Farmers Market Update: Perth, Australia

by | Jul 17, 2011
Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Carol Matasci is originally from Hawaii, but has been living in Perth, Western Australia for a year and a half. She’s an engineer who loves food and farmers markets.

Farmers Market Update: Perth, Australia

by Carol Matasci

The Subiaco Farmers Market is held on the local primary school grounds every Saturday morning and has become a bit of a ritual for us. All produce comes from Western Australia, with an emphasis on those who produce what they sell and on organic and ethical production. I get excited to see people getting closer to where their food comes from, especially young children.

Subiaco Farmers Market

Subiaco Farmers Market

The market is always bustling with families, people of all ages, and their furry companions. Farmers and vendors sell the freshest fruits and vegetables, ethically raised meats, seafood, honey, olive oil, cheese, eggs, and a variety of cooked foods and treats. I love to get breakfast at the market and listen to the live music.

Food Well Thought

Alice’s stall and her creations

This week I indulged in some stewed apples topped with muesli, yogurt, and honey from Alice Duzevich of Food Well Thought. Alice is passionate about fresh foods made with whole food ingredients that have been minimally processed. She let me taste biscotti she made with kaffir lime leaves from Myaravale Farm a few stalls down. Her foods are so creative and her flavor pairings are inspiring.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

It’s the middle of winter here in Australia, and although I envy those of you in the northern hemisphere with your peaches and tomatoes, I can’t be too upset with the variety that is still available in Perth. Rhubarb is in season almost all year here, and the ruby red stalks look (and taste) so happy despite the cooler weather.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are also in season all year here. Fresh Mushrooms is here every week with button and portobello mushrooms from Casuarina, Western Australia peeking out of their brown paper bags. Their flavor is hard to resist, and I’ve never found supermarket mushrooms that compare.

Apples

Apples

Apples, pears and citrus are at their peak this time of year. We picked up a bag of oranges, and I have an Alice Waters recipe for an orange and olive salad in mind. I also stopped by Alive Juice for some freshly squeezed orange juice slushy. This week, they had juice from Valencia oranges. Alive Juice uses only fresh oranges, not ones that have been stored. They will be squeezing more Navel oranges in the coming weeks as those come into season.

Lemonades

Lemonades

Passing by the Myaravale Farm stall, I tasted their lemonades. A cross between an orange and a lemon, the lemonades look like lemons but are sweeter and less acidic. The lemonade trees at Myaravale Farm in Keysbrook, Western Australia are still young, so the crop is small. I couldn’t resist taking a bag of them home with me.

Beets

Beets

I like to buy a new vegetable or fruit every time I go to the farmers market. Past experiments have included rhubarb, fennel, and broccoflower. This week I picked up a few beets, which I have very little experience with. Next week I think I’ll try kohlrabi. Does anyone have any inspired, wintry recipe suggestions for either?

Broccoli

Broccoli

This broccoli is always delicious simply sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon.

Lilies

Lilies

Photo:  Lilies

Caption:  Valley Flower Farm Lilies

My sweet boyfriend buys me lilies from Valley Flower Farm every other week because he knows how much I enjoy them. Valley Flower Farm could make more money if their flowers weren’t so fresh: one bunch lasts a full two weeks, which is a prime example of the quality you find at a farmers market.

There was also a new stall this week selling blueberries and blueberry plants – I briefly considered buying a plant, but I’m a little intimidated. It looks like the kind of plant I could kill, and I take it personally when my plants die. I think for now I will focus on seeing the plants I already have through the winter, but I might get up the courage to grow blueberries in a few weeks.

Today’s purchases:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Apples (Lady Williams, Pink Lady, Granny Smith)
  • Navel oranges
  • Lemonades (Myaravale)
  • Avocadoes
  • Garlic
  • Snow peas
  • Roasted carrot, cashew, and mint dip (Food Well Thought)
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10 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Perth, Australia”

  1. Anne Matasci says:

    The markets are at the top of our list of experiences to enjoy during our visit to Perth in December. I truly cannot wait! You’ve made the markets, the vendors and especially the delectable produce become vividly alive, Carol.

  2. Kate says:

    Try roasting your beetroot – its delicious!

  3. Laura says:

    wow, those lemonades sounded fab, I have never heard of them! wish I could get them in Pennsylvania. great post.

  4. Laura says:

    Ah, that makes sense Darya, although I dont think I’ve ever had Meyer lemons either. regardless, I think lemonades is a cuter name for them 🙂

    • Ove says:

      Although Meyer lemons are a sweet lemon, they are not lemonades! We (I’m from the Myaravale farm) also sold meyer lemons. Lemonades are a much sweeter variety and you eat them like you eat oranges. Or squeeze the juice and mix with a bit of orange juice. Fantastic!

  5. Brad says:

    Rad article Carol. For something different with beetroot in winter, you might try Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan beetroot curry. The colour is hot and the pandan, cinnamon and coconut make it uniquely Sri Lankan. I’ve made it a couple of times. http://gourmettraveller.com.au/beetroot-curry.htm. In summer and the shoulder seasons, raw beetroot grated into a salad with citrus works well. See you back down at Subi FM soon!

  6. Carol Matasci says:

    I stopped by the Myaravale stand today and asked about the lemonades. Apparently they are not the same as Meyer lemons. They are sweet enough to eat on their own, and have very little acidity compared to most lemons.

    I did roast my beets. They were pretty good, and I’m looking forward to trying them with chevre and mint next time!

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