Find the Best Veges at Hunter Markets


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.

First though, a few reasons I love the farmers markets:

  • The food is fresh
  • It’s good quality
  • It has less food miles
  • It’s often cheaper
  • You can talk to the grower to find out where the food is from and when it was picked
  • You’re supporting local farmers

Last week I gave away my secrets to the best fruit stalls at our local markets in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. This week, I want to concentrate on the vegetable side of things. There are fewer stalls to recommend when it comes to veggie growers, but each tends to have beautiful fresh produce.

A few simple ideas for vegetable side dishes to support your main meal are below. Keep visiting our recipe page on the website as we are loading new recipes each week.
Asparagus Side Dish – Click Here
Greens Side Dish – Click Here

PilCo Maitland

Asparagus is a spring vegetable, and the asparagus you get from PilCo Maitland doesn’t taste like the asparagus you get in the shops – it’s off the richter scale! BUT you’ve got to get there early to get some. Asparagus is mostly made-up of water, but has some great nutritional benefits, such as being high in vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc. PilCo also have some great pumpkins and wheatgrass.

Willa Willa Park

Willa Willa Park Produce is based in Mangrove Mountain, NSW and offers up this beautiful organic kale and rhubarb. Kale is high in iron, vitamins A, C and K and is rich in antioxidants. Rhubarb is high in dietary fibre which helps maintain digestive regularity and is a good source of calcium.

Mikor Farmers

Mikor Farmers produce homegrown seasonal vegetables.  Their low-spray silverbeet is one of the most antioxidant rich foods you can buy. It regulates blood sugar levels, promotes hair growth and is high in iron. This organic broccolinni bowl would also be perfect for some steamed greens to have as a side dish.

Matt Dennis Farmers

Farmer Matt Dennis, based in Maitland, picks these locally grown cauliflowers at 4pm the night before the markets to give you the freshest possible produce. Have you tried cauliflower rice? Simply steam the cauliflower, blitz in a food processor to a fine crumb and use as a low carb substitute to white rice.

Envy Horticulture

There is a lot to love from Envy Horticulture – but probably the best thing is their potatoes.

A wide variety of beautiful, creamy potatoes, including varieties like Royal Blue, Kiphler, Nicola, Dutch Cream, Purple Congo and Sapphire. While many avoid potatoes due to their high GI, they do contain lots of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – including potassium, vitamin B6, and C. The skin is the most nutritious part, so make sure to wash it throughly and leave it on!

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 Wednesday afternoon / evenings. 

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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