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Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best farmers' markets in Melbourne

Grab your hessian bag: it's time to start eating local, farm-fresh food

Written by
Rose Johnstone

Even if you hate cooking, there's nothing like a trip to the local farmer's market to make you marvel at the great produce that is grown around Victoria. They're also a great place to pick up tasty local honey, preserves, chutneys, spice mixes and fresh baked goods while supporting farmers at the same time. Good thing Melbourne's got a lot of farmers' markets running all year, and here are some of the best. 

Check out the ultimate gift guide to Melbourne for more shopping, or put your produce to good use by taking these cooking classes.

Reminder: please check with each venue directly for exact dates and times. 

Farmers' markets in Melbourne

Carlton Farmers' Market
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Carlton Farmers' Market opened in 2014, much to the delight of locals searching for a way to get closer to the source of their food. Farmers' Head over to the Carlton Primary School and you'll find stallholders offering everything from freshly baked bread to eggs and, depending on the season, juicy cherries from CherryHill or a glass of fresh juice from The Orange Lady. The Carlton Farmers' Market runs monthly on the first Saturday of each month.

Boroondara Farmers' Market
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  • Hawthorn
After more than a decade, this Hawthorn market is less a hub of commerce and more a friendly get-together. Locals have been catching up with guys like Trevor from Red Hill Cheese for years, and before long, you'll spot him chatting over turnips across the reserve. Boroondara is also about spreading the love: their Grub Hub initiative encourages local cafés to order produce direct from the farmers. This market is accredited by the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA) and is open the third and fifth Saturday of each month.
Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market
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  • Abbotsford

Set in the pastoral oasis that is the Collingwood Children's Farm and opens the second Saturday of each month, this gourmand's paradise offers a fleeting taste of country life in the heart of Abbotsford. Snap up award-winning Victorian seedlings, farm fresh fruit and vegetables and visit the curious (live) goats. Don't forget to pat a chook and a peacock on your way out. The market runs on the second Saturday of every month, with the list of producers released on the Thursday each week. Entry is only $2, which means you can also pat all the cute baby animals on the cheap. 

Abbotsford Convent Farmers Market
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  • Abbotsford

Beneath the grey spires of the historic Abbotsford Convent is a market that champions small-time growers. The market is managed by social enterprise Melbourne Farmers Markets (MFM) who connect Victorian farmers and food producers with several urban neighbourhoods in Melbourne. Open the fourth Saturday of each month, seasonal, organic food is king here, and learning about the origins of your produce is half the fun. This farmers market is plastic bag free so remember to BYO carry bags. Entry is $2 and it runs from 8am to 1pm.

Gasworks Farmers' Market
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  • Albert Park

If all you sell is raspberries (or olives, or rhubarb, or honey), then you've got to have a pretty strong passion for them. Every third Saturday of the month, enthusiasm for high-quality local produce runs like electricity at this Port Melbourne arts space, and your tastebuds will feel it too. Grab a fresh, crusty baguette to go with your market haul salad for later, stock up on seasonal produce and a treat or two for afternoon tea (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone?). The Gasworks Farmers' Market is plastic free so make sure to bring your reusable bags, baskets and coffee cups. 

Veg Out Farmers' Market
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  • St Kilda

The volunteer-run Veg Out Community Garden's farmers' market, open the first Saturday of each month, overflows with local organic produce, jams and preserves, handmade bread and sundry delights to fill up your basket. The market is plastic bag free, so bring baskets, bags or trolleys to fill up as you shop. There's breakfast and coffee available as well. Find Veg Out at Peanut Farm Reserve on Chaucer Street in St Kilda.

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