Working in an office next door to the co-ordinator of a Farm Gate Market has a few advantages, but it also has downsides. Nicole is the co-ordinator for the Albury Wodonga Farmers Market and works part-time from an office provided by my employer, Riverina Institute. I offered to conduct some research for Nicole while I was in Tasmania, and here’s what I discovered.

Farm Gate Market - North Hobart

Farm Gate Market: North Hobart (photo by Roger Findlay)

Farm Gate Market: Co-Ordination Mission

by Roger Findlay

When Nicole is in her office next to mine, the phone never stops ringing and now I’m aware of the complexities of running a farmers market. It would be no different in Hobart where co-ordinators of the Farm Gate Market, Madi Peattie and Amelia Mason (along with others), do such a wonderful job of getting the show on the road.

Farm Gate Market - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Farm Gate Market (photo by Roger Findlay)

On my last visit to Hobart, I went to the farmers market on two consecutive Sundays and, before I set about taking photos, I introduced myself to a lady selling coffee. It was a cold morning but this dedicated girl had risen before 4:00am to be first on-site at the car park on the corner of Melville and Elizabeth Street, North Hobart.

The Farm Gate Market didn’t start until 9:00am but there was a lot to do including the site plan for the day, where stall holders were directed to their allocated spot, ready for the opening. It all sounds simple but that’s not always the case. Imagine a day where the power fails or fuses blow. What if the stall holders have the grumps? Strong wind can cause havoc with canvas gazebos. Are the insurances up to date?

Shopping: Farm Gate MarketHobart

As a customer, all I had to do was to park the car close by, take my own eco bag, leave the dog at home with the wife and refrain from smoking. I don’t have a dog, nor do I smoke but I did have Nikon raring to go.

Farm Gate Market - Bruny Island Meat

Bruny Island Meat (photo by Roger Findlay)

You will see from the photos that I haven’t covered all of the Farm Gate Market stall-holders. I apologise to those I’ve missed, but as a shopper you can expect to find the following: free-range meats, real sausages, cheese, cakes, vegetables of all varieties, flowers, plants, honey, walnuts, wines, organic herbal tea, sushi, bread, soup, coffee beans, eggs, pickles, jams, chutneys, buskers and even manure.

Gavin (Think Tasmania principal) and I didn’t make it past the Silver Hill Fisch salmon sausage stall and we’d only been at the Farm Gate Market for a minute! You don’t get salmon sausages in Albury and I couldn’t resist one in a roll with chilli sauce.

After browsing the meat, cheese, honey and all varieties of spuds, I was attracted to RhuBru. Rhubarb isn’t only a partner to custard. It can be juiced, sauced, syruped and eaten with pork instead of apple. It’s so easy to grow and should become more popular now that I’ve told you.

Farm Gate Market - Rhu Bru

Rhu Bru (photo by Roger Findlay)

Hot Cider, Beef Dripping and Scalded Spuds

Hot cider! There’s no better drink on a cold morning. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall drinks it, and it’s a great accompaniment for a chorizo taco stuffed with beans.

Black Angus Beef Dripping: 100% pure beef and 100% pure Tasmanian. What a way to advertise! How could anyone resist this product from the home shores. It was perched next to the King Edwards. Imagine how they felt. The sensitive sods fearing being cut into chips and plunged into a pan of hot beef dripping at 190C.

I was travelling north that afternoon so resisted the beef dripping, but I know the wife would have preferred it to the hideous quilting deely bobs I bought for her.

Farm Gate Market - Black Angus Beef Dripping

Beef Dripping (photo by Roger Findlay)

Farm Gate Market: Heading East to Bellerive

After mid-December and the next time I’m in Hobart, I’ll be able to visit the new Farm Gate Market at the Bellerive boardwalk on the Saturday morning and then the North Hobart variety on the Sunday.

By jolly jumbucks! They’d better be selling that beef dripping from Tasmania. I don’t want the imitation variety from Asia nor the one that’s been de-cholesterolised on the advice of the medical profession. I want a dripping that kills me with a smile on my face.

Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the experience for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.

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Map: Farm Gate Market, Hobart Tasmania…

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