HOW TO FIND THE BEST OF THE REST AT HUNTER MARKETS
How many times have you been to the farmers markets? Do you ever find it difficult to find what you want at the best quality and price? Maybe the idea of going to the markets seems all a bit too hard?
If you would like to give the farmers markets a go, but you find it a little daunting to get the best produce, this guide is for you. Last week I took a look at the best veggie stalls in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, and the week before we served up the best fruit. Today, it’s all the other stuff! Meat, milk, eggs, bread, honey, treats – you name it, you can find it at the markets.
Wootton Valley Meats (and more!)
Jim’s outstanding quality meat from a family farm in the beautiful Wootton Valley, 14km inland from Bulahdelah. His beef is Angus and cross Hereford/Sant-Gertrudis beef, which is pasture fed, hormone free and tastes delicious. Jim also sells lamb, chicken, eggs, and honey (see below) and gives the best service going! This is where I buy all my meat and chicken from and I really recommend his lamb and chicken as they are just outstanding.
A quick word on buying honey from the markets – yes you will pay more than the supermarkets, but trust me, it will taste better than anything you can get from there. Supermarket honey has generally been through a heat-treatment process which makes it look better, but affects the taste and kills off any of the beneficial yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body. So natural is much better for you!
Over the Moon Milk
This Jersey milk is creamy and delicious – nothing like what you’ve been buying from the supermarkets. The milk is pasteurised and bottled in the old-fashioned way, one small batch at a time, and is not mixed with milk from other dairies. It is non-homogenised, with cream on the top – the way nature intended.
Over the Moon milk is sold by Karl & Cathie Johnson and comes from Ian & Sue Lindsay’s dairy farm in the Hastings Valley (near Wauchope). Their herd of Jersey cows are grass fed, with no pesticides or man-made fertilisers used in their pasture production.
Sherallee Goat Milk
If you’re sensitive to cow’s milk – goat’s milk may be an alternative for you to try. It still contains lactose, but is more completely and easily absorbed than cow’s milk. And how lucky are we that we have access to family-owned Sherallee Goat Dairy which sells fresh, unpasteurised goat’s milk from Cooranbong?
Bills Certified Organic Stoneground Sourdough Breads
Sourdough is a great low-gluten option for those who want an alternative to normal white or brown bread. It is made with a starter and usually contains better quality flours than you would find in supermarket breads. Bill’s breads have no added yeast or sugar, no chemical pesticides, no artificial preservatives or flavourings.
They also do a delicious Kamut Sourdough, an ancient grain which has a great buttery flavour and is higher in vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Phosphorous, Magnesium and Zinc. Kamut is not gluten-free, but is a good option if you are on a low-gluten diet.
The Banana Bread Man Bakehouse
Looking for a gluten free banana bread? The Banana Bread Man Bakehouse make gluten-free banana bread with 100% real fruit. The amount of potassium and fibre in bananas may help combat atherosclerosis, or the hardening of arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Their Honey, Oats and Cinnamon bread is another delicious option which is dairy-free, nut-free and cholesterol-friendly, meaning you can enjoy a slice toasted with a herbal tea as a guilt-free weekend breakfast.
Peter’s Thai food at Newcastle Farmer’s Market is both delicious and healthy for you, and I always make sure to get a couple of curries to have in the freezer, ready for a quick meal. Just defrost and add tofu or chicken and veggies, and you’re good to go. It contains no preservatives, no artificial colours, no artificial flavours and no added MSG.
Chai is a mixed-spice tea from India which has become very popular here. It’s a good alternative for those who’d like a hot beverage, but aren’t drinking caffeine and don’t want the sugar-hit of a hot chocolate. I don’t normally like Chai all that much, but this one is delicious and is based in Newcastle!
Kentholme Condiments’ Worcestershire Sauce
This sauce is handmade, with no preservatives and adds a delicious flavour to your food!
Did you know you can also buy chickens from the markets in Newcastle? I’d love to have the space for chickens. If you’re lucky enough to have some room, these market chickens lay eggs and are a great addition to the backyard!
Dominic The Flower Man
This is my one little indulgence – a bunch of flowers for work and a bunch for myself. Flowers make any space feel lovely and alive, and it always makes my day seeing Dominic.
Teacher’s Pet doggy treats are great – they ship worldwide and don’t contain any of the nasties that you find in supermarket treats. Dogs need looking after too! I buy a packet every week for my little dog.
If you live in the Hunter region, here are the two main farmers markets you can find these stall-holders at:
Newcastle: Held most Sundays at Newcastle Show Grounds or Hunter Stadium and now every Wednesday afternoon / evening.
Speers Point: Held 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month at Speers Point Park. Note: They tend to have less stalls so not all of the above stallholders are guaranteed to be there, although there is quite a bit of crossover.
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