Sydney’s Hawkesbury region is known for it’s fresh produce, meats and preserves. So there’s no doubt that a farmers market from the region would be one of the best spots for fresh market goodness.
Well here’s the really good news. On the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, Castle Hill hosts the Hawkesbury Harvest Farmers Market with a collection of NSW’s finest producers from the Hawkesbury region and beyond. With over 60 regular stallholders just 30 minutes north of the Harbour, it is well worth the trip.
What’s on offer?
Naturally, you’ll find seasonal produce (like strawberries!), sourdough bread, meat, fresh herbs, nuts and plenty of sweet treats. Some less common delights include traditional Scottish fare, Jersey milk from real Jersey cows, authentic French cheeses and handmade desserts from Sydney’s The Choc Pot.
Plus you can grab a coffee made with beans grown locally by Australian Coffee Estate.
That community feeling
The market in Castle Hill began as a partnership between Black Castle Events and Hawkesbury Harvest.
Hawkesbury Harvest is a community-based collective of local growers. The group works to maintain the high quality of local produce and improve the financial security for those working in the region.
Starting with 25 stalls in 2002, the farmers market gave the Hawkesbury growers a chance to showcase their produce to Sydney’s weekend market goers. As it has grown, stallholders have joined from all over NSW, making it a diverse market with reliably high quality produce.
Are there any handmade art and crafts?
Yep, you’re in luck. On the 4th Saturday the Hills Artist Market sets up alongside the fresh produce – offering artist-made jewellery, fashion, kids’ clothes, toys and timberware. Oh, and if you’re a fan of handmade candles you’ll be in heaven.
On these alternate Saturdays there’s also a bolstered showing from the farmers and growers. You’ll find more eateries, fresh cut flowers, plants, organic tea and gourmet preserves.
If that wasn’t enough, you’ll have the chance to buy some post-organic lamb from High Steaks Farming, who claim it’s the closest thing you’ll get to eating wild meat without hunting.
While you’re in the neighbourhood
If you’re looking to make a weekend of it and want more market action, there’s plenty to keep your tastebuds busy.
Black Castle Events organise two more markets so you can experience the best of the region all weekend.
The Blackheath Growers Market is on the 2nd Sunday of each month if you fancy a drive through the mountains from Castle Hill. The Springwood Growers Market is on every 4th Sunday, where the baked goods and desserts are next level.
Hawkesbury Harvest also run the Farm Gate Trail, which you can follow to meet the local producers and restaurateurs as you sample their delicious food, wine and hospitality.
Castle Hill Farmers Market
2nd & 4th Saturday each Month
Castle Hill Showground
8am to Midday
Organic Food Markets are proud to be trading right up to Christmas Eve, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy the freshest of local produce for their celebrations and last minute gift items too.
Applications open for: Marrickville Organic Food Market & Frenchs Forest Organic Food Market
Narrabeen Lakes Festival is an annual event not to be missed.
Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December
Now in a new location at Lakeside Park, North Narrabeen, visitors will enjoy market stalls, free entertainment including a full stage program & fireworks.
Secure your booking today to avoid disappointment.
Hats are as important as the horses at Melbourne Cup, but even if you’re not attending the race that stops the nation, there’s always a need for a good hat. Done well, a hat can transform your look.
Sydney milliner Maya Neumann is a self-confessed market girl. Her first batch of hats, a strange assortment shaped on pumpkins and flower pots, sold at London’s Camden Market in the early 80s.
Maya Neumann Hats have flown off the shelves of luxury department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Le Bon Marché, yet it’s the thrill of meeting her customers that keeps Maya on the market circuit.
Local Market Guide recently spoke with Maya about her signature handmade hats and got her tips for looking your best, whether it be at the Melbourne Cup or lounging at the beach.
How long have you been a milliner for, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been making hats for just over 30 years. I’d been a teacher but wanted to do something else, but I wasn’t sure what. Just to amuse myself while I was travelling (through India in the early 80s), I started collecting all kinds of different religious headwear. In Turkey, I ended up staying with the family of the only Whirling Dervish hat maker left in the world. So I went off to Whirling Dervish hat making classes, my first lessons in how to make a hat.
I didn’t know what a hat block was (what you shape hats on) so I started making hats on pumpkins and flower pots! They were strange hats but people liked them.
