This season’s bumper mango crop continues, with varieties like the large R2E2 and now available. Dragonfruit is still coming through in flushes, (try Glenyce Creighton’s stall) there’s plenty of papaya. and rockmelon and watermelon are still going strong. New season Royal Gala apples have also arrived at Costanzo Apples.
Sprouts and microgreens add extra crunch, flavour and interest to almost any meal and are great in a sandwich, salad or stir fry. For legume-based sprouts, Sprout lovers at Mullumbimby Farmers Market has lentil, chickpea and blue pea sprouts (also available from Glenyce Creighton Organics at New Brighton). Summit Organics at New Brighton and Mullumbimby also has a good range, including radish and sunflower sprouts.
Another great addition to a salad or sandwich, peppery radishes are in abundance at the farmers markets now. The round, red skinned variety with white flesh are the most common. Slice and add to a bowl of ramen, salads or sandwiches or try them roasted with garlic. White radishes are also available now – they have a little les heat than the red radish and are great in salads.
A perfect accompaniment to most summer fruits – add a squeeze to your mango, dragonfruit, papaya or watermelon for next level flavour. Find limes at Rancho Limes or Jumping Red Ant
FRESH PASTA: Fernvale based Fabian Fabbro and Jodie Viccars of Woodland Valley Farm (known for top quality pasture-raised eggs), have added fresh pasta to their stall. Hand made using high quality flour, local fresh produce and their own eggs, varieties include spinach tagliatelle and fettucine, egg spaghetti, egg pappardelle, and gluten free and vegan options, including a chickpea casarecce. Fabian and Jodie also create ever changing seasonal specials, such as roast carrot and turmeric fettucine, smoked paprika pappardelle and red wine spaghetti.
GREEN BEANS: Beans are in abundance now and tasting great. Keep it simple and steam as a side to any meal, or fancy them up with a little fried garlic and olive oil. Fresh green beans are also delicious in stir-fries, curries and soups, or try blanching your beans then simmering in a simple home made tomato sauce then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Find green beans at the Everest Farm and Jumping Red Ant stalls
SWEET CORN: The first pick of the summer’s sweet corn has arrived at the Everest Farm stall. To keep your cobs fresh and sweet, bring along a cooler bag as this will halt the sugars from turning into starch (which is what often happens to supermarket corn that has to travel long distances, resulting in a tasteless, starchy cob). Enjoy fresh sweet corn as-is straight from the cob, boiled, steamed, in your scrambled eggs or omelette, in soups and salads, on pizzas or pasta, tacos or fritters.
Cooper shoot Tomatoes has some beautiful tomatoes available now.
Organic leafy greens are available from Summit Organics, Glenyce Creighton, Kennedy Lane Farm and Organic Forrest.
Macadamia nuts make one of the best nut butters because they are so creamy and high in the good fats similar to those you find in avocados and olive oil. Macadamia is a delicious, smooth, dairy free alternative to traditional butter – spread it on toast or even add to baking in place of butter. Local macadamia growers Rainforest Foods, based at Tuckombil, create a range of macadamia butters available at New Brighton including a natural and roasted version, as well as their delicious Mac-Cao – macadamia butter blended with cacao (a bit like Nutella but a whole lot better in so many ways).
The Northern Rivers is a great place to grow coffee. The climate is well-suited and there are none of the pests or diseases that can affect coffee in other parts of the world. Known for its sweet chocolatey taste, local coffee is also naturally low in caffeine (which means you can have that second cup without getting the jitters). For coffee by the cup and take home bags of beans visit Myocum Coffee or Bangalow Coffee.
BERRIES: Blueberry Fields have their delicious blueberries and blackberries available now.
PECANS: Northern NSW may be famous for macadamias, but it’s also one of the country’s biggest pecan-producing regions. Like macadamias, pecans are full of healthy fats and a good source of fibre. They’re delicious in cakes and desserts, sprinkled in salads for some extra crunch and nutrition, or on your morning porridge. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to keep them at their best and their nutrients intact. Available from The Spice Palace and Nimbin Valley Pecans and Rice.B
Also in season now: Bananas, beetroot,capsicum, carrots, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, leeks, lettuce, macadamia, mushroom, pecan, pumpkin,, potato, sprouts, sweet potato, turmeric, zucchini