Farmer's Market Blog

Read latest news from the Noosa Farmers' Market here.

 

Water - Why do we really need it?

on Tuesday, 05 April 2011.

H2O – Water – Why do we really need it?

 

Why We Need to Drink Water

 

The human body is estimated to be about 60 to 70% water.  Blood is mostly water, and muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water.  Our bodies need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.

 

Australian Native Plants and Flowers

on Tuesday, 29 March 2011.

Australian Native Plants and Flowers

Australian Native Plants and Flowers

 

Did you know?

There are over 25,000 species of flowering plants native to Australia and we are matched only by South Africa in this abundance and diversity.  There are so many flowering plants in Australia that they haven’t even named them all yet!  Some experts believe there may be up to 30,000 natives in Australia.  Many of these are found nowhere else in the world, making them completely unique to Australia. 

All states throughout Australia are home to distinctive native flowers.  There are approximately 30 varieties which are commonly used in floristry throughout Australia to decorate Australian homes and businesses.  Many more are used occasionally or seasonally, or only in certain regions.  Every state in Australia has a native flower as its emblem, the Queensland floral emblem is the Cooktown Orchid.

New and Exciting Fresh Juice Recipes

on Monday, 21 March 2011.

New and Exciting Fresh Juice Recipes

New and Exciting Fresh Juice Recipes

Last year we featured a blog about the benefits of freshly squeezed juices and we promised you more information on fresh juice ideas.  We have scaled the planet for some juice ideas that you may not have heard before, something different, and delicious combinations that you simply must try.  All ingredients are available at the Noosa Farmers Market and we have also listed some of the health benefits of each for your information.  Happy juicing!

Start a Vegetable Patch This Autumn

on Wednesday, 16 March 2011.

Start Your Own Vegetable Patch This Autumn

 

This is a beautiful time of year in Queensland, lovely warm and dry sunny days, with cooler nights, so why not engage in a fun and rewarding activity with the kids and start your very own Vegetable Patch now!

 

Teach the kids about nature, horticulture, healthy eating and so much more as you explore the world of growing your own fresh vegetables.  Then delight with them as you eat what you have grown! 

 

So what vegetables are good to plant in Queensland’s subtropical climate (in frost free areas) in March?  What seeds should you start with to ensure a successful veggie patch for you to enjoy?  We have put together a sample list of suggestions to get you started and a suggested harvest time so you can plan and grow:-

Fruits of the Season

on Sunday, 06 March 2011. Posted in Organic Living

Tasty treats to make from seasonal fruit

Each season mother nature provides us with an abundance of delcious fruits and vegetables so we can create culinary masterpieces at home.

The Noosa Farmers Market is the best place to grab your seasonal fruit and veg. This season the following fruits are readily available.

We know that banana stocks were severely damaged by the floods and cyclones but the best way to support an industry that is hurting is to buy the stock they have left so they can continue to re plant and grow more produce. with this in mind we have added a Banana Bread recipe below, its delicious and easy to make and you'll be supporting an industry that needs a helping hand.

Organic Fabric

on Wednesday, 02 March 2011.

Organic Fabric

Organic Fabric

 

Now we have all heard of organic farming and organic food, but how about organic fabric?  Is it possible to produce organic fabrics that are as diverse and user friendly as some of their man-made, “treated” counterparts?  And what is organic fabric and why is it a good choice?  We have found a number of organic fabric options for you, each with its own unique quality and uses, have a read, the options available may surprise you!

We Are Going Bananas - Support Us!

on Tuesday, 22 February 2011.

We Are Going Bananas - Support Us!

We Are Going Bananas – Support Us!

Banana Facts

  • Some scientists believe bananas were the earth’s first fruit and that they date back from as early as 8000BC.
  • There are in excess of 500 banana varieties in the world.
  • Bananas are harvested green because they continue to ripen even after being picked.
  • Bananas are rich in antioxidants, B Vitamins, fibre and potassium.
  • A medium sized banana will give you approximately 10% of your daily fibre requirements.
  • Bananas can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and improve your blood pressure, therefore reducing health risks such as strokes.
  • The Australian Government places strict import rules on the banana industry.  This not only helps to keep disease and pests out of our farms, but also helps to support the local growers within Australia and keeps the banana farming economy strong.

Gluten - What is it? and Where does it hide?

on Wednesday, 16 February 2011.

Gluten – What is it? and Where does it hide?

 

Gluten is a Latin word that actually means “glue”.   Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and related grains such as rye and barley.  It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape and is often added to, low protein foods to increase the protein content. 

 

Many people around the world suffer from gluten sensitivity.  Gluten intolerance is also known as Celiac disease.  Quite simply, if you suffer from Celiac disease you have a genetic disorder that makes you intolerant to gluten.

