It’s going to be a long hot summer. The big hats and the cool caps can be seen bobbing amongst the crowds at the markets and it’s no surprise where the longest queues are as customers seek to stay hydrated. Monty’s, of course, with his big punnets of fat red juicy strawberries but also, especially for the young, his ice-blocks in mango and strawberry and blends of both, or with honey and banana and passionfruit. Children love as well the Fruit Flats in rainbows of bright colours, like works of art, but in addition there are ice creams (strawberry, mango, passionfruit), chocolate-coated strawberries and chocolate-coated mango…

If you can tear your brood away there’s plenty of refreshment found elsewhere. Call in at the Rancho stall for freshly poured lime or mandarin drinks, chilled and refreshing, from their organic orchard – or you can purchase a bottle of their handmade freshly squeezed cordials like the award-winning lime, or the vibrant mandarin, or the elderflower.

More cordials can be found at Bec Barnes’ Playing With Fire stall where her large range of bottled beverages, made from seasonal native fruits, includes the super popular Finger Lime, Illawarra Plum, Ooray Plum and Wild Rosella. She also sells herbal teas and herbal bush teas in packs to take away: rosella and lemon myrtle, strawberry gum and cinnamon myrtle.

Other World dispenses glorious fresh juices like the Easy Greens made from certified organic ingredients as well as heavenly, wholesome smoothies – try the Blueberry Blast! – and from Byron Cane Juice (only at Mullum) you can pick up a raw juice flavoured with ginger or mint or passionfruit.   Not only are these low in sugar and high in sweetness, but they also cleanse the liver and aid digestion  – and at this time of year who couldn’t benefit from that!

Monty’s, Playing With Fire, Other World Wholefoods and Rancho are at New Brighton every Tuesday from 8 – 11am and Mullumbimby every Friday from 7 – 11am

Victoria Cosford