My first hats were sold at London’s Camden Market. Then I came back to Australia and started teaching myself and learning from a milliner. I started with cocktail hats and bit by bit I learned what to do.
How has hat wearing changed over the years?
I think what brought hats back into fashion was Princess Di, as she started wearing them and people adored her. Also people started becoming very aware of UV damage and realised that they had to look after their skin better.
What do you love about hats?
They enhance someone’s total look. If you’ve found the right hat and it doesn’t wear you, you wear it, it adds to your personality. You always notice someone wearing a hat before anyone else, as they stand out. If you get a great style, it really sets you apart.
What can you tell us about Maya Neumann hats?
My hats are incredibly light and extremely durable—you can totally trash them, so they’re great for wearing on the beach, on a bush walk or for travelling. They’re bad for business because they last forever! But people just buy more, and I’m extremely lucky because everything I’ve made has sold.
Which are your most popular hats?
My Squash Hat and my Panama Style Hat. A Panama hat isn’t actually from Panama; that’s a misnomer. It’s woven from a palm that only grows in Ecuador. The hat that I do is a Panama style, but it’s not woven in Ecuador. All of my hats are made out of the same fibre (I only work with organic, non-synthetic material) and no two are the same.
Where do you source your materials from?
I have a fair-trade organisation that I set up with a church in the Philippines to promote their indigenous weaving skills.
What do you love about the markets?
I just love people. The best thing about doing markets is that you meet such a fabulous range of people. I’ve got to say, I’ve just got the loveliest customers. I am a market girl through and through. I’ve never wanted a shop. If I had to choose where the hats are sold, whether it be at markets or the most upmarket shop in the world (and I’ve sold through Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Le Bon Marché in Paris), markets are more important to me.
Any tips for Melbourne Cup?
Wear something that makes you feel good, brings out your best features and matches your colouring. There are no hard and fast rules about wearing a hat that is very small or very large, because there are always exceptions to the rule.
To find out more about Maya Neumann Hats and which markets to find her, check out:
St John’s Gordon Christmas Twilight Market will be held on Friday, 1 December 2017 from 4pm to 9pm.
Currently seeking artisan stalls selling handmade and locally crafted Christmas gifts.
The market will be held in the grounds of the historic church at 754 Pacific Highway, Gordon.
The Christmas market will feature a variety of stalls selling homemade cakes and jams, arts and crafts, fashion, jewellery, Christmas decorations, and stocking fillers.
Please forward your enquiries to: [email protected]
The Market Tales – Summer Edition 16 & 17 Dec is looking for inspiring makers and merchants in fashion, food, antiques, homewares, art, furniture, collectables, jewellery, animal accessories, children’s fashion and interests, beauty, organic, ethical, environmental, any brands that have a point of difference and aim for quality and creativity! We are also looking for quality food offerings, providores and restaurants interested in exploring the pop-up restaurant concept!
The Market Tales is a unique boutique and stylised 2-day event drawing inspiring merchants and makers, quality pop up restauranteurs and local musical talents. It is reminiscent of Portobello Markets and NY Williamsburg Market and sprinkled with the sights and sounds of the mercados in Spain.
Happening at Sydney’s newest hotspot Precinct 75 in St Peters, the event is held in the laneways of this new innerwest landmark alongside the Precincts existing well known retailers such as Design Twins, Uashamama, Upcycle and Society Inc. to name a few. With a touch of the ‘different’ at each event, The Market Tales also encourages unique stalls like beard trimming and braids, bike tune-ups, puppy pampering and innovative workshops all designed to entertain and inspire interesting conversation!
We support our charity partner Take 3 For the Sea, and endeavour to educate about the cycle of waste as we strive to make each market a minimal waste events. We are also proudly puppy and bike friendly.
Applications now open for two Christmas Markets, hosted by Cambridge Markets.
Sunday 26th November – 10am to 4pm
Wednesday 20th December – 4pm to 9pm
A bumper crop of fresh fruit and vegetables has taken over our Sydney markets early this season, so it’s time to dust off those Summer recipes and get inspired!
From avocado toast to the classic Aussie pavlova, we’re a nation of fruit and vegetable lovers. Thanks to hot temperatures up north, we’ve got delicious fruit and vegetables at our Sydney markets just waiting to bring your creative recipes to life.
