Discover the organic section of the Market
Written by Queen Vic Market Sustainability Ambassador Erin Rhoads. Keep up to date with Erin by following her on Instagram.
The plane trees are starting to drop their leaves, an indicator autumn has arrived in Melbourne. During autumn I like to prepare for winter, buying extra organics and stocking up my pantry alongside other staples from the Market that will keep my family nourished and warm during those colder months.
I like to check the ‘bargain boxes’ at each of the stalls for left over summer produce that I can bottle and pull out when I’m craving a taste of sunshine. Last week I purchased a box of over ripe nectarines perfect for turning into a compote and jam. There was a big bag of tomatoes perfect to turn into sauce and eggplants that I will cook and freeze for later to make baba ganoush. Truly, the bargain boxes provide a bounty of foods to try plus it’s a great way to use up the food rather than composting it which is what our farmers would love to see with their food. Each of the organic market stalls have a bargain area, if you can’t see it they’ll happily point it out for you and maybe give you tips on what to do with the produce.
Making the most of the bulk foods in the organics section will help see me through the soup and porridge season. Organic and biodynamic lentils, chickpeas, beans and a range of oats, plus rice and different flour are scooped into my reusable cloth bags which all stalls encourage customers to use. I also love that most of this produce is sourced from Australian farmers were possible.
Because lentils, beans and chickpeas store easily I do a big shop now and store into second-hand glass jars I gather from the op shop. A good tip for beans and chickpeas is to cook a larger batch then store in the freezer using glass jars. A fun tip – keep the water from the cooked chickpeas to make vegan mayonnaise or meringues. The liquid is called aquafaba and there are plenty of recipes to get creative with it. Alternatively if you don’t want to cook with the chickpea water, use it to nourish your plants as there will be nutrients to help them grow.
A recent food intolerance diagnosis for my husband has had us reaching for gluten and dairy free snacks and ingredients at the stalls too. My husband likes how easy it is to choose gluten free snacks that are healthy and are organic. Food intolerances and allergies can be harder to navigate package free so we just make sure everything is recycled or reused.
The Eggporium doesn’t just sell organic eggs, they have a corner dedicated to honey and items like beeswax blocks. We like to make our own candles using these blocks using jars or bowls. It’s a fun way to brighten up the house over winter. Beeswax has so many great uses and one block can last a long time.
Here is my recipe for a simple two ingredient balm that can be used everywhere.
Two ingredient everyday balm:
- Fill a pot with water and place a glass bowl on top as a double boiler.
- Bring the heat to medium, not boiling.
- Put 1 tablespoon of beeswax into the glass bowl and let melt.
- When the beeswax has melted, turn off the heat and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Mix to combine and then carefully pour into a clean container.
- Leave to set then use, they will last for a year.