Coffee - From Bean to Cup!

on Wednesday, 16 February 2011.

Coffee - From Bean to Cup!

Coffee – From Bean to Cup!

Coffee, it’s the drink we all love, it’s the drink many of us can’t do without and it’s the drink we have to kick start our day!  There are so many different bean varieties, growing regions and ways that coffee can be served for our enjoyment.  It’s a huge industry that just keeps growing.  But what happens to give us that delicious aroma, taste and feeling we all know and love?  From bean to cup and everything in between...............................................

 

 

Give Yourself a Free Range

on Monday, 07 February 2011.

Give Yourself a Free Range

Give Yourself a Free Range

 

It might surprise you to know that 80% of all egg production in Australia still comes from battery farms, otherwise known as cage eggs.  Sometimes battery farms can have more than eight hens in one small cage, giving an individual hen less than half the size of an A4 piece of paper to live.  Hens are sociable complex creatures and have certain needs just like humans.  The organisation, “Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia Ltd.” (FREPA)  is one group of free range producers who are setting high standards of production and quality in the free range egg industry.  So what makes an egg free range? And why is it so important that we truly think about the eggs we buy and where they come from?

Life is a Peach!

on Tuesday, 18 January 2011.

 

Peaches are in season right now and are the perfect summer fruit!  But what makes the peach so peachy?

Peach: Round juicy fruit with downy yellowish-red skin and a rough stone.

Peaches are from Chinese origin.  They date back to the 10th century B.C. and are often found on illustrations from that time.  The peach got its name around 300 B.C.  The Greek philosopher Theophrastus believed the peach came from Persia and so named the fruit after that country.  In the first century the fruit is mentioned by Romans who wrote that they imported the fruit from Persia.  

There are many varieties of peach, some with the stone fixed to the pulp and some with a loose stone.  The pulp varies in colour from white to yellow and certain types have red stains.  The colour of the skin of a peach varies from green to dark-red.   The most remarkable characteristic of the peach is its downy soft skin.

Some other characteristics of the peach:-

  • Never plant a peach shrub or tree near an almond tree.  As the peach is a brother of the almond the two sorts are easily crossed.  The result is bitter nuts!
  • Most peach stones have little holes in them or have a ribbed structure
  • Peach trees or shrubs can easily be grown from a peach stone
  • Peach stones are used to make the coal for filters
  • If you buy peaches look for ones with a creamy to gold under colour that indicates ripeness. The amount of red on peaches depends on the variety, it is not always a sign of ripeness. Look for fruit that has a well-defined crease and a good fragrance. Unripe peaches have a green under colour and will never ripen.  
  • Peaches always have to be picked ripe. They do not ripen well after they have been picked.
  • You can keep peaches for one to three days but you have to be very careful, one small bruise and it will go bad on that spot.
  • Peaches taste best consumed "warm" from the tree.

The Healthy Peach

  • Peaches are rich in Vitamin A and Potassium
  • Peaches are good for your skin and can often add colour to your complexion
  • They are a good source of dietary fibre and are 80% water, making them great as part of a weight loss diet
  • Peaches have a small laxative effect and a powerful diuretic effect, and are therefore recommended to people suffering from rheumatism and gout
  • It has been seen that consumption of peaches helps in the removal of worms from the intestinal tract
  • Can help with conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, bladder and kidney stones and constipation

 

Uses of the peach

Apart from being a delicious fruit to eat straight from the tree, there are many other uses for this versatile little furry fruit:-

  • Make peach jam
  • Puree peaches to freeze them for winter use
  • You can make a delicious chutney
  • Make peach juice
  • Put your peaches in a summer salad
  • Peach ice cream is delicious and refreshing
  • Peach muffins make a tasty sweet treat

 

Peaches, enjoy them all summer long!

 

The Importance of Buying Local

on Thursday, 13 January 2011. Posted in Organic Living

The Importance of Buying Local

The Importance of Buying Local

 

There is no doubt about it, buying organic is better for the environment, but there is a twist!!!!

 

Organic farming does not use pesticides and other harmful chemicals in its production, that is true, companion planting is beneficial to the soil and attracts local wildlife, for sure, but we need to ask ourselves what harm is done to the environment when the produce is transported?  Think about the carbon emissions released in to the air as our favourite products are shipped in from interstate and overseas.  If we can reduce these emissions the long term prognosis for the environment is positive.  And we can all play our part, every little effort helps, making the importance of buying local produce a fantastic step forward for the future.