Because of the dry weather up north, we’re reaping the benefits of early season fruit and vege crops at our Sydney growers markets. While supply peaks, prices are plummeting as our farmers markets are saturated with the overflow of fresh produce.
What fruit and vegetables can I get early at Sydney markets?
Mangos, tomatoes and practically everything in between are on offer from our fruit market sellers.
Sweet Queensland pineapples have doubled in supply compared to the usual harvest, with farmers expecting their numbers to increase.
Strawberries are also bursting from our stalls, with very low prices and highly quality produce bring the sweet taste of Summer closer with every punnet.
We’re even expecting the early arrival of the highly-coveted mangos which generate a unique hype around the Christmas season. Compared to the low yield last season, this year’s harvests are expected to fill thousands of extra palettes.
Zucchini, lettuce, Lebanese cucumbers and tomatoes, the staples of delicious Summer salad recipes, are also coming in abundance.
Cauliflower and broccoli have burst from the ground to greet the warmer weather, providing the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Sunday roast.
Avocados, fast becoming a firm favourite Aussie staple, are making an early arrival as well, with the good harvest expected to continue into next year thanks to the mild Winter temperatures.
All this over-supply means lower prices and lots of choice, providing the perfect inspiration to get creative in the kitchen.
While this early start may have left our farmers in a bit of a sticky situation, increasing the need for fruit pickers (feel like lending a hand on a sweet staycation?), it’s our duty to make the most of this home-grown goodness.
How to make the most of your fresh produce
*Jump on the avocado toast train
*Celebrate those sweet Summer fruits
The Wiggles got it right when they said, “Fruit salad, yummy yummy!” Fruit salads are a Summer favourite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz them up! If you haven’t perfected how to cut a mango yet, learn how to cut a mango here.
*Bring back the pav!
The classic Pavlova, traditionally crowning tables during the Aussie Christmas season, has seen many innovations over the years. Why not tap into your inner artist and decorate your pavlova with some creative flair?
*Say hello to cocktail season
Warm Summer nights & cocktails go hand-in-hand, so start testing out some new recipes with the sweet fruit from our sellers. Whether you blend up the on-trend frosé or the timeless piña colada, you’re guaranteed to be the toast of the town with our fresh fruit and berries.
*Reach MasterChef level with these salad recipes
Salads don’t have to be boring. Add a twist to the traditional green salad and take salad inspiration from the king of wholefood cooking, Jamie Oliver. Our market sellers will also be full of ideas for how you can make the most of their prized produce.
Why you should go local for your fruit and vegetables
Our market stalls source a wide range of the freshest, and not to mention organic, fruit and vegetables, ensuring that what ends up on your table is also tasty and good for your tummy.
Plus, with the over-supply of produce comes low prices, meaning supporting our local Aussie growers and sellers is good for your stomach and your wallet!
Also, anyone who’s visited our farmers markets before knows that the stallholders at our Sydney farmers markets are a wealth of knowledge and meal inspiration. The only thing more satisfying than tasting the delicious produce is hearing the stories behind how it got from farm to feast-ready, which is something unique to our local Sydney markets.
Find your local Sydney market
From Bondi to Blacktown and Castle Hill, our stallholders are ready to deliver the freshest fruit and vegetables. Our community farmers markets and fresh produce markets are the best spots to pick up all the fresh produce you need for your tasty recipes.
When it comes to Sunday markets and Saturday markets, Sydney really does deliver. View a full calendar of all our local markets here.
While you’re shopping at your local market, why not take a minute to discover what else is on offer? Visit Sydney’s best markets to discover not only delicious Australian produce, but also a wide range of artisan and boutique products.
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Fruit and vegetables going cheap as Queensland’s warm winter causes bumper crops – ABC News
Pineapple farmers in oversupply this winter after summer heatwave – ABC News
Blooming good outlook for Queensland Christmas mangoes – ABC News
Australia, our mango dreams have come early – National Geographic
Farmers picking an early and extended Queensland avocado harvest – ABC News
Spoilt for strawberry choice ruining lush fruit industry – The Queensland Times
Prices wilt as heat brings on big crop – The Queensland Times