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Embrace autumn at your local farmers markets 

Autumn Farmers Market by Luke Williams
If you’re struggling for inspiration in the kitchen, there are few better places to rediscover it than your local farmers market. 

Trestle tables laden with fresh produce, passionate providores offering samples of their sauces and sweets, the scent of freshly brewed beans wafting from the busy coffee van … There might even be a bit of live music to keep those toes tapping as you tuck into something special from one of the food trucks.

Farmers markets are all about community, bringing people together over a common love of all that is good and delicious. And autumn is no exception, especially given how lovely the weather is this time of year. Not too hot. Not too cold. As Goldilocks said, just right.

If you’ve read our seasonal suggestions, you’ll know those tables are overladen at this time of year with crispy apples, spicy chillies, glorious grapes and awesome olives.

Here’s a handful of other treats you might be lucky enough to pick up from one the fabulous local growers at a farmers market near you.


Part of the brassica family, cabbage doesn’t get as much love as, say, broccoli or cauliflower, but it has gone the distance for good reason. One of the world’s oldest vegetables adds flavour and crunch to a variety of dishes, including salads, stir fries and soups. There are myriad variations, like the colourful red that livens up so many salads, the wombok or Chinese cabbage used in this wonton soup, or the smaller savoy in Anna Gare’s chicken and pork hotpot. With growers the calibre of Bogdanich Farms bringing us the not-so-humble cabbage, we highly recommend adding it to your dinner rotation.


Don’t judge fruit by its casing – the kiwifruit may not have the most exciting exterior, but the bright green fruit is delicious. And nutritious. High in fibre, potassium and vitamins C and D, kiwifruit is also low in calories (if you count those things). Despite its name, the popular fruit originated in China. Known as the Chinese gooseberry was known the Chinese gooseberry before being renamed for its resemblance to the fuzzy Kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird. Pop on top of your favourite pavlova or cheesecake; pair with melons for a refreshing green fruit salad, or simply slice off the top and scoop out all that sweet flesh for breakfast.


These zesty beauties are up there with apples and bananas for portable snacks. Packed with vitamin C, they are a great pick-me-up on the go – just peel and savour one segment at a time. But they are also wonderful in salads such as this mandarin, blue cheese and almond delight from local producer Moora Citrus or desserts, such as this warming whole mandarin cake. And just like other citrus, they can add a little zing to savoury dishes, too – try it with barbecue chicken.


It may look a bit more like a lemon, but the slightly lumpy quince is part of the same family as apples and pears. Hard to find anywhere but farmers markets (though you might have a neighbour who likes to share the fruits from their tree), they are most commonly found in pastes served on cheese boards. And for good reason – the slightly tart treat does pair beautifully with all types of cheeses. The best way to cook them is long and slow – whether that’s braised, baked or poached. This honey-baked quince doesn’t take quite as long as some recipes and marries them with another perfect partner – walnuts. We recommend picking up some crunchy, creamy Omega Walnuts.


This bright little root vegetable packs a punch. Usually eaten raw, a little goes a long way as they can be quite bitter. You can peel it to take a bit of the edge off it, but it’s best just to slice them thinly for maximum flavour. Sprinkled in salads such as the easy potato radish salad, grilled potato, cucumber and mint marvel, or fabulous fattoush, they also add a lovely burst of colour. High in fibre, vitamins and minerals, radishes are much more than the fruit, too – the leaves and sprouts are also edible. Slice them up and add to your next green salad.