After a well deserved, and highly appreciated sleep in this morning. I was overjoyed to finally make it to the Capital Region Farmers Market. The week before last it was cancelled for the Canberra Show, both of which are held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC). Last week it was cancelled at the last minute because of the floods in and around Canberra. I was very sad when we turned up and there was a sign on the gate informing me as such. The weekly farmers market is far and above my favourite thing about Canberra.
Each week I go and collect my fresh produce. I used to go with $40 and spend not a cent more. I’d buy up on all the herbs and vegetables I could muster, greatly appreciating the superior flavour of seasonal, local produce. The prices aren’t cheap, but it’s still worth it. I have come to really value watching the seasonal produce come and go. Today I bought some of the last peaches of the season for a fabulous $1 a kilo. I saw the first of the rhubarb for the year, and was very excited to see pomegranates too. It’s particularly important for me to stock up on locally grown garlic, because a good friend of mine seems to have taught me to take great offence to the importation of the simple and critical ingredient.
These days, I spend well more than $40 and purchase the majority of my groceries for the week. This means I can take advantage of the best local meats too. The chickens I buy from Thirlmere Poultry are absolutely delicious. I will only ever buy free range poultry. Thirlmere chickens are reared for longer than on most poultry farms, giving them time to become tastier than the competition, but making them a little more expensive to raise. I normally bring the bird home and fillet it, keeping the breast, maryland and wings for different dishes and make stock from the carcass. This is a much cheaper alternative than buying all the bits and bobs separately, even when accounting for the little extra expense of a Thirlmere bird. This week I also bought a duck from them. I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with it, but am very excited about the options.