Top 10 must-visit Farmers' Markets
Experience the cream of the crop at Victoria’s best Farmers' Markets this winter.
Farmers’ Markets offer so much more than just bespoke toasties (though we’d never turn one down). There are stalls packed full of winter greens, heirloom potatoes and carrots, plump cauliflowers and tangy citrus fruits ripe for the picking in winter. Along with handmade preserves, baked goods, eggs, wine, beer, meat, bread, and all kinds of artisanal goods (again with the toasties), Farmers' Markets encourage us to slow down and discover our food's origin story, all while supporting local growers and businesses.
We’ve done a round of up of the Top 10 must-visit Farmers' Markets around Melbourne and regional Victoria to bring that inner country feel into the home.
Warragul Farmers' Market is known for their heirloom potatoes.
1. Bendigo Community Farmers' Market
Every second Saturday (9.00am to 1.00pm at the Bendigo Pony Club, Breen St & Belle Vue Road, Golden Square) and every Thursday (2.00pm - 4.30pm at the Goodloaf Sourdough Bakery, 404 Hargreaves St, Bendigo) of the month.
Less than two hours’drive from Melbourne’s CBD, Bendigo is a beautiful gold-mining town enjoying a second boom, but this time in food. Join the locals embracing nearby growers and makers who deliver super-fresh produce to the centre of town twice a month. Look for the Kingfisher Citrus stand for the juiciest oranges, and make sure to find the Vintage Kitchen Preserves stand and try the turmeric ginger spread. There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
2. Coburg Farmers' Market
Every Saturday from 8.00am to 1.00pm at Coburg Primary School, Coburg VIC.
Coburg Farmers’ Market is one for the locals. Expect to find organic produce like purple carrots and freshly sprouting onions, plants and artistic crafts, with plenty of activities for the kids. There may be face painting, an animal farm or chalk drawing to keep everyone entertained in this vibrant community. Plus, they are plastic-free.
3. Mansfield Farmers' Market
Fourth Saturday of every month from 8.30am to 1.00pm in Mansfield’s High Street median strip, between the Post Office and the Delatite Hotel.
Mansfield Farmers’ Market is a celebration of the High Country. Everything is grown or made in the mountains and valleys of Victoria’s north-east. Find cheese, wine, bread and all the produce in between, including a beautiful stall called Jedda’s Garden, selling whatever Jedda Maxton harvests from her garden at nearby Whitfield. Tamarillos, macadamias, and persimmons have featured at recent markets, with limes, carrots and radishes now making an appearance. Arrive early to snap up Jedda’s hand-picked posies of flowers.
4. Gasworks Farmers' Market
Third Saturday of every month from 8.00am to 1.00pm at the Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park.
Now in its 15th year, the Gasworks Farmers’ Market resides inside the former South Melbourne production plant. At this quirky abode, you’ll find resident artist studios, workshops, and the Gasworks BBQ. Don’t forget to check out the surrounds, featuring a bevvy of galleries, studios, cafes and parklands for a fun day out for the whole family.
5. Warragul Farmers' Market
Third Saturday of the month from 8.30am to 1.00pm at Civic Park, Warragul.
Just over 100 kilometres from Melbourne, Warragul is an easy weekend drive for city dwellers, and the local Farmers’ Market promises excellent organic vegetables, artisan bread, fresh fruit and more. Live music and great coffee are a big drawcard, along with some seriously good food. Highlights include fresh fish caught by Lakes Entrance fishermen and wood-fired sourdough from the Cannibal Creek Bakehouse in Garfield. Make sure you also grab some heirloom potatoes from the Jones family, selling varieties like a blue moon, Dutch cream, King Edward and wilwash.
Cheese is always a good idea.
6. Alphington Farmers' Market
Every Sunday from 9.00am to 1.00pm at Melbourne Innovation Centre, Alphington.
This Farmer's Market is not just a 'market' but a weekly event. Featuring seasonal produce from around Victoria, here you can find fresh fruit and vegetables; free-range eggs and meats; olives and oil; honey; nuts and grains; dairy and cheeses; bread and pastries aplenty.
Here early? Why not grab a fresh brekkie from one of their bakers or speciality makers? Or how about a fresh OJ or coffee to get your morning started? And don't worry – your dog is welcome.
7. Kyneton Farmers' Market
Every second Saturday of the month from 8.30am to 1.00pm at St Paul’s Park in Piper Street, Kyneton.
Kyneton is the ultimate day-trip destination from Melbourne, just an hour up the Calder Highway and full of delicious temptations. Stock up on local produce, enjoy a snag in bread from the church sausage sizzle and linger for a chat with local farmers before taking a stroll through the galleries, shops and cafes of historic Piper Street. Apples are hitting the markets from nearby Harcourt and locally grown olives, nuts, spices, and the renowned goat sausages make their way from Seven Hills Tallarook.
8. Flemington Farmers' Market
Every Sunday from 8.30am to 12.30pm at Mt Alexander College, Flemington.
People who come to Flemington aren’t here to play. With a rotating list of stallholders offering organic vegetables like parwon mushrooms and yendon gourmet tomatoes, a selection of meats, fruits, dairy, honey, nuts, eggs and homemade pasta, it’s easy to see why Flemington Farmers’ Market is a highlight on a savvy home chef’s radar. Plus, don’t forget to check out their range of baked goods from local suppliers such as The Turkish Kitchen, Chef Michael BBQ breakfast, Cocoa Rhapsody Chocolate and more.
9. Castlemaine Farmers' Market
The first Sunday of every month from 9.00am to 1.00pm (except in January) in the car park next to Victory Park, Forest Street, Castlemaine.
Another gem in Victoria’s Central Highlands, Castlemaine’s monthly market, is worth the trip for the bresaola alone. This delicious cured beef is one of many products sold by Warialda’s Allen and Lizette Snaith, who rear and dry-age a small herd of grass-fed belted galloways in Clonbinane. Their award-winning beef is sold directly to some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, and the only other way to buy is through farmers’ markets. Castlemaine’s market has been bringing fresh produce to the town since 2005, with a strong focus on supporting small-scale producers, including cheese and winemakers, bakers and growers of a huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables.
10. Hampton Farmers' Market
Third Sunday of the month from 8.00am to 1.00pm at Willis Lane, Hampton (behind Woolworths).
Say hello to Bayside’s newest Farmers’ Market. Focused on ‘Victorian grown and made food’, Hampton brings the soil to the surf, with an impressively long list of local and rotating stallholders across food, alcohol, beauty, garden, wellness, pets and more. Plus, with weekly live music from the Yarra Villians, it’s a morning out that will be sure to put a spring in your step (and that’s without the gin tasting).