Tora Cullip and Donna Richards are Weight Control Experts based in Sydney, Australia. They teach people how to get in control of their weight by mastering their mindset, motivation and metabolism. They believe that eating real, whole food is not only delicious, nutritious and satiating, but also allows you to easily control your weight without diets and deprivation. They prefer to eat local, seasonal and preferably organic and believe the only diet anyone should ever follow is the Upgrade Diet —always be upgrading to better quality food!
Eveleigh Market, Sydney, Australia
by Tora Cullip and Donna Richards
Although Sydney isn’t a huge city, we are typical Sydneysiders in that we don’t always venture too far out of our own stomping ground on weekends, so we didn’t come across Eveleigh Market until about a year ago. Since then, it’s become our firm favourite and the one that we visit every Saturday. In fact, during our first trip to Eveleigh Market we had a mixture of excitement and disbelief: how could we not have known about this fantastic market only 20 minutes away?
Over the past year, we’ve come to know a lot of the stall holders at Eveleigh Market and we are always amazed at their stories. One of the things we love the most about farmers markets is discovering how everyone came to be growing or making their own produce. Without fail, each of them is driven by a passion and belief in health for their families, community and the environment. We love that!
We know that people can find getting their groceries for the week a real chore and hassle, so we like to think of our farmers market trip as our ‘hunting and gathering’ time. That may sound a bit silly, but it makes our weekly trip to get all of our fresh produce seem fun and enjoyable rather than humdrum. Of course, it helps that we always pick up a piccolo latte before we get started.
We made this particular trip to Eveleigh Market in November, which for us down under is Spring. We’re not quite into stone fruit season, and our favourite organic farmer doesn’t come back until Summer, but apart from that this is the perfect time for us to enjoy all the wonderful local produce from the State of New South Wales.
After a stop at the coffee bar, we picked up our vegan falafels at Naturally Falafel. Josline runs the stall and is also the founder and head chef of the business. She started making falafels because she loves cooking and wanted to do a small job while she was having her three children. With a Middle Eastern background, her passion is for this style of food and she found that people quickly took to her delicious falafels. Her business has grown from running one little stall at a farmers market selling falafels to, three years later, having 30 shops on board and a range of different flavours of falafels. Despite that growth, she still makes all of the falafels by hand and they are all gluten free, 100% vegan and contain all natural ingredients. If you’re in Australia, these are definitely the best tasting falafels in the country.
There’s nothing better than a falafel and fresh green salad, so our next stop was Salads Direct. Jason runs the stall and the farm, and gets up at precisely the right time each day to get the maximum nutrition out of his range of lettuce and edible flowers. On market days, he’s still up just as early to ensure his customers get the freshest produce. And all that hard work pays off. His salad leaves are the best we have ever tasted; you can literally eat a bowl of his salad leaves with no dressing or any additions because they are so full of flavour. Delicious!
Margin’s Mushrooms are a family run business, so each week it’s a surprise as to which dynamic duo you’ll see running the stall. On this trip, wife Christine was there with a member of their picking team. Although Donna has always been an avid mushroom eater, Tora’s only been a convert since discovering the non-watery, full flavoured variety. And that would be Margin Mushrooms. The family are also such happy and delightful people that we think they send these positive vibes into all of their mushrooms.
We always like to start the morning with some lemon in hot water. We don’t like those waxy ones you get when you’re at the supermarket, so we always pick up a big pile of organic lemons from Champion’s Mountain Organics. That’s not the only thing they grow, of course. They also have a fantastic range of produce that is always changing because they only sell what’s in season. Cucumbers, zucchini, leeks and lots of greens were also on offer this trip.
A few months ago, we were a bit disappointed that our favourite ‘Egg Man’, also known as Egganics, seemed to have disappeared from Eveleigh Market. These are the best tasting eggs and have the brightest, deepest hues of orange and yellow yolks—we couldn’t believe they had left. Thankfully, they are now back with their weekly stall so we can enjoy these true free-range and certified organic eggs again. If you check out their website you’ll see that the chickens (or chooks as they’re known in Australia) are free to roam in huge amounts of pasture space. They are also incredibly fresh, thanks to a family effort at getting the eggs delivered fresh to the market each week.
We did discover one interesting new fact this time: the color of the egg yolks change according to the seasons, so in summer they are lighter because the pastures are lighter. You learn something new every day.
Macadamia Nuts are a popular nut in Australia, but most people only eat them when they’re chocolate coated or dipped in honey, not realising that they have so many health benefits. However, Hand ‘N’ Hoe organic macadamias come to the rescue with their spread of oils, natural and roasted butters as well as the ‘treat’ style macadamia. Owners David and Kerrie Flinter first started planting in 1997 and lived in a tent for three years before they got things off the ground, trialling various types of macadamia until they discovered what was most suitable to their soil and climate. They now proudly employ people in the surrounding area, which is a high unemployment area, to help with their hand harvesting and offer a fantastic product. We often chat to David about the benefits of macadamia oil. He couldn’t believe we weren’t using it on our skin. He’s also very generous with his free chocolate covered nuts.
As our Eveleigh Market trip drew to a close we had a lovely chat with Kemps Creek Farms, which is a co-op of six to nine farmers providing seasonal vegetables. Many of the farmers are retired or don’t speak much English—Italians, Cambodians, Chinese, Lebanese and Nepalese people all contribute their produce to Kemps Creeks Farms, and they have the most amazing mixture as they often grow produce that’s unique to their origins and not readily available in Australia. For example, this is the stall where we finally found purslane, which has the highest omega-3 content of any green vegetable. They all try to use as little pesticide as possible to grow their produce, so we know to always expect to find a little snail or worm hole when we return home with our produce.
Although we enjoy our weekly trip to Eveleigh Market, we particularly loved this one as we got to spend more time chatting to the stall holders about their wares. If you live in Sydney, or ever make the trip to Australia, do be sure to pay Eveleigh Market a visit. We think it’s the best Farmers Market in Sydney.