Words by Sloane Carvell
Photos by Matt Jelonek
FARMERS MARKETS ARE special places in communities. They provide a place for farmers and food producers to sell farm-to-fork directly to customers. It supports the economy of local communities as well as educating customers with most stall holders and farmers able to discuss produce, how its grown and its preparation. Produce is typically seasonal and organic, supporting our health. They are also always a great place to meet and chat with members of the community, as I discovered one sunny Saturday recently.
The Subi Farmers Market
is held every Saturday morning and has temporarily moved from Subiaco Primary School to the Earthwise Community Centre while the school undergoes some renovations. Market manager Anna Capelletta tells me that all stallholders, growers, or makers must be from WA to ensure all produce and items support local organisations, and the market donates regularly to Subiaco Primary School in its support of the community. With fresh eggs, bread, butter, fruit and vegetables, meats, and fish, you can fill your basket with seasonal produce, straight from the producers. Four-legged friends are also welcome - a big plus for Chorizo and I.
The Little Big Store
The Little Big Store works with Western Australian biodynamic and organic farmers to source the freshest seasonal produce for you direct from the farm with produce coming from areas like Muchea and the south west's local farmers. Owner Ben can help you find some great ingredients to cook a feast with. When I visit, the stall is heaving with fresh fruit and vegetables, I buy some fresh fennel at his recommendation and rhubarb for dinner that night. They also offer delivery of fresh organic fruit and vegetables to your door through their website.
Stakehill Produce is a family-owned farm in Baldivis, specialising in vineripened hydroponic tomatoes. They also provide some produce from other local farmers. You’ve never seen tomatoes this glorious, picked fresh for the market. Stallholder Stuart shares his tips for keeping his tomatoes fresh and fragrant when you get them home - just put them in a fruit bowl or the fridge.
Pretty Sharp Knife Sharpening Services
My favourite thing about community markets is the people you meet, and Vin of Pretty Sharp Knife Sharpening Services is one local hero you won’t forget. Vin started out as a butcher and has been around knives since 1965. If you have forgotten to sharpen your knives you can give them to Vin to make cooking a breeze. He tells me every knife has a story. Make sure you pop by and say hello to him and have a yarn and don’t forget to bring your kitchen knives to get them sharp for all the veggies and meat you will undoubtedly buy.
Michael - or Mr Fisho as I called him - can tell you a thing or two about fish. He is passionate about seafood and has a vast knowledge to share with you. All fish is caught in Australian waters, arrives within a day of being caught and is fresh or snap frozen as soon as its caught. Mr Fisho has a huge range and the day I visit, there was emperor and snapper fillets, cod, salmon, barramundi, and even Leeuwin Coast akoya.
Devoted Artisan Butter
Paul has recently taken over Devoted Artisan Butter which is known for its traditional techniques of churning, massaging and hand-shaping small batch butter made in Jandakot from local WA cream and ingredients. With a variety of butters made with ingredients like lemon myrtle and seaweed, it will elevate your bread and baking. They have recently introduced their freshly churned buttermilk too in a one litre bottle – perfect for buttermilk fried chicken.
The Loving Pantry is making homemade granola with quality ingredients to nourish you. Their granola is refined sugar-free and they do vegan and gluten free options. Their stall also has acai smoothie bowls and fresh porridge so you can pick up your brekky while you browse the markets.
Don't forget your four-legged members when you’re shopping - head to Barkday Pawty. They have homemade treats for your dogs, who are welcome at the market. With doggie donuts and a plethora of dog chews and treats, no-pawdy will be disappointed.
Tom the Greek
The amazing fresh spinach and feta spanakopita at Tom the Greek’s stall are as authentic an experience as you can get without actually going to Greece. Chuck in a chat with Fanouris, the stall holder, and I'm in heaven. There’s a selection of sweet and savoury food, including baklava and beautiful pastelli made by Fanouris himself. They might be hard to pronounce but they're pretty delicious to eat.
Louis Boeglin Patisserie
As good as they look, Louis’ beautiful creations are handmade using the finest local produce. Louis has worked in prestigious restaurants all over Europe developing techniques and mastering flavours. He tells me he is making his selections of cakes and pastries until the early hours of the morning before the market, so they are fresh for you. The lemon meringue tart is to die-for, there are gorgeous choux caramel and cheesecakes and more.
Two Lost Pilots
Two Lost Pilots is the brainchild of two airmen - Brad, an international pilot, and Brett, a domestic pilot - who were grounded during the Covid pandemic. As everybody knows, chocolate fixes everything, and so Two Lost Pilots small batch bean to bar chocolate was born. With beans sourced currently from the Solomon Islands and Samoa and hopes to expand their new venture, these clever guys are roasting and winnowing to make delicious chocolate to satisfy sweet cravings with an online store opening soon.