Finding great, in-season produce is just one of the reasons to head to a farmer's market. There's also the opportunity to meet the producers, learn more about the produce, soak up the atmosphere, and maybe have something delicious to eat while you're doing it. So with that in mind, we take a look at some of Melbourne's top farmer's markets.
Boroonderra Farmer's Market (Patterson reserve, Auburn Road, Hawthorn)
With a focus on Victorian produce and products, these Hawthorn markets are a great place to not only stock up on whatever's in-season (and plenty of organic options), but find out more about exactly what you're eating. Talk to the stall holders – many of them have been coming for over 10 years – for some insight. And don't forget to enjoy a bite as you work your way around!
Carlton Farmer's Market (Carlton Nth Primary School, Cnr. Canning and O'Grady Streets, Carlton North)
Running twice a month, there's a great selection of fresh produce in this inner north market. It's not vast, but the quality's top-notch. And the smaller, community feel gives you opportunity to get to know the stallholders better. On top of community, sustainability is important here, so bring your mug for a cuppa, and some bags for your haul!
Veg Out Farmer's Market (Peanut Farm Reserve, Chaucer Street, St Kilda)
If you're near St Kilda on the first Saturday of the month, this is a great place to head if you want fab produce that supports primary producers from around the state. There's a lot of love and pride that goes into the produce, so whether you're after organic veg straight from the ground, or hand baked bread straight from the oven, it's definitely worth spending some time here. Get updates here and remember to bring your own reusable bags!
Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market (Collingwood Children's Farm, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford)
Bringing a real country feel to the city, these are the first of the modern day farmers' markets to open in Melbourne's inner suburbs, dating back to 2002. And there's a twist to these markets, because after (or before) you've stocked up on the fresh fruit, veg and produce, there are all those farm animals for the kids to get up close and personal with!
Abbotsford Convent Slow Food Market (Abbotsford Convent, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford)
Same suburb, different approach. While good, clean and fair produce is also at the heart of this market, as the name suggests, it also supports the slow food movement. Not only is the produce incredibly tasty, it's sustainable and ethically-sourced too. Perhaps it's no surprise that many of the store holders have won prizes for their produce, and the market is considered one of the best of its kind in Australia!
Coburg Farmer's Market (Coburg Primary School, 92 Bell St Coburg (enter via Urquhart Street)
Heading a little further north, this market is great for picking up high quality, fresh produce in a relaxing, community atmosphere. And if you're visiting with the tribe, there are plenty of things for the kids to do while you speak to the providores from around Victoria – including from Coburg itself. A fruitful (!) way to spend a Saturday morning. Head here to find out what's coming up.
If you're picking up some spring lamb straight from the producer
Don't forget to try this delicious spring recipe.