 

The Noosa Farmers Market showcases many local businesses each week, you are buying direct from the supplier.  Not only does this reduce the harmful effects of mass transportation, it also gives you, the consumer, the added advantage of actually meeting the person who grows your food, or makes your skincare product for example.  Now you don’t get that at the supermarket!  You can talk to local farmers about exactly how they grow or make their food, what additives, if any, are actually used, how is the food handled, what processes does it go through from growing to consumption.  Not only is it interesting to find out the facts, it is a great learning opportunity for kids, to teach them about what they are eating and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.   

 

If you can walk or take public transport to your local Market, even better, you will then be further helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  But don’t forget, by buying only products which are grown and produced locally you will also be helping to boost the local economy and support local business.  Spending your money with local farmers and produce growers, who have invested in the community, will help in building your local economy, and in turn help to build a strong base in your town for jobs and revenue.

 

Head on down to the Noosa Farmers Market every Sunday from 7am and support your local Farmers and Produce Growers.  It’s good for you and the environment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia Has Gone Nuts!

on Thursday, 06 January 2011. Posted in Organic Living

Australia Has Gone Nuts!

 

Nuts have been a valued food for millions of years and still today are considered a gourmet food.  Nut consumption is increasing and all over the world medical professionals are recommending nuts as a great food source with many medical benefits.  Studies have shown these delicious little packages can help to reduce heart disease, lower the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer, lower the risk of developing diabetes, are low GI for sustained energy, and provide a rich source of fibre, protein and Vitamin E.

 

Nut production in Australia has grown significantly over the past two decades and modern processing and marketing facilities means the industry is stronger and more vibrant than ever.  With greater production efficiency many nut orchards are still being run as family businesses, and nut growing is still an important part of “life-style farming”.

 

Australia with its vast land and varying climates is perfect for growing different nut varieties, as every nut tree has its own cultural requirements, from the tropical north to the more temperate climates in the south.  The four main nut varieties grow in Australia are Macadamias, Almonds, Pecans and Pistachios.

 

Macadamias

Macadamias are native to Australia and are mainly grown in South East Queensland regions in Australia.  They thrive in rain forest areas and close to streams.  Macadamias are highly nutritious nuts, they have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut.  Macadamia nut oil contains properties that make it desirable ingredient in skincare products.

 

Almonds

Almonds are native to the Middle East and South Asia, they are however now grown in large quantities in Australia.  The main almond growing regions of Australia are in Victoria and South Australia.  Almonds are extremely high in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, they are low GI for sustained energy and are gluten free.  

 

Pecans

Australian pecans are grown in many areas of New South Wales stretching from the Hunter Valley to the Central Coast.  There are also many pecan growing regions in Queensland.  The bulk of the Australian pecan product is sold to the Australian domestic market.  Accounting for over 90% of the worlds pecan consumption, North America is the leader in this part of the nut industry.  However Australian pecans are now increasingly being exported to China.  Pecans are rich tasting and delicious, high in antioxidants, are naturally cholesterol free and packed full of protein.

 

Pistachios

Pistachios are a high desert tree, to bear fruit they require very hot summers and very cold winters.  The pistachio tree is native to Western Asia and commercial planting began in Australia in the 1980’s, most orchards are planted along the Murray River throughout New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  Pistachios are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, making them a very nutritious food.  Fibre, protein and antioxidants are also found in this versatile little nut.

 

Make a change in 2011, eat nuts as part of your regular diet and feel the health benefits, as well as enjoying delicious, tasty food. So ask yourself, have you gone nuts yet??   

Organic Wine

on Thursday, 30 December 2010. Posted in Organic Living

Organic Wine

Organic Wine

Right in the middle of the festive season, it seems only fitting that we talk about wine!  You may have drunk many a glass of fine vino over the Christmas period so far, but there is still one more night to go, when drinking wine is a must, the night we celebrate out with the old and in with the new, we make resolutions of how life will change in the coming year, we look back over the past 12 months and ponder as we look forward to the next 12 with excitement, New Years Eve! 

 

So let’s talk about wine, its properties, its’ quality and why going organic for our favourite tipple is a good choice.

 

Preservatives and Wine

Alcohol is a natural preservative, however most wines will contain an added preservative to prevent bacterial spoilage and protect against oxidation.  This preservative is a form of sulphur and can be added at any stage of the wine making process.  The main preservatives used in wine are 220 (sulphur dioxide) and 224 (potassium metabisulphite).

 

Sulphur is naturally reactive and “binds up” with potential spoilage compounds in the wine to protect its longevity and cellar life.  Sulphur that does not “bind up” stays in the wine and eventually becomes bound up with air traces or other contaminants which can then cause the wine to spoil.  For health and allergy considerations it is the “free” sulphur that is the main health concern.  Under organic certification, the sulphur level will usually be less than half that of the “normal” level of preservative added to a bottle of wine.  (This will differ depending on the wine and the certifying body).

