Opinion: Farmers' markets and food miles 1

Tell us about your favourite market. CW columnist Lloyd Junor shares with us his.

In the June edition of Caravan World, columnist Lloyd Junor discusses how farmers’ markets minimise "food miles" – the distance that food travels to get to us before we eat it.

"The concept of seasonality seems to be a thing of the past – just like clean air. And the two are related. We have come to expect that there will be tomatoes and lettuce available in the middle of winter, and that despite local frosts or hailstorms that devastate crops, there will be grapes or apricots on the shelves in the supermarket. But is it necessary? Can you become a consumer of locally produced foods that are in season, instead of foods that come from far away?

"Weekend farmers’ markets offer several bonuses that you might consider... You can directly ask the grower if there have been sprays, etc., used in the production process. The produce will have been handled less, so it should have fewer bruises. It should be fresher. It will not have been carried from a distant place, so there is less greenhouse gas involved.

CW is compiling a list of top farmers’ markets Australia-wide. Lloyd started the ball rolling, listing a few of his favourites – share yours with us, and tell us why!

  • Murrabit Country Market, (Vic) Market, on Murray River, NE of Lake Charm. 1st Sat of month. Biggest rural market in Oz. You name it - it's there!
    Immense. (A golf buggy would be handy!)
  • Salamanca markets,
    Hobart (Tas). Saturdays. Local organic foods, fruit veges crafts flowers buskers - a very big market. Wear good footwear as there's a lot of walking!
  • Mindil Beach Sunset markets, Mindil Beach, Darwin (NT). April to Oct, Thursdays
    and Sundays, 5-10pm.
    Arts, crafts, handmades, foods galore, buskers. Beware sitting on the grass at night - the midgies bite!
    Not so much a farmers' market selling fresh produce
    but a sensational place to visit and get atmosphere of the north.
  • Broome Courthouse markets, Broome (WA). Every Sat 8-1, Sundays 8 -1 from April to Oct. Shady trees, heritage setting, preserves, clothing, buskers.
  • Girgarre (pronounced
    gurr - garry), near Tongala (Vic). Second Sunday of the month. On town common, and street closure. 100 stalls, produce, plants, preserves, handcrafts, cakes, meats. Recommended
  • Prince of Wales Showgrounds Market, Bendigo Showgrounds, near Eaglehawk, (Vic).
    Every Sunday 8-3. Trash, trasure, bric-a-brac, fruit and beg, live poultry (ducks, geese, hens, bantams), rabbits, puppies, machinery, dairy, clothing, antiques, books, handmade goods, many areas under cover.
  • Penguin Market, Penguin (Tas). Every Sunday early to mid-afternoon. Under cover. Huge market of 300+ stalls, entertainment, produce, old wares, meats, dairy, poultry, clothing, fruit and veges.