Five Must-Visit Farmers’ Markets

 

Charming cafés.  Local artists’ galleries.  Striking street art.  When on your travels, what do you make a point of tracking down?  Do you travel with the sole purpose of finding an amazing beach or maybe a remote homestay? 

Your Beaumaris Rotary Club Correspondent’s must-do activity on any trip – interstate or overseas – is a visit to the local market.

She’s been to more markets than she can recall but here’s her Top 5 can’t-miss Farmers’ Markets. Do they match yours? 


Matakana Farmers’ Market, New Zealand

Want to delight in a diversity of Kiwi delicacies? Oysters, whitebait or mussel fritters, organic fruit smoothies, Whangapiro buffalo cheese and Manuka honey – even chica cherry cola.  

Just head north out of Auckland into the Matakana wine region where you’ll locate the Matakana Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. 

You’ll soon find yourself listening to the ripple of distinctive Kiwi accents and local music, as you meander around old wooden stalls set up alongside a quaint riverbank.  Amongst the myriad of stalls there’s homemade fruit preserves, local caught fish and plenty of delicious regional cuisine.  This is a magical setting.  It’s the perfect spot to lounge with a picnic and savour the treats. 


Pike Place Farmers’ Market, Seattle

Amy Tong

Seattle’s Pike Place Market isn’t just home to the original Starbucks.  Nor is Starbucks the biggest attraction!  Pike Place Market is where fishmongers bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Catch of the day’. 

Pike Place fishmongers have a tradition of throwing fish, some of which can weigh up to 15kg, through the air from the display cases to the scales. It started in the early 1980s. What was initially just one fishmonger’s time-saving initiative, is now a big tourist attraction. Crowds gather to watch turbot; king salmon and even Alaskan halibut being thrown through the air. 

There are over 500 stalls, shops and restaurants in Pike Place and aside from fish, it’s worth trying the Beecher’s mac and cheese and chocolate-covered Washington cherries. 


Provençal Market, Uzès

Petra Carter

Every Wednesday and Saturday, in the central square of Uzès, Place-aux-Herbes, the local eligible bachelors take to their bench to observe the hustle and bustle of the most happening market in the South of France. 

Uzès is a small town located about 30 minutes west of Avignon.  Every Saturday, a colourful collection of stalls fills the cobbles of Place-aux-Herbes. There’s something exceptional and uniquely Provençale about the market that defies description. It’s a place to bring a basket; rummage through items displayed provocatively on the cobbles; converse in your best French with stallholders selling wine, linens, ribbons, baskets, flowers, goats cheese, honey, lavender, jewellery, pottery and more; and ogle at more varieties of olives than you can imagine. 

But leave time to relax with un café and freshly baked croissant and, like the eligible bachelors, simply watch the world go by as you plan your return for the annual January truffle fare. 


 Salamanca Market, Hobart

Tasmanian Truffles

What’s Hobart’s claim to fame? Dark Mofo? MONA? Rotary’s Club Correspondent thinks it’s Salamanca Market. 

Every Saturday, Salamanca Market sets out its stall for artists, designers, photographers, painters, bakers, florists, apiarists and farmers; selling everything from ceramics, cheeses, felt hats, wine, fruit, second-hand books and handmade Huon pine cheese boards.

It’s come a long way since the first Salamanca Market held in 1972 with a mere 12 stalls! Enlivened by local buskers playing folk music, it’s now one of Australia’s busiest and most popular markets.


Columbia Road Flower Market, London

London Underground Limited

Be prepared to see an amazing number of different flowers and plants as you navigate the abundance of blooms along this picturesque East London street. 

Undoubtedly, London’s most visually appealing market, Columbia Road Flower Market is in the heart of the East End. From 8am – 3pm, every Sunday market traders line the narrow quarter mile street selling fragrance, colour and love in the form of flowers, houseplants, herbs, bulbs and shrubs.

Kay Gallwey’s kaleidoscopic pastel drawing, commissioned by London Transport in 1987, captures the lively and riotous nature of Columbia Road on a Sunday morning.

And if that’s not enough sensory arousal for you, there are street performers; step dancers and musicians; and awesome street art in local Brick Lane that is a match for anything you’ll find in Hosier Lane.  


Got time to tell us about your favourite Farmers’ Market?  We’d love to hear from you. For a casual catch up and to learn more about Rotary, please contact Megan:

glenwrightmegan@gmail.com Tel: 0418 578 114

Megan’s our Beaumaris Rotary Membership Director.  The title sounds a little formal but trust us, she’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet!


Images by Kieron Letts unless otherwise stated.