All Greek to me

Hornsby Greek Festival

The first ever Hornsby Greek Festival went “opa!” last weekend at Greenway Park, Cherrybrook. It was a hot, humid day, but the park was crowded with families enjoying fabulous Greek music and food.

We sat under the trees at the edge of the park, in earshot of the kids squealing on the dodgem cars, and ate our souvlaki and baby octopus while we watched the camels (Greek camels?) lollop around the perimeter of the oval. We took home a box of fresh almond shortbread (Kourabiethes) thinking it might last us a week, but they were so yummy they were all gone by Monday night!

I hope this becomes a hugely successful annual event – I’ll be keeping an eye out for it same time next year.

In praise of farmers’ markets

Thornleigh Farm Market

We were hoping for a sleep in on Sunday morning. No such luck. Our youngest needed to be at Scouts at 8am, so we were up and about at normal-school-day time. A terrible disappointment, until we realised that it was the morning of our local monthly farm market. We stopped by to discover that the joint was already jumping (the “joint” being the McDonalds overflow carpark – there’a a deep irony there). We¬†picked up enormous ripe figs, end-of-season yellow nectarines, fresh turkish bread, two kilos of frozen sirloin steak and a pack of whiting rissoles to take home. Not only that – we also enjoyed a market brekkie of coffee and pain au chocolat, and still made it home before the teenagers had emerged from bed. (We did manage to tempt them out with the hot chocolate and chai we brought back.)

Our local market (Thornleigh Farm Market) is run by the local Rotary club, and has an ever-increasing variety of goods to buy, including flowering gum trees like the one in the photo above. We have a few things that are pantry (and freezer) necessities each month, but part of the joy of the market is the seasonal produce that you don’t usually see in the local supermarket – the zucchini flowers, the yellow and purple carrots, the¬†sweetest little sugarplums… mmm-mmm.

I’ve listed some of our must-visit farm and organic markets below. What are your favourites? And what do you simply have to buy at every visit?

Thornleigh Farm Market
8am – 12pm, 3rd Sunday of the month
Phyllis Ave, Thornleigh

Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
8am – 1pm every Saturday
243 Wilson Street, Darlington

Castle Hill Farmers & Fine Food Market
8am – 12pm, 2nd Saturday of the month
Castle Hill Showground (enter via Carrington Road)

Hornsby Organic Food Market
8am – 4pm every Thursday
Hornsby Mall (by the clock fountain)

For a list of many of the other organic and farmers’ markets in Sydney and regional NSW, see the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association website.