If you’ve never ventured outside of the supermarket for your food on a regular basis, it can be quite a daunting transition at the outset, especially if you don’t know what the alternatives are. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing the myriad of benefits that come with purchasing the bulk of your food in season from local producers and this week we’re focusing on how to change up your shopping habits.
If you’re reading this as a Central Coast resident, rest assured that this transition might be easier than you’d think. You may not have even been aware of the fact that we are living in a food bowl! Unbeknownst to many locals, we’re surrounded by passionate small-scale farmers in the fertile coast hinterland who are producing some of the best quality produce and animal products right at our doorstep.
Here are some of the options available as you start to think outside the supermarket aisles.
Central Coast farmers markets
A great way to discover your local producers and growers as well as learning about what’s currently in season, is by attending a few of the different farmers markets in your area and we have some great options here on the coast!
‘REKO rings’ are a fresh take on traditional farmers markets and were originally developed in Finland. We now have one of our own, operating here on the Central Coast. You’re able to order from and converse with various local farmers via a closed Facebook group and pick up at a single location.
• REKO ring, (alternate Thursdays, Tuggerah and Erina)
• Gosford City Farmers Market (Sun 8am-1pm)
• Avoca Beach Farmers Market, Like Minds Café (Wed 4pm-5:30pm)
• Avoca Beachside Market, every 4th Sunday (9am-2pm)
• The Entrance Markets (Sat 9am-2pm)
• Toukley Sunday Market (Sun 7am-1pm)
Shopping online, either direct with a farmer or via a supplier is one of the most convenient ways to support local without having to overthink it. Once again, we’re spoilt for choice in this domain with so many of our Central Coast farmers now offering this option.
- Nurtured Earth Organics – wide range of goods, delivered weekly
- Mountain Fresh Farm – wide range of goods, delivered weekly
- Delightfully Fresh Organics – organic produce & seeds, delivered weekly
- Full Circle Farm – animal products, delivered fortnightly
- Grace Springs Farm – animal products, delivered fortnightly
- The Food Farm – animal products, delivered fortnightly
- The Ethical Farmers – animal products, delivered weekly
- Silver Gully Farm – bulk meat packs, every few months
- Horseshoe Valley Farm – honey, lamb and biltong, delivered weekly
- Green Leaf Farms, – fresh microgreens, delivered weekly
- Belly Full Farm – seasonal produce, delivered weekly
Farm gate / food clubs
Here’s a list of all the small-scale farmers who are currently offering their produce at roadside stalls or at the farm gate. Many of these families also offer regular farm tours so be sure to follow their social channels for details throughout the year.
- Full Circle Farm, Jilliby
- Alan Foods, Jilliby
- The Giving Farm, Jilliby
- Dooralong Farm, Dooralong
- Grace Springs Farm, Kulnura
- The Food Farm, Yarramalong
- Little Feet Gourmet, Ourimbah
- Fanelli Organics, Mangrove Mountain
- Delightfully Fresh Organics, Mangrove Mountain
- Margins Mushrooms, Woy Woy
- The Pecan Lady, Somersby
- Moore Farm Fresh Produce, Wollombi
Other farms, supplying markets only:
- Ecotone Acres (REKO ring)
- Peats Ridge Harvest (Gosford City Markets)
Co-ops are a fantastic way to save money on fresh produce and dry goods. The most established ones here on the coast both offer organic food at wholesale prices.
Retail, beverages and more
- Organic Plus, Erina
- La Tartine Bakery, Somersby
- Little Creek Cheese, Wyong Milk Factory
- Soul Food Café & Grocer, Woy Woy
- Mountain Growers Market, Peats Ridge
- EastCoast Beverages, Kulnura
- Firescreek Winery, Holgate
- Distillery Botanica, Erina
- Six String Brewing Co, Erina
- Bay Rd Brewing, Gosford
- Central Coast Brewery, Tuggerah
Well, I’m hoping this list inspires you to break up with your supermarket or at the very least, to try something different and discover the sheer joy that comes with supporting local and helping to co-create a thriving local food system.