Spring into Action at Eveleigh Farmers Markets in Sydney
Its 8:30 Saturday morning and I’m still in bed. Am I sick? Have I slept through my alarm? Have I taken early retirement? Fortunately none of the previous lines of questioning give answer to my luxurious Saturday lay in. Thanks to all the planets coming into alignment, and the cards turning in my favor I had a very rare Saturday free to do with it whatever I please. So please can we can to the Eveleigh Farmers markets?
When such a day presents itself I spring into action and come up with a million and one things I would love to be doing and top of my list was a long overdue trip to Eveleigh Farmers Markets in Sydneys Redfern to emmere myself in market life.
Thanks to Eveleigh markets undercover location, the weather is no reason to prevent you strolling past the 45+ stalls that line the sides of the huge brick and steel building that is part of the eccletic spaces that make up the old Eveleigh rail yards or carrigeworks that were built in the 1880’s to service the industrial era of the 19th century. With one side open to allow the breeze to flow throw it makes for a great all year round venue.
We make our way down the stairs to the shop floor and begin the audacious task of “Where do we begin?”. With so many vibrant stalls laid out neatly in front of us, it was a case of start on the left and work your way round to the right.
Colourful organic fruit and vegetables make up more than one stalls offerings, with seasonal choices of heirloom potatoes, deep purple hued kale leaves and baskets of compact cauliflowers. You can sort through and chose your produce from a dedicated apple stand or pick your greens from a specialist green grocer. No longer in the realm of exoticism despite its name, exotic mushrooms are on offer alongside shimijii, enoki and shitake.
Along with the obligatory offerings of fruit and veg, small goods, organic poultry and salt-bush lamb also make up the markets trade. Freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, organic juices and farm fresh goats cheese tempt you to partake in a free sample which can lead to a successful purchase.
Those with a sweet tooth are well catered for here at Eveleigh by delicate and flaky French pastries, gluten free towering lemon meringue pies, chocolate splattered mini Pavlovas and hand crafted chocolate truffles.
I make a beeline for the Gumnuts stand which specializes in chocolate and biscuits to stasify my sugar requiremnts. I’m in love with the lucious looking salted caramel sauce and friendly greeting from the two lovely ladies working behind the stand.
The guys working the Yalla Dips and Desserts stand hand out endless little samples to an appreciative crowd, with the cue to purchase sometimes three dip and four wide. Farmer Joe’s home style muesli, organic olive oils, pickles and jams and glazed bagels of varying flavors are proudly displayed for the mixed rabble that constantly stream past their pop up shops.
The Columbian connection are in attendance by way of an espresso coffee stand and silver cafe tables and chairs are laid out down the center of the building for taking a load off from your heavy duty market shopping excursion. We make fine use of the tables, chairs and coffee as we meet up with our delicious friend The Divine Miss White who is on loan to us from New York to spend time with family and friends.
Classical music serandes us as we sit and watch the world and the ever present canine go by. Dogs of all shapes and sizes are on parade with giggling toddlers embracing hounds and parents alike. Despite the presence of so many pampered pouches, not a bark can be heard over the hum of the crowd and cords of the cello. The vibe is good, encouraging people to linger at stalls and chat with the producers.
We discuss philosophy and basset hounds while sipping on cups of steaming brew. Miss 8 plays amongst the kids on the concrete floor skipping to and fro from the stands to sneak an extra slice of bagel or cup of Yalla Chocolate Mousse.
The smell of glorious food is beckoning me to traverse to the other side of the shed where I am greeted by the smiling face of Celebrity Chef Kylie Kwong cooking up bio dynamic Chinese treats from her Billy Kwong stand. She looks calm and serene as she skillful whips together certified free range steamed pork dumplings and organic savory pancakes for her admiring public.
The united nations are represented well by way of Asian, Indian, Meditarrian and European snacks vendors dispensing familiar smells and comforting fare.
Large brown paper cones filled with the inticing bright colours of spring flowers along side bushels of multicoloured silverbeet leaves crowd the eco shopping bags and baskets of the smiling crowd. We have already been here for nearly two hours, and are making no attempt to head towards the exit as we keep on bumping into stalls we are yet to admire.
A handmade ice cream sandwich for 88 from Pat and Sticks is a must do before our journey begins to wind to its sweet conclusion. Being spring I feel the beginnings of my inner city terrace garden in the makings, so my final stop on our world wind market tour is with the lovely herb lady.
Her vibrant green pots of joy whisper there seductive song as I buy up Vietnamese mint, spearmint, thyme and coriander alongside robust rosemary, continental parsley and sprouting chives. I’m as giddy as school girl by my newly formed collection with my attempts to tip my gracious host being in vain as she says “All I need is to see you smile, and thats tip enough for me” She ceremoniously throws the gold coin into my bag of herbs and waves me on the way.
Despite the rain we make our way slowly towards the road, still content to chat and share a few laughs with each other. Its now lunchtime so we head home to plant herbs and cook up some of our market finds, happy in the knowldge that we snaged oursleves some bargains and good energy.
Eveleigh markets can be found at Carrigeworks on Wilson street in Redfern. Its open most Saturdays through out the year from 8am to 1pm come rain or shine. Well worth sacrificing an extra long sleep in for.
Wheres your favorite market?