A Food & Travel Blog

Tasting Australia and Tasting the Mt Pleasant Farmers Market

12/04/2019 | By

Adelaide’s Tasting Australia festival is exciting, but can be pricey. Tasting the Mt Pleasant Farmers Market is a delicious, authentic and affordable option.

Long table lunch, Tasting australia at Mt Pleasant

Any foodie worth their salt will be aware that one of Australia’s longest running and most prestigious annual food and wine events, Tasting Australia, launched here in Adelaide last Friday. 


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In My Kitchen June 2015

05/06/2015 | By

Where has the year gone?! It’s time for Junes In My Kitchen roundup.

The French Baker - In My Kitchen June 2015

Once again, it’s time for  Fig Jam and Lime Cordial’s popular roundup of things which are making our hearts beat a little faster in our kitchens.


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Local Heroes in Yukon Food Production

23/03/2015 | By

Takhini River - Yukon

Takhini River – Yukon

Farming and successful food production in Whitehorse, where the average annual temperature is -0.1C and summer can be as short as 60-90 days, is no mean feat – although it helps when those summer days enjoy 20 hours of sunlight.


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Farmers Markets, Shopping Lists & Maple Caramel Pecan Shortbread

24/10/2013 | By

 Caramel Pecan Shortbread

When it comes to efficient supermarket shopping and saving money, they say there are a few good rules to remember  – take a shopping list, know where everything is in the store so you don’t get distracted and never go shopping while hungry as you’ll buy more than you need. However, you need to throw those rules away when shopping in a farmers market, because the ideal way to make the most of the experience and get the best of the seasonal produce available is to do the exact opposite!

When visiting your local farmers market – and I would urge you to do so, for a whole heap of reasons – the best plan of action is to firstly do a quick reconnoitering lap of all the stalls to work out what looks best on that particular day, whose prices you like and also to give you time to think about what you might make with the produce available. Once you’ve done your “reccy” it’s time to get out the purse and shopping bag and get serious. It’s also important to be realistic about how much to buy – there’s no point in buying a whole heap of magnificent fresh produce if you are not going to have the time or resources to cook it all up and store it before it spoils.


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Farmers Markets & New Business Incubation

03/01/2013 | By

Some trading associations would view with a degree of alarm the loss of two of their most successful business in the one week, but not so at the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market.  Last Sunday’s market saw the final day of market trading for two popular stalls – the Honey Lady and Enzo’s.  Rather than causing concern, the occasional loss of stallholders from the familiar ranks of traders at Adelaide’s Farmers Market is seen as a mark of the success of the model.  Farmers markets contribute in many ways to the life of a community.  These include offering access to fresh, local seasonal produce, providing an essential second source of income for producers, offering a personal point of contact between consumers and growers within a local setting, thus enriching that community, but they also play a valuable, slightly less obvious role – that of incubating small businesses.

Anyone who has ever tried to operate a small business can attest to the labyrinth of issues which need to be addressed well before they even begin to think about ways to get the public to buy their product.  A farmers market offers anyone with a local food product a nurturing and educational environment for dipping the entrepreneurial toes and a less confusing way to embark on a retail career – and one which has premises and a market ready and waiting for product.  Many traders are happy to limit their retail experiences to this sphere, but for those who are keen to grow a business the experience, exposure and skills learned at a farmers market are invaluable.

This week I had a chat with Silvia Hart, The Honey Lady, late of the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market and now a happy member of the thriving retail community in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.  Silvia’s experience is a classic example of the gains to be made from operating a stall at the farmers market.  A few years back, after the demise of a relationship with a beekeeper, Silvia found herself with slightly more honey than she and her family could consume on their own – three 44 gallon drums of it to be exact.  She decided to take a stand (initially) at the Willunga Farmers Market to dispose of her golden windfall nectar, augmenting it with some spices and chai tea.  A friend spoke to her soon after, telling her of a dream she had experienced where she saw a hugely successful Silvia holding a jar of cinnamon honey, thus setting the wheels in motion for the glorious and popular range of spiced honeys now produced by the Honey Lady.

