New season summer sweet corn has arrived at the market. 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 stalls and at the Bangalow Farm stall.
The wait is finally over for fragrant summer basil, with the first of this season’s pick now at the markets. Perfect in pesto, sprinkled fresh on pizza, or in salads. Look for fresh basil at The Salad Hut.
Now that it’s officially legal to eat hemp, it’s time to get some on your plate (or in your bowl or cup). Hemp Foods Australia has a great little stall at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday that stocks hemp seeds, as well as hemp protein powder, flour and hemp oil. The hemp seeds are a good introduction to hemp – they have a mild nutty flavour, are packed with healthy stuff like Omega 3s and protein and can be sprinkled on almost anything – try them on muesli, salads, smoothies or in bliss balls. You can also make creamy hemp milk by blending the hemp seeds with water.
This dark leafy green may lack the hipster cred of kale, but it’s just as good, if not better for you, than its trendy cousin. Like kale, it’s extremely high in Vitamin K, A and C, and is also a good source of fibre and calcium. A staple of the cuisine of the southern US states, collard greens aren’t easy to find in Australia and not many people are familiar with how to cook them, but a little Googling will turn up plenty of recipes and cooking know-how. Find collard greens at Wiccawood Organics.
Slightly bigger than a grape, these deep purplish-black glossy skinned black fruit grow in clusters directly from the trunk and branches of the tree. They have slightly bitter skin but a sweet white flesh that’s similar to a grape or lychee. Jaboticaba are high in antioxidants and delicious eaten fresh, or made into jelly or wine. Find fresh fruit at Jungle Juice or Picone Exotics.
If the warmer weather 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.
Also known as spring garlic, green garlic is simply young immature garlic bulbs, which have been picked early and not cured (dried). They are much softer than regular garlic and have a beautiful mild, sweet flavour and fresh crunchy texture that can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. Kenrick Riley, of Wiccawood Organics (Mullumbimby Farmers Market) has a good pick of green garlic at the moment. He says you don’t have to peel the cloves, just slice and use in salads, dressings, pizza, or anywhere else you would normally use garlic. Neville Singh also has an early pick of garlic. More mature garlic should be available at the markets in about a months time.
It’s kidding season on the farm at Nimbin Valley Dairy, which means the nanny goats are once again producing enough milk for cheese production. The first batch of Nimbin Valley’s Sweet Goat soft cheese is back at the markets – owners Kerry and Paul describe it as ‘soft, moist and full of coconut flavours, with just a hint of sourness.’ Also look out for their Washed Goat soft cheese, their marinated Lemon Billy and Orange Billy goat curd and raw goat milk and goat milk kefir.
The newest breakfast on the block at the market is the raw granola bowl by Mumma Raw, made with Mumma Raw’s own gluten free, organic fig and pecan granola (with activated seeds and nuts) topped with chia seeds soaked in coconut milk, coconut yoghurt, fresh seasonal fruit from the market and home-made nut milks – it’s fresh, light and healthy and a perfect spring/summer breakfast..
As the weather warms up, the tomatoes at Coopers Shoot Tomatoes are ripening all at once. The oversupply there are some great bargains to be had on their seconds at the farmers market, which are perfect for making some big batch sauces. There’s also plenty of Cooper’s Shoot’s famous premium gourmet truss tomatoes available, with cherry tomatoes and Heather’s delicious heirlooms on the way in coming weeks.
Spring has officially arrived, which means it’s a great time to plant your warm weather crops like cucumber, corn, tomatoes, zucchini and capsicum. Local seedling suppliers One Organic have a great selection of locally raised organic heirloom veggie seedlings available at their stalls at the New Brighton and Mullumbimby Farmers Market. One Organic also have everything you need to keep your seedlings healthy and strong, including their own home made specially formulated organic compost, plant food, plant protector and Effective Micro-organisms or EMS’s (a liquid probiotic for your veggie patch).
The popular Blueberry Fields stall is back at the market with beautiful new season Brooklet-grown blueberries. Get in early for the buckets of seconds as they always sell out quick.
Super sweet berries available from Morrow Farm.
The local avocado season is coming to end but you’ll still afew fruit at the Jumping Red Ant stall.