Organic food and the Eveleigh Farmer’s Market

I go almost every Saturday to the Eveleigh Farmer’s Market for my grocery shopping. Some months ago I decided to shift from buying produce in the supermarket because I agree with every argument that has being said in defence of farmers markets: that buying local and most of the times organic produce is a great way to improve our health and the health of the planet. I do find differences between the supermarket and organic versions of several foods, not only in flavour but also in how long they stay fresh. That is a pretty good sign that they have more anti-aging components that will end up in your body when you eat them.

Tomatoes
Source: Eveleigh Market

Garlic
Source: Eveleigh Market

When I can’t make it to the Eveleigh Farmer’s Market (because it rains or whichever other reason) my second choice would be the Marrickville Organic Market, which opens on Sundays. But I’m usually short of time (it takes me 30 minutes to get there, either walking or by bus), so I often go to the Metro Grocer in Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre instead. I find the produce there a bit better than in the supermarkets near home.

Last Saturday I had an interesting chat with the apple man, the farmer that provides me with a bag full of delicious organic apples (sometimes pears, too, and plums in summer) for only 10 bucks. We talked about the issues with regulations that make it difficult for farmers to deliver certain products without some degree of “sanitation”, which in some cases remove part of the goodness that organic products are supposed to have (washing eggs with chlorine, for example). We talked about industrial produced food (chickens, vegetables, fruits) and the benefits of eating naturally ripened produce. We shared the same opinion about waxed fruit (how it doesn’t make sense at all). He told me that it would take him more than one year in order to get his organic certification and it make me think about the great paradox of processed (essentially junk) food that is granted the certification just because the corporations that produce it have the means to get the bloody seal in the packages. I kept reminding him that having markets like that one, with people who are willing to spend a few more bucks in local, organic, and/or sustainable food is a sign that things are slowly changing. The conversation, which lasted around 15 minutes (a huge achievement for an introvert like me), made me feel clearer about my option to buy organic food when possible and a bit more optimistic about our future as tenants of this planet.

Then I had another chat with the Flats guy (Flats are snacks made from dehydrated veggies, grains, nuts and spices), he gave me info about the ingredients and the process of making his snacks. He told me that they keep testing other veggies/fruits. They have just released their first sweet flavour (pear and something else that I can’t remember) that were really tasty, but didn’t go well with the berry coulis that was there for dipping. He agreed and said that they’d taste better with a Gorgonzola Dolce or similar cheese. He told me he used to be a customer of the market before selling his snacks there and that what he likes about it is that all stall holders are either farmers or manufacturers and that’s why they’re so passionate about their products. He also mentioned that it makes more sense to buy from them because you know they’re getting the full revenue in exchange for their hard work. Finally, he gave me some tips about dehydrating veggies without a dehydrator . It was another 10-minute-long reaffirming chat (another achievement for this nerd!).

Market
Source: Eveleigh Market

That same day, having drinks with some friends, Gary, who is a chef, incidentally brought into our conversation the same topics: organic food and the Eveleigh Market. And I also had a longer than usual chat with him. What a day!

Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday 8am – 1pm
243 Wilson St
Darlington, NSW
(Adjacent to Carriageworks)
(02) 9209 4220
www.eveleighmarket.com.au

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