Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Farmers' Market

I used to think a farmers' market was where you could go an buy food from a farmer who had just picked it fresh off the farm.

When we moved into the greener side of Melbourne, Mum took me to some farmers' markets to buy organic veggies, or maybe some 100% rye sourdough bread and half a dozen free-range eggs or so.  It always involved getting up very early and freezing over the morning dew.  That was about ten years ago.  In fact, what I was unconsciously witnessing was the birth of The Farmers' Market.

Yes, that's right.  Not a farmers' market, but I repeat... The Farmers' Market.

Fast forward to 2011.  It's Millie B.'s birthday and we are going to go visit Yering Station.

{FYI: Yering Station is Victoria's first winery, nestled in the Yarra Valley just past the township of Yarra Glen.  I'm pretty sure it's one of the most picturesque places on the entire planet.  Pretty sure.}

Every third Sunday, Yering Station hosts a Farmers' Market, and has been for the last 9 years apparently.  (Which means this is one of the original farmers' markets turned Farmers' Market).

Confused much?  Well, don't be.  The Farmers' Market is here to stay.

I first heard about The Farmers' Market in one of my university lectures - a sociology one.  In a passing comment, the lecturer managed to imply that The Farmers' Market is a fairly new phenomena involving everyday people who choose to spend their Sunday afternoons driving some distance to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from somewhere other than the local supermarket.

Apparently, this is strange, but good.

We think it's strange because we're used to mass-production, familiar brand labels, and the supermarket.

If you just stop and think for a moment (not too hard), you'll remember that there obviously wasn't such thing as a supermarket before supermarkets were invented.  {Obviously}

Ahah!  So where did you buy your fresh fruit and veg?  (Not to mention anything else that's fresh and edible?)  Easy.  At the farmers' market down the road.  I'm just assuming that there were farmers' markets everywhere.  That's general knowledge right?  Right?  Don't quote me on that.

The farmers' market is making a comeback - as The Farmers' Market.  People wish to know that they are eating a pear which was picked within the last week - not the last nine months.  {Just sayin.  You never know when that supermarket stuff was propagated}.

People wish to speak to the owner of the chickens which laid the eggs and make sure they were really running free (the chickens, not the owners).

People wish to touch and taste and smell.  Drink an organic coffee with soy milk, buy an alpaca hair jumper, listen to the man playing on the bongo drums.

(I'm being a little facetious).  But that is what generically characterises The Farmers' Market - as opposed to the farmers' market one hundred years ago.  I promise I'll stop talking about the difference now.

It's a worldwide phenomena people!

Look at that nice old barn in the above picture.  That's where Yering Station puts its Farmers' Market.
But beware.
A Farmers' Market can be a dangerous trap to those carrying moolah.  Dough.  Drachmas.  {Money}
I almost came home with:

Several jars of organic kalamata olives grown in the Yarra Valley and steeped in olive oil, fennel seeds, and other flavoursome yummies.
Homemade macadamia nut and white chocolate fudge wrapped in brown paper.
Some gluten free shortbread with lemon myrtle.
Fresh strawberries.
And I was also tempted by the hand crafted chocolates.

But in the end, I overcame all and settled for this:

{hello deliciousness}

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