In season: January


The local mango season has begun


You know summer has well and truly arrived when the mangos start appearing at the market. Bowen and Kensington Prides are the first to come into season and they will be followed by other varieties like the R2E2 and Nam Doc Mai. When choosing a mango, skin colour is not always the best indicator of ripeness. The best way to test if the fruit is ripe is by smell and/or giving it a gentle squeeze. If it gives a little, it’s ready. You can buy green mangos, just leave them in the fruit bowl at room temperature for several days and they will gradually ripen.  Once ripe store in the fridge. Find mangos at the Everest Farm stall, Rainbow Fruit Flats, Picone Exotics  Mt Chowan Organics and Jungle Juice.



Vibrantly coloured dragonfruit

The popular pink -skinned dragonfruit variety is now coming into season locally and will be appearing in flushes over the next few months, according to Mooball grower Nora Brils, of the market’s Jungle Juice stall.  The pink-skinned variety comes with two flesh colours – white flesh with black seeds or the striking magenta coloured flesh with black seeds. Both have a mild, delicate and refreshing taste that’s a little like a blend of kiwi, pear and watermelon. Dragonfruit look fantastic diced in a fruit salad, or simply chill, cut in half, add a squeeze of lime, scoop out the flesh and enjoy. Find dragonfruit at Jungle Juice, Picone Exotics and Rainbow Fruit Flats.


Another summer favourite, rockmelon is now in season and in good supply at the farmers markets.  High in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, it’s a delicious for breakfast or in fruit salad. Rockmelon is also great in smoothies or used in sorbet, or try it in a savoury salad with leafy greens and nuts, goats’ cheese and chicken. Find rockmelon at Will Everest’s stall at New Brighton Farmers Market or Matt Everest’s stall at Mullumbimby Farmers Market.

Button Squash


Button squash

Bright yellow and shaped like a UFO, button squash are one of the most eye-catching summer vegetables. The classic way to cook them is to steam whole, then cut up and add seasonings, but there are lots of other ways of preparing them. The big ones are good sliced into a stir-fry, or you can stuff with onion, breadcrumbs or rice, cheese and bacon and bake. The little ones are especially good barbecued on skewers with other veggies. Available from Everest Farm and Morrow Farm.


The first pick of the season’s watermelon has arrived at the markets. Chill and cut into slices for the kids, blend into a smoothie, or whiz it into some healthy home made ice blocks. For something a little more sophisticated, try watermelon in a salad – chop up into cubes and add cucumber, goats cheese or feta and mint and a vinegary dressing for the perfect accompaniment to seafood. Find new season watermelon at Everest Farm, and arriving soon at Morrow Farm.


Jumping Red Ant has new season lychees. These tropical fruit look a bit like a raspberry on the outside, but peel off the rough skin and they look like a large white grape. Best eaten chilled, they’re lovely and refreshing as is, or you can add them to cocktails or desserts.


Costanzo Apples will have fresh plums from Stanthorpe at the markets for the next couple of weeks.


Sweet corn

Sweet Corn

Because it’s locally grown, the corn at the markets is super fresh, and full of the sugars that make it so sweet. Eat it the day you buy it for maximum sweetness.  Find sweet corn at the Everest Farm stall and at the Bangalow Farm stall.


Fragrant summer basil is perfect in pesto, sprinkled fresh on pizza, or in salads. Look for fresh basil at The Gourmet Salad Hut.


If the New Year has got you feeling like a detox and craving all things fresh, clean, and green, try adding some sprouts to your diet. Sprinkle on salads, sandwiches, stir fries or soups for extra flavour texture and nutrition, add them to green juices, or enjoy them on their own dressed with some olive oil and salt and pepper. You’ll find big range of sprouts at the Sproutlovers stall including mung bean, lentil and chickpea sprouts,  while the Energetic Greens stall  has soil grown sprouts such including broccoli, radish, wheat grass and barley grass.


Tomatoes are super sweet at the moment. Available from Coopers Shoot Tomatoes or Jumping Red Ant.


Organic Forrest has new season garlic available now, including Elephant or Russian Garlic and Italian Purple. Also check Picone Exotics and Summit Organics for locally grown garlic.



Colourful capsicums

Delicious eaten fresh or stuffed and roasted. Capsicums available from Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, Jumping Red Ant and Everest Farm.


The season is slowly coming to an end for local avocados, but there are still a few around if you know where to look. Try Jumping Red Ant and Mt Chowan Organics.


 Jumping Red Ant and Everest Farm have sweet new season passionfruit.

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