23 November 2023

Sample the best of Goulburn’s bountiful backyards and kitchens

| John Thistleton
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woman holding a bunch of garlic on a farm

Tarago grower Fiona Jeffery says connoisseurs of garlic know how good it is when fresh. “You cannot usually buy that in the supermarket,” she said. Fiona is also raising 100 ducks and will have their eggs for sale on Saturday. Photo: Fiona Jeffery.

Nepalese tea, Mars bar slice, super-nutritious microgreens and fresh garlic will be among the homegrown and baked food on offer at the Goulburn Farmers Market on Saturday (25 November).

Passionate about their produce being fresher and healthier than what’s available in supermarkets, the local producers at the inaugural market last month sold out and are coming back with a better idea of what numbers to expect. One of the new entrants on Saturday will be certified biodynamic farm Greenhill, near Bungendore.

The market venue will change slightly for this Saturday only, and will be on the grassed rodeo area at Goulburn Recreation Ground.

Fiona Jeffery from Tarago’s micro flower farm Fiokhea Flowers, who sold five dozen duck eggs to one customer last month, will have about three Eskys full of fresh duck eggs this time, different varieties of freshly harvested garlic, and pretty seasonal flowers.

The eggs are in demand.

“Once people get over the thought they are not a chicken egg, they realise the yoke is so much bigger, full of more vitamins, and if you like the yoke of an egg it is the way to go,” Fiona said. “Bakers love them too because they make a sponge cake beautiful and pavlovas froth up amazingly.”

READ ALSO Goulburn Farmers Market cultivates appetite for more fruit and veg

Fiona said having fresh flowers meant they lasted longer.

“If they are picked at the peak of their bloom time and they are not transported and not having to stay in cold storage, you get the longest vase life out of them,” she said. “It really is one of the benefits of the farmers market.”

Penny Smith of Eastgrove, Goulburn, grows her microgreens under lights inside, having learned of their exceptional nutritional qualities. She will be bringing red cabbage, broccoli, red Russian kale, sunflower, coriander, purple radish and daikon radish.

two women with microgreens

Julie Beard with her daughter Penny Smith and a sample of her Adelon Fresh microgreens packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Photo: Trish Beard.

“They have up to 40 times the nutritional content of the adult plant,” Penny said. “One of my pots of broccoli could have the nutritional benefits of 40 heads of broccoli.”

Penny wants to help people find better alternatives to the supermarkets, where vegetables can be kept in storage for a long time. Her plants are sold in pots for maximum nutrition.

She felt overwhelmed by the community support last month.

“I did the best at the Goulburn market that I have done at any market,” she said. “I am so super-chuffed with the local community.”

Another stallholder, Judy Hearn, came off the land from fine-wool-growing country near Bigga to Goulburn about 15 years ago with her husband and recently started making baked treats for farmers markets.

“I enjoy doing cooking, it’s been part of my life and in my family,” Judy said. “My grandmother, aunty and my mum are all good cooks. So I thought I would have a go at it and see what the markets are like.”

Making banana bread, lamingtons, caramel slice, Mars bar slice and rocky road the day before the markets, she has enjoyed her culinary journey since May. She likes the atmosphere of the markets at Bundanoon and Queanbeyan, meeting other stallholders and curious customers. She is looking forward to Goulburn’s market.

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Market organiser Rita Warleigh said several Goulburn backyard growers would combine their produce in a community stall.

As well, the Marsala Mill, one of several Nepalese ventures in Goulburn, will be making Nepalese tea and food.

Mouthwater Foods, which sold out of sourdough last month, will return with a bigger quantity of loaves, while the Argyle Inn at Taralga will be bringing sourdough too.

Organic beef producer Dangara Springs had to withdraw from the market because of the demand on its butcher leading up to Christmas. Organic lamb producer Vince Heffernan, who will be returning, said the butcher issue would impact on his operation closer to Christmas, but he would have his national award-winning lamb available on Saturday.

group of people in a farm field

All hands on deck at Greenhill Farm, near Bungendore, which is hoping to bring strawberries, mustard greens, bok choy, radishes, zucchini and cucumbers. Photo: Greenhill Farm.

A new market entrant for Goulburn, Sue Armstrong and Greg Oliver’s Greenhill Farm, expects to have organic strawberries, mustard greens, bok choy, radishes, zucchini and cucumbers. The stall will also sell strawberry jam made with Greenhill strawberries.

Rita said the market was still developing and appealed to people to be patient while organisers sourced more fresh-food outlets.

“Come early because those who came later in the morning last month missed out on popular produce,” she said.

The Men’s Shed will be cooking a barbecue and a coffee van will be operating.

Goulburn Farmers Market: Saturday, 25 November, 8 am to 11 am, Goulburn Recreation Ground, rodeo area. On-street parking is available or enter through Gate 7.

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