Silvia is in no doubt at all of the value of farmers market and the role her involvement with both the Willunga Farmers Market and the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market has played in placing her in her own business premises in Hahndorf.  Her engagement with consumers in what she calls the “big tasting table”that is a farmers market enabled her to experiment with and develop every aspect of her product including taste, content, labeling and jar size.  As she tweaked her product she was able to obtain instant feedback from her customers, with whom she also developed a personal relationship – not an experience available in any supermarket.

For Silvia, her weekly trips to her stall at the markets were so much more than a retail opportunity as she began to connect with her customers and their families.  She gradually forged links with chefs who came through on their shopping trips, customers who came from food industry backgrounds and other like-minded folk – developing both personal and professional relationships with them and now likens her experiences in the market to “stepping into the village”.

As her product range has expanded, so has her customer base.  She has developed a mail order list of interstate customers who first experienced her honey’s while here as tourists and sells to various stores whose own customers asked them to stock her product.  One day, while delivering honey to Hahndorf, she saw a charming shop with a “For Lease” sign on it and before she knew it, her next step on the career path was taken.

Her historical stone store in the main street of Hahndorf stocks her stunning selection of honeys and a large range of organic, Fair-Trade spices.  She has very cleverly taken what was a shabby back yard and turned it into a delightful outdoor cafe area where she serves vegetarian, gluten and dairy free meals and coffee and cake,  using the cooking skills which she was able to enhance and hone at – you guessed it – the farmers markets.

As far as Silvia Hart is concerned – if food is the new religion, then the farmers market is her church.

The Honey Lady
79 Main Rd
Monday – Sunday 10-4





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Adelaide Hills Farmers Market Cake Competition

02/07/2012 | By

I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I’m a bit of a slave to my sweet tooth and it’s no secret that I’ve also got a passion for local food and local food producers, so when I heard that the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market was holding a cake competition my attention was well and truly caught.  The Adelaide Hills Farmers Market is a community event that is held every Saturday morning at 23 Mann St, Mt. Barker.  It is a true farmers market with over 25 stalls which sell only authentic, regional, fresh and seasonal products.  Like other farmers markets, it does not allow products which have been genetically modified, are out of season or have traveled significant “food miles” – although they have reached out to the Riverland producers who have been doing it pretty tough for a while now and allow a limited amount of Riverland fruit to be sold.

Last Saturday the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market held their inaugural cake competition, attracting the attention of many of the local home bakers and many more of the local cake eaters.  The Competition was judged by Mt. Barker Mayor, Ann Ferguson, “Blue Ribbon Cookbook” author Liz Harfull & Rebecca Sullivan of Dirty Girl Kitchen who braved the winter chill of an Adelaide Hills morning and stoically faced up to a challenging – and eminently enviable – task.  After munching their way through a large selection of beautifully presented cakes they retired to agonise over the choices, eventually announcing the winner as the splendid Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Infused Olive Oil Icing entered by Talinga Grove.

The judges get down to business

Talinga Grove is an award-winning family owned and run business who produce olive oil and olive products from olives grown on their property near Strathalbyn.  Included in their product line-up is a beautiful range of olive oil-based skin care products, dukkah and some delightful infused olive oils, one of which is used in the icing of the winning cake.  This cake looked so good I just had to ask the lovely folk at Talinga if they could see their way to sharing the recipe for this deliciously moist and fragrant cake- and here it is!  The winner of the inaugural Adelaide Hills Farmers Market Cake Competition uses (naturally) Talinga oils in the recipe.  They can be purchased at the farmers market at Mt. Barker on Saturday mornings, at the farm store and a selection of retail stores listed here.

The winner!

Lemon, Rosemary & Olive Oil Cake  
Recipe Type: Cake
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 3/4 Cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs. fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cup SR flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Murray River pink salt
  • Finely grated rind of one lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 160 C
  2. Brush a loaf pan with olive oil.
  3. Beat eggs for 30 seconds in electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until mixture is foamy and pale in colour.
  4. While the mixer is still running, slowly add the olive oil.
  5. Stir the rosemary and lemon rind into the mixture.
  6. Sift into a separate bowl the flour & stir through the salt.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour batter into oiled pan.
  9. Bake for approx. 50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan briefly, then cool on a rack.
  11. ICING
  12. When cool, mix icing sugar with equal parts butter and Talinga Grove Lemon Infused Olive Oil to form a soft icing.

All images kindly supplied by Adelaide Hills Farmers Market.

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