IT’S going to be a long hot summer. If you’re heading to the farmers markets, you’ll want to keep your produce – and yourself –  cool and fresh. Try these tips: 

First, arrive early. The markets starts at 7am, so make the most of the cool of the morning. It also means you’ll beat the crowds and get the pick of the produce.

Secondly, bring your cool bags and ice bricks. Fresh produce will deteriorate quickly in the heat, so don’t forget these essentials. Meat, fish, cheese, milk and leafy greens obviously need to be kept cool, but all produce will benefit from being stored with a couple of ice bricks before they make it back to the fridge at home.

A couple of cool bags will also allow you to stay a while longer, have brekky and a drink and enjoy the atmosphere of the market before you head home.

To keep yourself cool, find yourself a bit of shade – we’ve got lots of room under the fig trees or our marquees.

Grab yourself and icy-cold drink – there are lots to choose from. Enjoy an iced coffee from Bangalow Coffee, or a refreshing home made shrub from citrus farmers Jane and Jose of Rancho Limes.

Rancho’s shrubs include Blueberry and Ginger and Strawberry and Rose flavour

At Jungle Juice, Puk Brils and her crew make fresh juices and smoothies from local fruit, much of it grown on her family orchard near Burringbar.

Puk and the Jungle Juice crew

A few stalls up is the Byron Cane juice stall, where sugar cane is crushed to order and blended with flavourings such as passionfruit, ginger or lime, or blended with fresh market greens for a healthy green smoothie.

At the other end of the market is Playing With Fire native foods, where you’ll find has iced tea flavoured with native ingredients like lemon myrtle.

Playing With Fire’s iced teas flavoured with native ingredients

Nearby Organic Forrest’s icy cold kombucha in flavours such as hibiscus and elderflower is perfectly refreshing on a hot summer’s day, and the kids will be happy with a 100 per cent fruit ice-block from Monty’s.

Icy cold kombucha from Organic Forrest