What's fresh at your local farmers' market
If you've been thinking about making a batch of home-made tomato sauce that you tuck away in the freezer for an easy dinner, now is the perfect time. The tomato season is at its peak, and the juicy red fruit are in abundance. At Coopers Shoot Tomatoes (Mullumbimby and New Brighton farmers' markets), they are picking more tomatoes than they know what to do with, and will be offering some great bargains on bulk buys of slightly imperfect fruit. Tomatoes also available at Jumping Red Ant (New Brighton/Mullum), Everest Farm (Mullum), Summit Organics (Mullum/New Brighton) and Morrow Farm (Mullum).
There are always plenty of these antioxidant-rich little fruit around at this time of year, including Blueberry Fields' (Mullum/New Brighton) ever-popular $25 buckets of seconds, that are excellent for freezing. Blueberries are a great addition to festive fare - in salads and fruit salads, as a topping for Pavlova, in tasty blueberry smoothies, or for something a bit different, try blueberry farmer Lynette Saeck's blueberry and rocket salad. Combine one cup each of blueberries, fetta cheese, pecan nuts and rocket or mixed salad, then dress with a blend of 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey.
After a short break from the Mullumbimby Farmers' Market, orchid and exotic flower specialist Liz Lualdi is back with her signature flower, the blue lotus. Liz sells the cut blue lotus flowers fresh, but also dries the petals and head, which can then be enjoyed as a tea. Liz says the tea has a calming effect that can take the edge off anxiety and its beautiful aroma "is like you're drinking perfume”.