Autumn is the season for the annual harvest of nuts, olives and wine grapes. At the market you’ll find fresh Gala Apples, all kinds of mushrooms, bitter leafy greens and deliciously sweet figs.
Read below for a handy guide to the market, straight from the stallholders.
‘It’s great weather for mushrooms with all this rain and mild temperatures – should be a very good season for pines and slippery jacks, just like last year. You can expect to see them pop up at the market soon. While we are waiting, come and see me for fresh locally grown king browns and shiitake, plus many more!’
– Paul Anderson, aka ‘The Fungi’
‘Radicchio is mostly harvested in winter when the colours are at their brightest and the leaves can be at their sweetest. We start harvest in late March and try to keep a supply through to November.
The bitterness is a wonderful flavour attribute. Radicchio can be eaten raw in a salad, often paired with citrus, or grilled or roasted. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C and iron. The bitter phytochemicals can aid with digestion.’
– David Dawes, Owl Farm Braidwood
Gala Apples, Rhubarb & Cherry Tomatoes
‘In early autumn, expect to see the first of our fragrant gala apples making an appearance – with a mild sweet flavour and crisp texture, they are the perfect eating apple – they only have a short season though, so enjoy them while they are here! Around April, the Pink Lady takes centre stage – with a bright, tart flavour this variety also lends itself well to all kinds of culinary uses.
We’ll also have plenty of rhubarb – originally grown from a few corms of my mother’s, ours is a very old variety that has a wonderful depth of flavour and texture when cooked.
Given our climate in Kirkconnell, our cherry tomatoes run well beyond summer and I believe are actually at their best in early autumn, when they develop a sweet umami-rich flavour, perfect for autumn salads or bottling so you can continue to enjoy them throughout the cooler months.’
– Lesley Bland, Kurrawong Organics
‘Autumn for Willowbrae Cheese is a busy time. As the days shorten, the does (girls) go into heat and hope to mate with a lucky buck. Once they kid, they slow down production to a point where they cease to produce at all (go dry). While the supplies are flush we try to stock up on brined cheeses such as Fetta and Halloumi that we can store in a brine throughout the winter, allowing us to use the little milk we get for the fresh cheeses such as the fresh curd.
In terms of our products we will make changes to the Persian Fetta which we are trying to keep in season. Thyme is available throughout the year, but lemon drops off so we’ll look at maybe using lemon verbena or perhaps geraldton wax as a substitute. Perhaps we’ll switch to kaffir lime or curry leaf? While the Marinated Fetta has chilli, garlic and mixed herbs, the Persian Fetta is our way of creating a product that reflects the seasons and showcases local ingredients.’
– Daniel Thaine, Willowbrae Chevre Cheese
‘Figs are in their prime at this time of year, perfect for the ultimate sweet fig taste. My favourite way to eat figs is just as a simple fig salad; made with rocket, parmesan cheese and caramelised balsamic vinegar.’
– Gebran Azzi, Figlicious
‘As the weather cools down, dinnertime calls for warm, nourishing meals like roasts and soups. Try roasting a whole chicken with some delicious Autumn vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potatoes, served with a side of steamed green beans. After you have finished your roast chicken, you can then use the collagen-rich bones to make a nutritious broth which you can enjoy on its own, or use as a base for your other meals during the week.
We are incredibly proud of how we raise our chicken (and all of our animals) at The Food Farm. Our chickens live a happy life and are free to forage in lush organic pasture, chasing bugs and scratching for worms all day long. We use slow, time-honoured methods that go beyond free-range organic, resulting in a rich taste and nutrient-density that is like nothing you’ve experienced before.’
– Tim, The Food Farm
Visit the Carriageworks Farmers Market every Saturday from 8am – 1pm.