In season: December

PASSIONFRUIT

It just wouldn’t be a Christmas pav without the passionfruit on top. Local growers are picking lots of these sweet fruits now and say there should be a good supply through until Christmas. Find passionfruit at Jumping Red Ant and Everest Farm.

OYSTERS

Oyster fans are in luck this Christmas. Brunswick River oyster farmer Noel Baggaley, of Brunswick Seed Oysters, says it’s a great season for his sweet tasting Sydney Rock Oysters and he will have plenty of them all the way through to Christmas and beyond.

SALAD GREENS

Sumer time means salads brimming with lots of fresh leafy greens. The Gourmet Salad Hut at New  have a huge range of greens available from their Burringbar farm,  including cos, oak and mignonette lettuce, rocket, Pak choy, and watercress, as well as fresh leafy herbs like basil. Teven grower Denise Latham  also has an excellent variety of lettuce and salad mixes available. To keep your leafy greens fresher longer, chop off any roots and store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge.

 CUCUMBER

Crisp, cool and refreshing, cucumbers are a summer essential. Slice thinly into salads, cut into sticks and serve with dip, make a summer cucumber soup, create home made pickles or add a few strips to your gin and tonic. Find fresh local cucumbers at Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, Jumping Red Ant, Summit Organics and Everest Farm.

 SWEET CORN

The first pick of the season’s sweet corn has arrived at the markets. As soon as its picked, the sugars in sweet corn begin to convert to starch, so for maximum sweetness, eat on the day you buy. Find sweet corn at Everest Farm.

 

 FRUIT SHRUB SYRUPS

You’ve heard of kombucha and kefir – what about fruit shrubs?  Also known as drinking vinegars, fruit shrubs are becoming the next big thing for cocktail mixers, and blended with soda water, they make one of the most refreshing summer drinks around. Numulgi citrus grower Jane Boniface, of Rancho Limes ) has just launched a range of home made shrub syrups using produce from her farm and locally sourced fruit, including a Blueberry with Ginger and Blood Orange shrub, Strawberry and Rosemary, and Mandarin and Cardamom. She’s also developing a Custard Apple shrub.

TOMATOES

The warmer weather has brought on a glut of tomatoes at Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, so it’s a great time to pick up a bargain on bulk lots and make into sauces. Cherries, Roma, gourmet truss and a variety of heirlooms available. Coopers Shoot is also harvesting cucumbers and eggplants.

CARROTS

The flavour and sweetness of a carrot from the farmers market is just so much better than anything you’ll find on a supermarket shelf. They’re fresher, and local farmers will often grow more unusual varieties that have been developed for flavour rather than transportability and shelf life. Summit Organics t) is currently harvesting some beautiful big, brightly coloured organic carrot bunches, grown in the rich soil on their Tyalgum Farm. Fresh carrots are also available from Everest Farm and Kennedy Lane Farm.

BLUEBERRIES

 It’s prime blueberry time and the berries are tasting great. Punnets and buckets of seconds available now from Blueberry Fields.

HEMP HUMMUS

Middle Eastern food stall Baraka recently introduced a new line to its hummus range, blending hemp with its traditional hummus recipe to create Hemp Hummus. Rich in Omega 3 and 6, and in proteins, hemp is highly nutritious. Baraka owner Alan Schwarz says he uses a certified organic source of hemp blended with Baraka’s traditional hummus to create the earthy flavoured dip.

MUSHROOMS

The newest farmer to join the New Brighton Farmers Market is Gary, from Wollumbin Gourmet Mushrooms. Gary grows a variety of seasonal and micro seasonal gourmet mushrooms like Shimeji, Shiitake, King Oyster, Blue Oyster, White Oyster, and Pink Oyster. All of Gary’s mushrooms are grown as naturally as possible, outside in their natural environment. “We believe in minimal impact on the environment and even place our logs and growing areas around and between the trees within the forest,”says Gary. Also look out for his grow at home mushroom logs.

BASIL

Everyone’s favourite summer herb is now back. Beautiful with fresh Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, fresh cheese from Nimbin Valley Dairy and a splash of Grumpy Grandma’s olive oil on a slice of Heart Breads sourdough.

Also in season: apples, beans, banana, lettuce, celery, capsicum, eggplant, papaya, s, broccoli, carrots, papaya, potato, sweet potato,spinach, lettuce, radish,  shallots, turnips

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