Farmers Markets – what’s the attraction?

Local food and produce markets are a way of life all over the world – often a social ritual where the stallholders know your name, your favourite ingredients and when to tempt you to try something new.  With food and produce markets throughout the country, thousands of us descend upon local farmers markets each week so what’s the real attraction here in New Zealand?

Driven by purchasing the freshest produce, supporting local producers, looking to purchase artisan products or simply escaping for an hour or so, many people are regulars at farmers markets.  On Saturday mornings at Tauranga Farmers Market (and others too) people patiently queue at the entrance waiting for 7:45am to tick over.  Early birds get the ever so popular fresh blueberries and free range eggs; sold out signs greet those who arrive mid-morning, while stallholders sit and chat in the sunshine, patiently waiting for 12 noon packdown to roll around.

 Authorised people only before 7:45am

Authorised people only before 7:45am

 Join the queue on a Saturday morning at Tauranga School

Join the queue on a Saturday morning at Tauranga School

 Friendly vibe at Tauranga Farmers Market

Friendly vibe at Tauranga Farmers Market

For others, even ardent fans of farmers markets it’s a morning out driven by a need for truly fresh produce, a particular ingredient, meeting a coffee for a friend or simply that it’s been too long since the last visit.  Sometimes planned, sometimes impromptu we’re not what could be defined as regular market goers even if we love local farmers markets.

Out of town on holiday it’s the perfect opportunity to sample local artisan products.  A recent long weekend staying on a friends’ avocado orchard near Te Puke, we were spoilt for choice with Te Puke, Tauranga and Mt Mauganui farmers markets all within driving distance.  At Tauranga Farmers Market we were lucky to grab some local award winning cheese, Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza Cheese (Katikati based raw milk cheese makers), Small Batch hazelnut butter and loads of fabulous fresh produce.     

 Award winning cheese - Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza

Award winning cheese - Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza

 Small Batch Nut Butters

Small Batch Nut Butters

 Local avocados of course

Local avocados of course

 Peaches galore...

Peaches galore...

Weather dependent (it’s drizzly and grey here on the Coromandel today) we hope to head to Thames Market (facebook) Saturday morning.  For information on just a few of the farmers markets visited by The Foodie Inc click on links below:

If you have a favourite local food and produce market you wish to share, feel free to comment below.

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle