The bell rang out across the market, a crowd had gathered at the entrance, waiting enthusiastically as if it was a Boxing Day sale, you could hear them planning which store to visit first. Each Sunday at the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market the gates open at 9am sharp, not before or after. When the bell stops ringing, it is game on. Walking briskly to the tried and proven stores, to buy apples, bread, cheese, meat, garlic and beetroot, with a little rivalry to get the first pick.
To tackle the early morning buyers to get the best produce, Patlin Garden’s an organic grower, has adopted a structured line to get into their store. The maze like configuration allows the buyers to look over what they may need to fill their basket. Each step you take, getting closer to the till, placing garlic and onions in your bag, another step and you are ready to pick up spaghetti squash and broccoli with the leaves on. Once you pass the entrance you can get a hold of vibrantly coloured bunches of carrots in, orange, purple and yellow, which are sitting next to the bunches of freshly washed beetroots. Before you get to the cash register your basket is boiling over and it is time to pay, this system is an orderly approach to buying veggies.
South Australian’s expect quality, being so passionate about food. The providers grow their own fruit and veg themselves or source it locally from South Australia. The Central Markets in Adelaide’s CBD, is the best choice for during the week to grab some fresh produce, which also stays open late on Friday nights.
On the back wall of stall no. 72 is a picture of Stephen’s late wife Maria, their 33 year anniversary is in two days. Bulgarian Stephan Oulianoff, is the veteran of the markets, providing an organic fruit and vegetable stall, that has stood since 1982. He first started out suppling the stall with his home grown organic capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in the late 70’s. Now he uses local producers to supply the store, each day he gives a little cheek to his suppliers and regular customers that stop by. The market is his family, like many others, they all have their own networks.
Big Table Café sits at Gouger Street end of the market serving up humble meals, which have a hunter gatherer feel. Of course all the food is from the markets, they go out to get bread from one stall, wraps from another and meat from around the corner. Their neighbours all say good morning and like a family make the time to sit and drink a coffee with one another.
The Central markets provides fresh vegetables, small goods, meats, cheese, breads, organic foods, deli items like pork pies, jars of pickles, spices, dried fruits and more. A playground for the hungry, to decide what is for dinner.
Adelaide Showground Farmers Market runs each Sunday from 9am – 1pm. Adelaide Central Market is open Tuesday 7 – 5.30, Wednesday & Thursday 9 – 5.30, Friday 7am – 9pm and Saturday 7 – 3pm. Other farmers markets to check out in the area are the Willunga Markets on Saturdays 8.30 – 12.30, about an hour from the CBD.