I can’t get enough of farmers markets and here in the Hawke's Bay you are spoilt for choice: Hastings Night Market on Thursdays; Napier Urban Food Market and during summer months Black Barn Market on Saturday mornings; and if you can drag yourself out of bed on Sunday mornings - Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market at the A&P Showgrounds in Hastings, where produce for sale must be locally grown and produced.
Last Sunday morning we headed for Hastings Showgrounds and despite planning to grab coffee first - you are spoilt for choice here and even though there is an inevitable 10 minute wait at each vendor, no one seems to mind - we wandered around the first dozen or so stalls deciding what we would come back and grab once we had coffee in hand: stonefruit; avocados; olive oil; and so much more.
With this market boasting at least 60 regular stallholders, plus many more on a semi-regular basis, the highlight for me is talking to the local producers about their products and why they are so passionate about what they do. From the couple selling craft beer while working full time, with a goal to make it their living within 12 months, to the old hands who started out selling at farmers markets and now sell throughout New Zealand but still turn up every weekend. Everyone has a story and people love to share so make sure you’re not in a hurry as this is somewhere you should take your time. It’s fabulous just to sit and people watch, and from the looks of it, it’s a weekly meeting place for many - you never know who you might bump into.
For anyone interested, more photos of the trip to the Hawke's Bay will go up on the website in the next couple of weeks so don’t forget to check out the other fabulous local food producers The Foodie Inc has been talking to.
This weekend, make time to get out and explore your local farmers market - you never know what you might find and who you will meet. Love to hear where you went - comment below or on the Facebook post.
Enjoy your Waitangi weekend, I tend to!
For more information: Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market