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Byron Bay Farmers Markets

Today Joe and I had the good fortune to venture to Byron Bay Organic Farmers Markets. Usually, we visit our local farmers markets, but we had heard that the ones at Byron was something special, and as it’s a neighbouring town, it’s not too far out of our way. And let me tell you, I am so glad we did make the trip! Yes, it was a little expensive compared to our regular markets, but wow! So much goodness in one place is well worth it. This is our grocery bag. You be the judge and see if you could call the price of our haul.

We got:

  • 500 grams free ranged pork loin chops from Sunforest Farms
  • 500 grams free ranged pork collar steak from Sunforest Farms
  • 280 grams goats cheese – lemon merthyl flavoured from Nimbin Valley Dairy
  • pepper pecorino from Bangalow Cheeses
  • 300 grams tempeh with fava beans and wakame from Byron Bay Tempeh
  • 500 grams brown rice from Nimbin Valley Rice
  • 3 large squash
  • 5 baby corn
  • 300 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 500 grams shiitake mushrooms
  • 250 grams Dutch cream mushrooms
  • 4 passionfruit
  • 2 punnets of blueberries
  • 1 dragon fruit
  • 1 star fruit
  • 5 bananas
  • 5 bunches Bok choy
  • 1 kilo Kipper potatoes
  • 3 large zucchini
  • punnet lettuce seedlings (not pictured)
  • punnet broad bean seedlings (not pictured)
  • punnet bok choy seedlings (not pictured)

Pinny is a local favourite with her produce, jams and preserves. She does can be found at both Ballina (Sunday am) and Byron Bay (Thursday am) Farmers Markets.

How much do you think this would have cost us? Go on, have a guess!  (Please put your guess in the comments section – I am actually interested in what you guessed!) This little bag of goodies cost $80. When assessing the value of these goods, there are a few things to bare in mind:

  • All of these products are fresh. They haven’t been bought in bulk, shipped to a distribution centre, spent a few months in cold storage and then put into retail outlets for the consumers. They were hand-picked within the last day or so.
  • All of these items are locally made. Purchasing these items supported the local economy, and supports local enterprise.
  • All of these items are organic. The carbon footprint of these products will be dramatically lower when compared to commercially produced alternatives. Additionally, organic farming practices are much more sustainable when compared to the alternative.

For most people (us included) this is not a weekly shop. We just couldn’t afford it on a weekly basis, but once a month, for one shop, it is definitely a more sustainable (and economically possible) option. For our family, the price / ethical trade-off is an acceptable justification. Remember what I said recently about you having an incredible weapon each time you shop? The choice is ultimately yours, and  a commitment to just one more ethical shop a month or switching to one organic brand per month is a huge step. So what are you waiting for? Find your local farmers markets, and check it out. You never know… you just might be surprised!

Ballina Farmers Markets (pictured) operate on a Sunday morning, from dawn to 10am.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Env: Food Related, Env: Sustainability

 

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