Monday, March 5, 2012

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market

One of my favourite things about living in the Adelaide Hills is the array of fresh produce which surrounds me.  Whilst there are times where for pure convenience sake I find myself shopping at one of the duopoly supermarkets in Mount Barker, more often than not I seek out fresh, seasonal produce from local markets.  The latest addition to the Adelaide Hills market scene is the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market (only 45 minutes from Adelaide, following North East Road).

The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is a community owned and run food market that supports small family farms and businesses.  This fantastic market operates from the Mount Pleasant Showgrounds every Saturday morning from 8am – 12pm, offering a diverse range of produce to an adoring public.  A good deal of the market is undercover in one of the large showground pavilions, so the market can operate irrespective of the weather conditions. 
Our family are able to almost complete a week’s worth of grocery shopping from the market, and best of all we know that the quality of the produce is first rate and fresher than anything available from the big two supermarkets.  Fruit and vegetables come from the farm to the market, eliminating the middle man, distribution and storage of supermarket produce.  A number of the producers are certified organic – I’m no greenie, but there is definitely a taste difference between organic and commercially grown vegetables!

The diverse range of product makes a visit to the market a must-do Saturday morning adventure.  On our most recent visit we were able to purchase a fantastic assortment of fruits, vegetables, meats, fresh pasta, jams, cheese, spices, organic flour, breads, olive oil, coffee and milk.  I highly recommend Spice For All Seasons from Lyndoch, for their fabulous range of spice blends and Udder Delights for their fabulous cheeses at special market prices (love the blue cheese – heaven!).
All the stall holders are local producers.  One of the great things about this is that the person selling you the produce is the person who can make changes to product range, labelling, pricing, etc.  The stallholders relish the opportunity to talk about their products, and for those looking to expand their business, customer feedback is invaluable. 
For those attending the market regularly, becoming a member of the farmers market is highly recommended.  Membership will help support the market operations.  For only $50 per year members receive: free on-site parking, 10% off all stalls, Farmers Market shopping bag, special offers and discounts.

The market organisers also have occasional special guests – celebrity chefs and authors, demonstrating their skills and knowledge whilst utilising the local produce.  Breakfast and fantastic organic coffee is also available on-site to add to the day!  On the way home, stop off at some of the brilliant Adelaide Hills wineries or grab a bite to eat in one of the hundreds of fantastic Hills eateries.  A visit to the market is highly recommended!
When: Every Saturday, 8am – midday.  Rain, hail or shine
Where: Mount Pleasant Showgrounds, Melrose Street, Mount Pleasant. 
Parking: Onsite by gold cold coin donation (free for market members)
Cost: FREE
Money: Bring cash – no ATM facilities on-site (yet)
Twitter: @MtPFM

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