from work, walk out to the garden, and say, what’s for dinner? Then base dinner around whatever you find ready to pick in the garden that night.

Are you serious? I would love to know if there is anyone out there in Canberra who is totally self sufficient food wise. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the people growing their own food – but it is a big ask for you to come home from work every night and be able to cook dinner.

I had a tiny plot in my last townhouse that I managed to cook some meals with. It does require some knowledge to do all year round though, which people may not have the time or the expertise. Another factor is the space? What are people meant to do in flats?

In my opinion – if you can’t grow a little garden to give yourself some fresh produce, support those that do.

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