Sunday, 3 January 2010

Hobart Farmers Market - a few months down the track

Popped in to check out the Farmers Market this morning, and see if it has evolved - and it has. As organiser Madi says, it will take time but it's growing and evolving by the week. There are more stalls, and more of a variety of goods available, so even though you'd have to go elsewhere for some items, if you're passionate about buying product direct from the producer, this is the venue for you.

I managed to get pretty well everything I went along for today, with the exception of a bag of pink eyes. I bought some beauties there just before Christmas for $3 a bag, but unfortunately today the pink eye seller wasn't there. The Hmongs had some but they were $5 a bag, and my heart was set on the freshly dug pink eye chats I had bought previously.

Had a lovely long chat with Nick Haddow (about Taste and Farmers Market), and also Matt Evans - about Matt's upcoming SBS farming program (Episode 1 is on this Thursday night at 7.30).

Met my friend Sue there too (buying a large marrow), who told me about a meal she'd made earlier this week using one of those larger zucchinis which are then called marrows. She'd hollowed it out and stuffed it with felafel mix, baked it, then served it with a tomato concasse. I agreed it was a fabulous idea, so bought a marrow there myself for 50c! How cheap is that for a decent meal? Naturally I will be trying this idea tomorrow.

The Farmers Market is a wonderful idea, and Madi is to be hugely congratulated for maintaining the concept, and being so open-minded about suggestions people make to her on ways to improve it.

She told me she's looking at moving the start time to the more civilised 9.00 am (from the current 8.00 am). That's all well and good for you people who like to sleep in on Sunday mornings, but for early risers like Rita, it's way too close to lunch time!
Anyway, hopefully with a later starting time, more people will attend? I don't know. But I do know that it's a great shopping place for fresh goods.

(One small hint to the lady with the $15 jars of marinated mussels - when the cost of the containers is above the cost of the ingredients, you should seriously look at the product and think about if it's working for your patrons. I would love to know if any sold today.)
Posted on by Rita


Tassiegal said...

Funny - Mum said the same thing about the Mussel lady to me this morning when we were at the markets! What time were you there Rita?

Rita said...

Hi TG - I was there between 8 and 9 am. I heard a few people making that point about the mussels. When I thought about it, there is no situation I could see anyone buying such a small amount of marinated mussels for such a large price, no matter what the circumstance. At the very least, to encourage people to purchase, she could have opened one of the jars and offered samples for a 'try before you buy' check.

Maggie said...

Hi Rita,

I'd say that 8am is a great starting time for the market. 9am is a little late, and a little hot in summer too. Best to get in and out while the morning is still cool.

How is the job hunt going? I'm back at work this week but if you would like ot go for a coffee drop me an email at work. I'm just up the road from Chado.

Happy New Year, and all that guff,


sir grumpy said...

Nine is still way too early for civilised people on Sunday, Rita!
1pm would be fine but I stillwouldn't go, as I hate markets.
Shops will do me.

Anonymous said...

I generally don't sleep at all for a few days and then just catch up all at once.

Saves time. :D

Seems like a no brainer to me.

Opening the market at 9 is just more evidence that people are becoming lazier.

Tassiegal said...

Rita- we may have overlapped then! I was there about 8:45ish.
I did try the mussels, they were nice but definately not worth $15 a jar...nor $40 for three!
a 9am start would be nice in winter, but in summer an 8am start is great as it gets me up and going and I get stuff DONE instead of sleeping the morning away. I do like the fact Madi is emailing out on a Friday who will be there, so you can plan your menus.

hrv said...

I'd like it to start at 9. We finish up in the restaurant between 1 or 2 am and usually are down there by nine but sometimes we can't get down until 10 and most stuff has sold out by then. Good on you Madi for persevering. It will grow more.

Rita said...

Maggie - you may well know that Chado is in my sights for a visit - so you may well find yourself co-opted there! The job hunting is at a distinct standstill at the moment, I'm afraid to say. Happy NY to you too!
Sir G - I think we all know by now how late a riser you are! I would like you to say a quick prayer now to the fact that you aren't married to Rita, who would have you up and around at 6.30am daily!
Anon - love your thinking, and I agree, it just shows people are becoming more lazy - it's all about lifestyle isn't it? Try telling THAT to the First Fleeters!
TG - yes, Madi is doing a great job sending out those Friday emails
HRV - great to hear that you restaurant people are buying your produce there too.

Bri said...

Is it a public email list for the weekly market updates? I'd love to know how to get added to this. I tried googling but with no luck!

Tassiegal said...

Bri - most of the market stalls have clipboards that you can sign up on. Though I am sure an email to Madi (whose address I cant find at teh moment) would work the same!

Bri said...

Thanks Tassiegal. I'll keep an eye out for the clipboards next time I'm there!

Madi said...

I'm a bit late - apologies. I have been flat out preparing for the market's official launch this coming Sunday.

I am a keen reader of your blog Rita - thankyou so much, it's been great to read the well wishes and it's also a valuable opportunity for me to gain some great feedback and suggestions for the market. I have on a number of occaisions drafted a reply to discussions taking place, however, in fariness to everyone I haven't posted them as they are inevitabley an epic novel!

The mussel lady sold 4 jars on that particular Sunday.

My email address is if you would like to get in touch for the weekly e-flyer.

Website is next on the agenda post launch.

Hope to see you there Rita!