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Buying Local – Southside Farmers Market

By poptop - 4 January 2009 19

Living in the depths of the south, I had made the pilgrimage to the Farmers Market at EPIC a couple of times and decided it was not sensible to do an 80km round trip to buy local produce as a regular thing. Life intervened and I never got around to going to the Southside Farmers Market until this morning.

The Southside Farmers Market is smaller than its Northside counterpart and appeared to have a number of its regular vendors absent this week. Markets are at the Southside Campus of the CIT (the old Woden High School) every Sunday, nominally from 9-12. I arrived about 10 to 9 and found everything in full swing. Even allowing for the diminished number of stalls, there was a nice range of produce and some things were really quite cheap. I bought 6″ pots of herbs (thyme, oregano and marjoram to replace those destroyed by the neighbour’s chooks) for $2 each and a tray of 30 white peaches for $10.

There were lots of good local and/or organic fruit and vegies, olives, cheeses, smallgoods, bakery items, nuts and eggs. I gather there are usually some meat vendors, but not this week.

Other than one place selling coffee, there were no stalls selling hot food or snacks; I imagine this was just because of the reduced turnout. If not, there is definitely a niche waiting to be filled.

Hopefully the south of Canberra can now support a venture of this sort (the Northside one seems to be doing very nicely) and it will continue to grow. A market on Sunday might be a bit of a drag if you want to have a local produce feast for friends over the weekend, but I’ll certainly be back to buy ‘picked this morning’ food, rather than the stuff I am offered at the supermarkets.

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19 Responses to
Buying Local – Southside Farmers Market
totalbabe77 10:30 pm 14 Jan 09

Hi All,
I love the Southside markets..such a great range and none of the bustle of EPIC!!
We’ve been going pretty much since the start too..I just wanted to let you know that Bub Grub has moved to Sydney now as the lady who owns the business’s hubby had to move to a new job. They do have a website though and you can get it delivered and also some canberra stockists too. We love the fish and cakes from the hall and also the apples and pears from happy apple..we do all our fruit/vege and meat shopping there!!

BerraBoy68 6:21 am 12 Jan 09

Yesterday was my first time at these markets too. I took Mrs Berra and she was so impressed that she’s determined to do our weekly fruit and veg. shopping there in future.

poptop 10:45 pm 11 Jan 09

Got there just after 8 this time, it was still in full swing although the signs say it starts at 9.

I bought a huge tray of black figs.


imarty 8:56 pm 11 Jan 09

Saw the herb/plant bloke in the courtyard today and yes definitely better than the bloke in the car park, cheaper by a $ and far more mature and healthy plants.

Bel 6:18 pm 11 Jan 09

I went to the markets for the first time today. Excellent!

imarty 8:39 am 05 Jan 09

I got the herbs from the bloke in the carpark who was also selling trees etc. We normally go into the courtyard and hall but as I was there just to get herbs and apples I didn’t bother wandering around as we normally do. Lesson for next time eh?

farnarkler 8:01 am 05 Jan 09

I wonder how many Canberra restaurants use locally grown ingredients.

poptop 5:56 am 05 Jan 09

A bit of a mix but mostly just under ripe yesterday, Granny. This morning my kitchen smells gorgeous!

Where did you get the herbs imarty? Mine were only $2 from the vendor in the courtyard near the coffee place.

Granny 12:41 am 05 Jan 09

Well, I’d just love to get my hands on some of those peaches. I love white peaches best of all! Were they ripe?

imarty 8:47 pm 04 Jan 09

Yep, we’ve been going nearly every Sunday since opening and generally get a good range of F&V items fresher and cheaper than normal retail outlets. Apples, the Happy Apple store do a good range and will normally give the young fella a slinky apple to eat on his way.
Cherries and stone fruit were great before Christmas but missing today (didn’t venture into the hall or courtyard).
The meat for what it is seems overpriced compared to what you can get from your local butcher, let me say, there ain’t much difference despite what they’ll tell you.
The chorizo from the olive vendor in the hall is good, especially the hot one with the red & white string, eat it as is, great with a beer or use it in cooking.
All in all a good hour killed on a sunday morning with great benefits.
The only negative from this morning’s visit was the herbs I bought ($3 a pop) in a natty recyclable/plantable container were seemingly bought, not grown, as I took them out of their containers, they still had their roots in the obvious shape of smaller punnets available at bunnings or magnetmart at $3-4 for six. Heh, still cheaper to grow than buying, no dramas.

poptop 8:12 pm 04 Jan 09

Thanks emd; the markets had the feel of not being up to usual strength and I suspect less than usual customers. I’ll certainly become a regular and if there are more stalls, I’ll be able to supermarket less [yay!]. This trip was really just a reconnoiter – as I am still on post-NYE eat the leftovers.

The website says 9-12 every Sunday, perhaps the early start is a lurk for the regulars. 😉

While I could bear up having no additional crowds, I would prefer for these markets to keep going, so I hope everyone else finds them as pleasing as I did.

nyssa76 7:16 pm 04 Jan 09

I might see you there then BB.

I didn’t know that this place existed. Thanks poptop.

BerraBoy68 4:41 pm 04 Jan 09

I know where I’m going next Sunday morning. Cheers Poptop.

trevar 4:36 pm 04 Jan 09

The 9am start time might be from an old sign or something. We used to find it difficult to get to the markets before church, but we recently discovered that most of the stalls are already open at 7:30. We normally show up at 8am now, and there is only one regular stallholders we have to wait for.

emd 4:06 pm 04 Jan 09

Nice photo, those macadamias were grown at a small farm on the NSW mid north coast owned by my Canberra-resident in-laws 🙂

I’m a regular at the Southside Farmers Market. I noticed today only about half to two thirds of the stall holders were there.

The lamb at Lost River Meats is consistently good quality (he’ll have more meat next week I think), and there’s also organic meat from Ando and Mountain Creek Farm. If you want snacks, there’s a regular cake stall with a selection of $2 treats supporting children in Ghana, plus coffee in the kitchen (in the entry to the hall) and at a mobile coffee cart at the far end of the courtyard. Bread from the organic baker is always good, but you can usually get a good deal on fresh bagels too (they were away this week). The spud man is great (back of a track, hessian sacks of really nice potatoes at a good price). The last few weeks before Christmas, I noticed there was a patisserie stall – their broccoli and camembert quiche was very nice. And sometimes also Bub Grub, frozen baby food cooked just like you’d make it yourself (good for when you can’t be bothered cooking). The fish guy is good too.

And now that I’ve told you how good it is, don’t go there! I don’t want it turning into the battle-the-crowds experience I’ve had at EPIC.

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