 

Even wines that have no sulphur dioxide added can contain sulphur as sulphur dioxide is a natural product of the fermentation process.  However, in these cases the sulphur will be “bound up” in the wine and therefore not in a free and active state.  The term “preservative free” wine will indicate that no sulphur has been artificially added to the product.

 

Can you cellar preservative free wine?

Some people say that you can't cellar a wine that has no preservative added, however, it really depends on the quality & concentration of the fruit and the handling of the wine during the winemaking.  Just like conventional wines, look for a wine that has been made for long-term cellaring.  Speak directly to the winemaker if possible, they will usually the best person to ask about this. White wine would be much harder to cellar long term (7+ years) because it doesn't have the tannins that red wine has and is usually lower in alcohol than red wine.

 

Why does the level of preservatives in wine differ in each bottle?

There are a number of things that will affect the amount of preservatives added to a bottle of wine.  Here are a few for you to consider:-

  • Alcohol is a natural preservative, therefore higher alcohol content wine will need less sulphur added
  • Tannins are also natural preservatives and levels are higher in red wine (extracted from the skins of the red grapes during fermentation).  Oak tannins will also be found in wines which have spent time in oak barrels.
  • Well handled grapes and wine will have less exposure to the elements and will therefore require less preservative to be added.  Healthy grapes will have a higher acid level and therefore need less sulphur, as well as clean equipment and bottling procedures giving less chance of spoilage.
  • Believe it or not the screw cap is the best seal for preserving your wine.  It may be less romantic when you are opening your bottle of fine shiraz, however, the cork is more permeable and therefore has a higher chance of spoilage, for this reason winemakers may add more sulphur to cork capped wines.
  • Wines housed in casks will also require higher sulphur levels due to the nature of the packaging.

 

“There is nothing that has taught me more about winemaking than the effort to make wines free of sulphur dioxide. I reckon that the production of one preservative-free wine should be mandatory for all winemakers. The capacity to produce a high quality PF wine tells a story about ones technique”.

 

Winemaker of “Happs PF Wine”, Margaret River, WA

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamins ABC

on Thursday, 23 December 2010. Posted in Organic Living

Know your ABC

Vitamins ABC

Vitamins A, B and C are all vital parts of our everyday diet.  But what exactly are they?  Why are they so important?  And where can we find them?

 

Learn your ABC’s......................................

 

Vitamin A        

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and is essential for healthy vision, eyes, skin formation, proper bone growth and mucous membranes.  Vitamin A also acts in the body as an antioxidant (see our blog on antioxidants for more information).  Whilst Vitamin A is extremely important, excess Vitamin A can be dangerous and is therefore stored in the liver.  Excess Vitamin A can cause headaches, double-vision and liver and bone damage.  There are two sources of dietary vitamin A, active forms and precursors.   Active forms of vitamin A are obtained from animal products.   Precursors, also known as provitamins, are obtained from fruits and vegetables containing yellow, orange and dark green pigments.  These pigments are known as carotenoids, the most well-known being beta-carotene. Our body can convert carotenes into retinol.   Adequate intake of beta-carotenes has been linked with low risk of certain cancers.  Foods rich in Vitamin A include, liver, carrots, sweet potato, capsicum and spinach.

 

Vitamin B

Now B is a complex one as it takes many forms.  Vitamin, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 are all required by our bodies for many different functions.  B1 is needed to help release energy from carbohydrates and can be found in foods such as, quorn, yeast, sunflower seeds, peanuts and lean pork.  B2 releases energy from fats and protein and good sources of our B2 friend are found in yeast, liver, cheddar cheese and eggs.  B3 is also an “energy from food” releaser and is hiding in great quantities in yeast, liver, chicken breast and tuna.  B6 is needed for, amongst other things, healthy blood, and rich sources are found in lentils, salmon, turkey and squid.  Finally B12 is important for the formation of blood cells and nerves and to find this little fellow you need to be eating liver, oysters, scallops and prawns.

 

Vitamin C

Now here is a vitamin we have all heard of.  Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin that is essential to maintain a healthy immune system, to build healthy corrective tissue, bones and teeth, to heal wounds and it also assists in the body’s absorption of iron.  Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and is also loved for reducing the severity of the common cold.  No body organ stores vitamin C, hence the reason we need to consume this vitamin on a daily basis.  Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, however can be lost in preparation and cooking, therefore fresh is the key!  Find your friend Vitamin C in guava, chilli peppers, capsicum, strawberries, oranges, kiwi fruit, red cabbage and broccoli.

 

Now you know your ABC’s next time won’t you eat with me!

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