It was a lovely spring’s day on Saturday, perfect timing for the 39th annual Oxley Bush Markets. We have never visited before yet had heard wonderful reviews, some saying it was the best in regional Australia, so with those endorsements ringing in our ears and only being a short drive from home so we thought we would check it out.
There were so many stalls and people, and set at the historic Oxley Shire Hall grounds it was lively, picturesque and even had live music. It is exactly what you expect a charming country market to be, and even had a stall selling farm tools to remind you of where you were and with around 175 stalls there was something for everyone.
There was a stall selling only beautiful roses and another for vegetable seedlings, however this time I was not tempted as all my spring seedlings are already in the ground and growing, mostly, wonderfully.
Garden ornaments & pretty succulents in pots were on display, and sage that had been grown nearby in Mount Beauty and rolled by the shop owner, which was wonderful to see due to the issues of unsustainable harvesting of wild white sage world wide.
Not surprisingly our favourite was all the gourmet food on offer, and the stand out was the salami from artisan butchers The Meat Room that gave us a full tasting of their range. The owners were so passionate and spent time with us describing each one and we fell in love with all of them but settled on two and also one delicious chorizo that we knew would go perfectly with the paella spices we picked up from another stall.
So if you are ever in the North-East on Saturday during the first weekend of November we suggest you do not wait as long as we did to check it out as it’s a wonderful way to spend a morning, meet some new people & soak up that relaxed yet vibrant country atmosphere.
Making the choice to move to the country is a lot about community. In the city, surrounded by all those people it was so easy to feel alone and go days without seeing familiar faces, yet when you move out to a small town you realise that is now a thing of the past. Which let’s be honest can be both a good and a bad thing.
Yet last weekend was an example of it being a very good thing. The Milawa Spring Producers Market was on, and for a small town of 200 hundred or so residents we were not sure what to expect. Delighted we found the community had turned out in force with numerous stalls that were selling a variety of goods from homemade soaps & salts, seedlings, eggs, local organic meats, freshly baked bread from Milawa Bakery & of course the famous Milawa Cheese.
Naturally as soon as we arrived we bumped into family and continued to bump into people we knew. From our neighbour that runs the bakery, and bought seedlings off a a previous colleague that had accomplished great things with her bio dynamic farm. We also were enticed to sample some exquisite duck pate and pork rillettes by the charming french Michel Renox, who asked which one we would like to purchase and naturally the answer was – both!
We also stopped at the Cottonwood Organics Stall where there were tomato seedlings that had been grown from seeds the owners had collected during their trip to France, that I naturally purchased as well as two organic compost bags, with additional calcium & phosphate thrown in. I made a mental note to visit their roadside farm stall soon, which is also a few minutes drive away, for more seedlings.
We spent some time in the sunshine chatting to family, before heading back home our hands both filled with our wonderful locally sourced goods that we knew we would put to great use. We realise how fortunate we are to have a gourmet food region literally on our doorstep and it really was a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. As for the rest of the day? Spent soaking up the sun off course!