It has been almost four weeks since my first visit to the inaugural Eat Local markets held every Friday at the Australia National Botanic Gardens. I wanted to see what had changed, what the vibe was like and more importantly get unwaxed apples because I knew I wouldn’t make it to the Farmer’s markets.
The first thing I notice was the new vendors which have joined the markets since my last visit; stalls included Creme n’ Sugar Patisserie and the Junee licorice and chocolate factory. I had just been snacking on Junee’s finest dark sunmuscats and was running low, so I knew I would stop there and buy a box or two.
The next thing I noticed was how quiet the markets were, there was barely anyone around even though I thought it would be prime time as it was COB and people would be leaving work (assuming that not everyone is slack and had left hours ago). Despite the low numbers, stall holders were friendly and talked more about their product.
Junee licorice and chocolate factory: milk chocolate coated licorice ($8.00) chocolate bullets aren’t for everyone but I am a massive fan! I was given a sample of their pink almonds which are only released twice a year for Easter and Breast Cancer awareness (they said that they donate some funds to charity). Pink almonds almonds covered in white chocolate and dusted in their raspberry powder ($10.00) I had bought them for TimmyC’s family and they were gone in a matter of minutes.
Plenty of sweets to choose from at the Junee licorice and chocolate factory stall.I grabbed a combination of rosy glow, fuji and pink lady apples ($4.00/kg) from the Apple Shed. I like how they are are unwaxed, sweet and crunchy.
The lovely lady from The Cheese project made more halloumi that week so they didn’t run out by the time I got there. I chose one of the biggest pieces ($10.00) because I love halloumi so much. It has a lovely springy textures and not too salty. I would definitely recommend trying this.I also bought Maureen’s marinated Persian fetta ($9.00) to make salads more exciting. Yum!Some foodies and market goers were wondering about the parking at the gardens. It is paid parking during the day but when I went to the markets it was after hours and I wasn’t there for long. Nevertheless I received one of these parking notices on my windshield; it states that it was a warning notice and that my ‘vehicle registration was placed on a list and future infringements may incur a penalty’. Fair enough that the parking fees goes towards the gardens but if it is after hours and your market is deserted, I don’t think you should discourage those who have ducked in to purchase from the vendors. I also drove past other drivers who were rather unimpressed as they read their notice.
I’m glad it was a warning as I had already spent over $50.00 in very little time, but I am discouraged to come back until I get a real craving for Junee chocolate products.I hope the market picks up as the weather grows warmer. I know some of the vendors are trialing these markets for 6 months to see if it is worth sticking around for, if you happen to check them out, don’t forget to pay for parking regardless of the time of day.