We love to start the weekend by visiting different farmers markets, a beautiful way to get a glimpse of locally made food and to experience community life.
One chilly Saturday morning we set off to visit the Oratia Farmers Market, a new local for us as we have recently moved to West Auckland. The marketplace is set under a huge grape arbour in a beautiful rural vineyard. We strolled through the lovely surroundings, learning about local makers and sampling an impressive variety of artisan foods.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, a live band plays in the background while shoppers meander around the stalls. The children seem to be running wild and barefoot despite the cold winter air (my own two included!). I love that the markets are small and intimate, you can see from one end to the other without having to worry about little ones wandering away.
As we visited one stall to the next, we slowly filled our basket with an abundance of seasonal produce. The kids shared a delicious home made lamb sausage roll and then indulged in a few slices of Crème Brulee fudge.
Each and every stall offered something different and unique, all tempting our wallets as well as our tastebuds. Here are a few of my personal favourties:
Salmon Man - Naturally cured salmon using salt and sugar with no additives or nitrates. We demolished a container of raw salmon marinated in coconut cream and picked up a few fillets of hot smoked salmon to take home.
Quality Meats –Organic and free range meat with an extensive range of pork, beef and lamb. We were super impressed with the sausages, which are made out of 100% meat, simply seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
Crafty Baker – Based in Glen Eden, this small family run bakery uses good quality and organic ingredients in their lovingly made breads, pastries, slices and cakes. We tried their intriguing chocolate sourdough, which the kids loved. To take home, we chose the olive sourdough, which we later served with a simple salmon salad.
The Oratia farmers Markets are open rain or shine each Saturday morning from 9-12. Also at 99 Parrs Cross Road is the Artisan Wines restaurant, the Packing Shed Gallery and Cafe, and just Plane Interesting, a curio store.