In season now

pecansPecans

Native to the Americas, pecan trees also do well in our local climate and there are quite a few growers in our area. The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. Pecans are easy to crack – local organic grower Glenyce Creighton says a good technique is to put two nuts in your hand then squeeze them together. High in protein, unsaturated fats, Omega 3’s and fibre, pecans are a healthy snack that can be eaten straight from the shell and are also delicious in sweet treats like pecan pie and brownies. To store, put them in an airtight container in a cool place or freeze. Shelled and unshelled local pecans available from Glenyce Creighton, Morrow Farm and Nudgel Nuts.

Cauliflower

It seems barely a day goes by without someone finding a new use for cauliflower. Not content with the traditional cauli and cheese sauce, foodies have invented a whole host of new way to enjoy this versatile winter vegetable, including the popular whole roasted cauliflower – a dish said to be able to convert anyone to cauliflower.  There are a few variations, but the basic idea is to remove the leaves and trim the stem so it sits flat. You then spread some butter or olive oil, herbs and seasoning over the top and bake until tender. Cauliflower available from Jumping Red Ant and Everest Farm.

broccoliwebBroccoli

Eungella farmer Matt Everest has  started picking the first of the season’s s broccoli.  Highly nutritious and packed with Vitamin C, it should be one of your winter vegie staples. Lightly steamed with a little butter is a great way to eat it, but it’s just as delicious in stir-fries, soups and salads.

Honey lemon, ginger and turmeric tea

When it comes to fighting colds and flu, Mullumbimby Farmers Market-goers swear by Organic Forrest’s organic honey, lemon, ginger and turmeric tea. Made with ingredients from Dave Forrest and Sue Mangan’s organic farm at Federal, it’s warming, soothing, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.

Jicama

Georgica farmer Kenrick Riley, of Wiccawood Farm, always has something new and unusual at his  stall, and the vegetable catching our attention at the moment is his jicama. Also known as Mexican Yam bean, this root vegetable looks a little like a turnip or swede, but it has a sweet juicy, crisp flesh, with a texture and flavour a little like Nashi pear. It’s lovely eaten raw  – prepare by removing all skin (this is important as the skin contains an organic toxin), then grating into salads or coleslaw, adding to stir fries, or enjoying as is. You can also do as the Mexicans do – cut your jicama into sticks then coat in lime juice, chilli and salt for a tasty snack. Health wise, jicama is also excellent for your gut – it contains prebiotic fibre that helps promote the growth good bacteria. It is  also a good source of Vitamin C.

avocadosAvocados

The first trickle of new season avocados started arriving at the markets about a month ago and the supply will be increasing steadily from now on. The local season runs roughly from April to October/November, so there will be plenty of these delicious fruit available as we move into winter. The first variety to make it to the markets are the buttery Fuerte, a great all round avocado that make fantastic guacamole. These will be followed by the Sharwil, Hass, and later on in the season, the Lamb Hass. Find avos at The Organic Avocado, Jumping Red Ant, Morrow Farm and Mt Chowan Organics.

Mandarins

One of the best things about the cooler months is the abundance of Vitamin C rich citrus that Mother Nature so conveniently provides. The Local farmers have some beautiful new season organic Imperial mandarins now – find them at Jungle Juice and  The Organic Avocado.

Lemons

 Local lemons are just starting to ripen up now, so you’ll find lots at the markets over the next few months. They’re one of those essentials in the kitchen with endless uses – perfect in your guacamole, squeezed into to some hot water for a morning drink, with seafood, fried haloumi or mushrooms, in salad dressings, or in sweet cakes and biscuits, the list goes on. Lemons available from Neville Singh, Church Farm, Jungle Juice and Mt Chowan Organics.

Oysters

The recent floods affected the water quality of local rivers, which temporarily stopped oyster production for local grower Noel Baggaley, of Brunswick Seed Oysters. With things back to normal, Noel has returned to the markets with his fantastic Sydney Rock Oysters (and his delicious seafood chowder).

apples1Pears and apples

Lots of apples and pears available now. Find them at McMahon’s Organic Apples and Costanzo Apples.

Pumpkin

There’s plenty of pumpkin around  and now is a great time to enjoy it. Try dicing, roasting and adding to a salad, warming up the cooler evenings with some pumpkin soup, or even roasting, mashing and then spreading on toast with ricotta for a hearty breakfast. Don’t waste the seeds either – clean, rinse then roast with a little olive oil and salt for a yummy nutritious snack or a sprinkle for your salads. Pumpkin available from Everest Farms, Neville Singh, Summit Organics  and Morrow Farm.

Rosellas

The beautifully coloured crimson ‘fruits’ of the rosella (actually the calyx of the rosella plant) can be used to make a delicious jam. They are also great as a fillrosellasing for pies, in cordials or syrups, as a tea, or in chutneys. They are just coming into season now, find them at Glenyce Creighton’s stall  or bush food stall Playing With Fire.

New season ginger

Soft, juicy, with a pale skin, pinkish hues and a mild flavour, new season ginger is the best kind of ginger there is. It’s ideal for cooking, pickling and juicing. The first of this year’s ginger crop is being harvested, look out for it at Organic Forrest, Church Farm and Summit Organics.

Bone Broth

As the days get cooler, it’s time for warming, comfort foods like soups and casseroles, and the perfect base for these is mineral-rich bone broth. Angela Dekker of Soufull Broths, who creates her bone broths from local grass-fed beef from Hayters Hill and local chicken,  says broth has a whole host of health benefits, including helping to heal leaky gut and inflammation in the body, improve joint health and even reduce cellulite. Warm bone broth can also be enjoyed as is – Angela recommends it as a nourishing and healthy alternative to your morning cup of coffee.

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