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This was the first actual farmers market that I have ever been to and I have to say I have fallen in love.
What an amazing concept, a market dedicated to the sale of specifically homemade produce.
Coal Creek Farmers Market has proven to be an excellent market for my 'baptism' into what now has to be a fun way to explore Melbourne's market scene.
The bonus is that I get to stock my pantry with the most delicious array of homemade pickles, jams, sauces, herbs and condiments.
I get to chat with the actual producers, what an incredible experience as they are so passionate about their products.
You can't get that experience in a supermarket.
This Farmer market is dog friendly, please make sure that your dog is on a suitable lead.
The types of fresh produce sold at a farmer market for example are...
The market is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month between the hours of 8:00am and 12:30pm.
Make sure that you leave plenty of time to get there as if you are anything like me you will want to spend time at every stall asking questions.
There is adequate parking but if you get there early enough you can secure a park close enough to the market to drop off purchases and head on back for more shopping.
I tried my first taste of venison in the form of a delicious mouthful of sausage. So light and full of flavour. The Venison Pate was delicious also.
I had never heard of Garlic Jam before until today and Darren and Glenice were only too pleased to educate me on all the amazing products that can be made from the humble garlic.
Of course I had to taste a sample, and the great thing about these Farmers Markets is, the fact that you get to taste the produce before you invest your dollars ... that idea I really like.
Well, I was impressed so much that I opened my purse and bought a jar of Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Jam to enjoy with some crackers and cheese and a glass of wine.
Now the education had really began as I dared myself to actually eat a clove of Pickled Garlic ... Wow! I was sold after hearing the benefit of eating a clove every day.
Did my breath smell of garlic? No, phew - I really was pleasantly surprised.
The previous week I had come across an article in the Gippsland Magazine, Spring Issue 20, on Emma Brown's Glorious Googies.
Emma's chickens and roosters are allowed to FREE RANGE her paddocks live in style in converted caravans that she moves around her farm. What a fantastic idea. I had read that Emma was at the Coal Creek Farmers Market and I was looking forward to caching up with her. This time it was Mum and dad doing the selling and promoting and what a proud pair they are I can tell you.
Had to buy myself a dozen of the best and I can speak from personal experience, they are totally delicious!
It's the stories at a Farmer Market that fascinate me - like the story of 'Wils Seeds'
This little guy actually decided at the ripe old age of 5, to set himself up in business. He wanted to sell Organic Vegetable Seeds to the public at the market.
Several years later I found Wil proudly sitting at his little market stall doing just that. he informed me that he had already bought himself a Laptop from the 'Profits' he had made and was now in the process of saving up to buy an Ipad.
Wow, not only was this young man learning about running a business he was also gaining valuable experince in marketing, selling, promoting, budgeting and thoroughly enjoying himself in the process.
I love growing tomatoes and Wil was able to direct me to his Organic Tomato variety 'Grosse Lisse'. I'm really looking forward to harvesting my first crop.
The good old trusted market trolley ended up filled with delicious produce.
Had read that Jindi Farm would be at the market and I was looking forward to chatting with Leslie about her Australian Bush Food products. Looking forward to cooking up a storm using the seasonings I bought.
Wine tasting! Oh, dear and I have to drive ...
I had no idea there was wine at a Farmer Market. How great to sip the actual wine presented by a local producer and get to chat about the differences between the blends.
Helen from Koongunga Wines was able to explain why the South Gippsland region produces some of the very best Australian wines was fascinating.
Andrew from Lucinda Estate reassured me that their Winery was open to the public and very 'kid friendly' so if you get the opportunity when you are in the area, give them a call and arrange a tour.
It was near closing time when I met up with Phyll from Saffron Willis and the discussion about the pros and cons of using Saffron was wonderful.
The jar that Phyll is holding, she informed us, was worth over $3000, a fact that my granddaughter found fascinating. A whole year's harvest, wow!
At some farmers markets you can purchase livestock and little chickens are always such a draw card.
With the promise of fresh home grown eggs and if you have the chicken coop set up, then Coal Creek Farmer Market is the place to pick up some robust little creatures.
It was such a great experience and a wonderful introduction to what a ' True Blue Farmers Market ' is really all about.
I had arrived far too late and missed meeting probably 1/2 the stall holders that were set up. Coal Creek Farmer Market has to be visited 1 more time to really do it justice.
I'm looking forward to visiting another one of the many great Produce Farmers Markets that are in the South Gippsland area as well as others in and around Melbourne itself.
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