Saturday, April 20, 2019
9 great farmers’ markets
in the South-West
*This is an updated 2019 Blog*
The South-West is the food bowl of Western Australia. It’s a place where, at the right time of year, you’ll find everything from apples to zucchinis being grown, harvested and turned into fresh, healthy food.
Fruit and vegetables, honey, eggs, meat, dairy products – they’re all grown by the region’s talented producers. Many entrepreneurial farmers and other producers are also value-adding, creating everything from jams and relishes to cheese and chocolate.
And they’re in demand, as more and more of us make our grocery purchase decisions based not just on what’s healthy and fresh but on what’s in season and what’s local.
Little wonder then that farmers’ markets have become wildly successful across the region. Indeed, the Margaret River Farmers’ Market earned Delicious Magazine’s award for best farmers’ market in Australia in 2018.
If you’re in the South-West or heading that way soon, here are nine farmers’ markets across the region that are well worth a visit.
Open Thursday – Sunday from 8:30am – 6pm, and 9pm on Friday & Saturday
86 West Street, Busselton
This is an experiential indoor market unlike any other in WA, let alone the South West. The place to celebrate all that’s great about the Busselton-Margaret River region, a place for both locals and visitors to engage with the region’s farmers, producers, winemakers, artisans, and creators – all under one roof so it can be a year-round offering.
Margaret River Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday morning
272 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
This award-winning market is a great place to stop and have breakfast on a Saturday morning, grab a great cup of coffee, buy some fantastic local produce and get to know the locals.
Market manager Katrina Lombardo said all the stalls here are run by the farmers and producers themselves and what’s available closely follows the seasons.
“It’s a true farmers’ market, so if someone is selling primary produce then they’re the farmer who grew the primary produce,” she said. “They can tell you everything there is to know about the meat, or the fruit, or the vegetable.
“If they’re a producer, if they’ve value-added to the produce, they’ve sourced as locally as they possibly can – supporting local farmers to get tomatoes for their relish, and so on.”
If you’re planning to cook up a storm in your Margaret River Private Properties holiday home, then this is the place to come.
“We also have amazing producers who will make you a really beautiful, really affordable breakfast,” Katrina said. “There are lots of different varieties. It’s a great morning out. You’ll get great coffee and great food.
“There’s also produce you can take home with you, like olive oil, local chocolate, relishes, cordials and various things that can be packed — or given as gifts.”
Margaret River Night Market
5.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m., 15 February and 15 March
Memorial Park, Willmott Avenue, Margaret River
This market isn’t about buying fresh raw produce, it’s about sampling the incredible food created by incredible local chefs using that produce.
The Night Market is a celebration of “world food”, with 16 different vendors serving affordable and “ready to go” food and beverages from various countries and cultures. It’s like an international food hall, but in the open air!
The aim of the event is to enhance the Margaret River community’s sense of place and to share cultural experiences in an affordable and fun way.
Bunbury Farmer’s Market
Seven days a week
Unlike most farmers’ markets, which are in place for a day or two over the weekend, the Bunbury Farmers’ Market is a permanent structure. More than 150 local growers are represented here.
Found on the Australind Bypass, it’s open seven days a week, so it’s a great place to stop en route to the South-West if you’re looking for fresh fruit and vegetables.
You can also get platters, desserts, quiches, prepared salads and even gift hampers from this market – and its website is loaded with great recipes!
The Shed Market (Busselton)
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
12 Caves Road, Abbey
The Shed Market in Abbey, close to Busselton, is more than just a farmers’ market – there’s a whole ethos that comes with it. The founders of this fabulous market want to “inspire, educate and create a sustainable future for us all”.
Founded by Chris and Donna Carlyle, who were inspired by a market they visited in South Africa, The Shed is great for anyone who loves buying, cooking and eating food but also cares about where that food came from and how it was grown.
Stallholders are all local businesses who believe in The Shed’s ethical ethos. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area on the right day.
7.30 a.m. till Noon, first and third Saturday of the month
Kaloorup Road, Vasse
Vasse is a small but now quickly growing community just 10 km from Busselton, towards Dunsborough. Being between these two tourism hotspots, Vasse has been somewhere people tend to pass through, rather than stop and enjoy.
So, the Saturday farmers’ market is an excellent excuse to visit Vasse. While you will, of course, find all the kinds of fresh, local, in-season and organic produce you’d expect from a farmers’ market, you’ll also find plenty of handmade products, arts and crafts and other locally produced items that might make a perfect memento of your trip down South.
Dunsborough Central Markets
Fortnightly Saturdays from September to February, then selected dates till June
Lions Park, Dunsborough
These local markets in the centre of Dunsborough are a real community event. It’s not just fruit and vegetables; you’ll also find freshly baked bread, olives and olive oil, soaps, candles and local handicrafts.
Albany Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday, 8 a.m. till noon
Collie Street, in the city centre
The Great Southern’s capital, Albany, has long had farmers’ markets in the heart of town.
More than 30 local producers and growers regularly sell their wares at this weekly market. It started in 2002 to provide producers in the Great Southern with a weekly direct outlet for their product.
The market is now a colourful and vibrant part of the weekly calendar, attracting customers from across the region who enjoy a huge range of vegetables, fruits, farmed meats, seafood and much more.
Locals say genuine excitement fills the market when the first of a new seasonal product appears, like asparagus, avocados or cherries.
Kwoorabup Community Markets (Denmark)
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
222 Scotsdale Road, Denmark
Half an hour west along the coast from Albany is Denmark – a stunning community on the edge of the wild Southern Ocean, set amongst the rolling green hills and tall eucalyptus forests.
The community has long had a focus on doing what’s right for the environment, so it’s no surprise to find a thriving farmers’ market here where you can find all kinds of delicious, organic, seasonal produce – like mulberries.
Denmark has a distinct local spirit and if you’re holidaying in the area, this market presents a great opportunity to meet the people who call this amazing corner of the South-West home.
Peel Farmers’ Market (Mandurah)
Sundays, 8 a.m. till noon
Dolphin Quay, Dolphin Drive, Mandurah
If you’re visiting Mandurah, the Peel Farmers’ Market on a Sunday is the perfect place to find a huge variety of fresh produce.
It’s all locally grown, raised and produced, including fruit and vegetables (both organic and hydroponic vegetables are available, too) farm-fresh eggs and dairy products, chutneys, pickled onions, dukkah, honey and many more local products.
It’s also a great place to pick up freshly baked breads and pastries, including organic, biodynamic goods.
Planning a holiday to the South-West? Private Properties has a portfolio of stunning homes available across the region. (With incredible kitchens, if you’re planning to cook up a storm with all that fresh produce!)
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