Six Farmers’ Markets You Should Visit This Spring

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Forget hearty stews and rich roast meals. Re-invigorate your diet with light spring fare from charismatic farmers’ markets in the Macedon Ranges.

Did you know there are six farmers’ markets in the Macedon Ranges region, five of which are accredited by the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association (VMFA)?

That’s right, we’re a food bowl of awesomeness.

Only 45 minutes’ drive from Melbourne CBD, the Macedon Ranges is dotted with amazing micro farms producing the most fabulous fare.

Sure, you can always nip to your local city farmers’ market. But Macedon Ranges farmers’ markets offer an ‘experience’ as well as super fresh, locally grown food.

These are truly authentic country markets, where you can:

  • Buy chooks for your backyard coop from the back of a ute
  • Get hand-tied bunches of fresh flowers picked from a local garden
  • Stock up on wine from a vineyard just up the road, sold by the person who grows and bottles it
  • Have a chin wag with a farmer

Oh yes, and the parking is free and plentiful.

Then there’s the backdrops. In Kyneton, the farmers’ markets are nestled under an historic bluestone church. Malmsbury’s farmers’ markets are one minutes’ walk to an old bluestone viaduct bridge that attracts photographers from miles away. Lancefield’s farmer’s markets stretch along a leafy plantation strip lined with an impressive architectural streetscape from the mid-19th century.

A visit to our charismatic farmers’ markets become so much more than just shopping. It’s about the friendly country vibe. Learning more about where your food comes from. And discovering naturally beautiful places right on Melbourne’s doorstep.

So it’s time to dust off your favourite Jamie Oliver cookbook. Pack your straw baskets in the boot. And head to the wonderful farmer’s markets of the Macedon Ranges this spring. Here’s the low down on where, when and what to look for…

 

1. Spring flowers at Kyneton Farmers' Markets 2. Super fresh, local produce 3. Zig Zag Wines at Malmsbury Village Farmers' Market

Expect to find…

While gardeners wait impatiently for the earth to warm up so they can ‘sow and grow’, you’ll find plenty of beets, parsnips, spuds, brassicas and broad beans at the markets over spring, advises Owner-Chef Kathryn Russack of Kyneton’s Colenso.

Kathryn makes a point of creating her menu around what’s available from local markets and producers.

At Colenso every week begins with a shop at one of the Macedon Ranges VFMA accredited market. When you rely on the produce of our local growers, strong relationships and connection add a delicious fluency to our daily dishes and menu”.

Colenso baking

Kathryn Cussack, chef and owner of Colenso, Kyneton

In addition to the beets and spuds, there’s always the market staples…

In addition to flavour-packed fruit & veg, there’s always amazing organic and free range meats, homemade cheese and breads, local olives, healthy museli, fresh cakes and biscuits, jams, honey, eggs and more.

Of course a farmers’ market’s not a farmers’ market without the smell of sausage sizzles, Asian dumplings and spinach bureks. And you’ll get that in spades at our village farmers’ markets (goat sausage, yum yum).

Plan your weekly shop around these six farmer’s markets in the Macedon Ranges.

1. Kyneton Farmers’ Market

Hundreds of years of history gaze down upon this popular accredited farmers’ market. St Paul’s Church is one of Victoria’s oldest substantial churches. Built of bluestone in the mid 1800’s, it provides a striking backdrop to this country market.

It’s also smack bang in the heart of Kyneton’s historic Piper Street, a retail shopping and cafe paradise that is home to two 2019 Chef Hat-awarded restaurants, Source Dining and Midnight Starling.

The market starts packing up around 1pm, so once you’ve stocked up on goodies, take a wander up and down the shops of Piper Street.

Then when you’re ready to re-fuel, kick back on the outdoor terrace at Parkland Kyneton, overlooking St Paul’s Park. Produce from farm stalls at this market are frequently used on Parkland’s menu. Wash a light tasting plate down with a sassy gin cocktail on a spring afternoon and you have the perfect end to the day.

When: Every 2nd Saturday of the month from 8-1pm

Where: 35 Piper Street, St Paul’s Park, Kyneton

Parking: There is free street parking along Piper Street as well as streets running off Piper such as Yaldwyn and Powlett.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Kyneton Farmers Market Fresh Produce

Parkland Kyneton

2. Lancefield & District Farmers’ Market

The heart of Lancefield is High Street, one of those super wide kinds that you don’t get in the city. And located under shady trees along a grassy plantation strip is the wonderful Lancefield Farmers’ Market.

This accredited, plastic bag-free market is worth a visit simply for the beauty of the journey to get there. If you love going on country drives, Lancefield is a wonderful excuse for a road trip.

The pastoral landscapes of Rochford on the way to Woodend are stunning, as is the iconic Australian bushland on the Burke and Wills Track to Benloch.

Or enhance your farmers’ market trip with a mini wine tasting adventure, cruising the picturesque country laneways of Lancefield to the likes of Cleveland Winery, Parkside Estate and Curly Flat.

When: Every 4th Saturday of the month from 9-1pm (3rd Saturday in December)

Where: High Street, Lancefield

Parking: There is free street parking along High Street and side streets.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Facebook: @LancefieldFM

3. Woodend Community Farmers’ Market

Hosted by the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, this accredited farmers’ market is an easy walk from Woodend V-Line Train Station. In addition to fabulous fresh produce, its High Street location lends for easy shopping along Woodend’s main shopping strip. There’s also a popular children’s playground a couple of minute’s walk from the market if the kids start to get ansy.

When you’ve stocked up on wholesome goodies at the market, make sure to stop by the famous Holgate Brewhouse for a beer garden chillax. This family-owned brewery has been at the forefront of Australia’s craft brewing movement for 20 years. Get yourself a beer tasting paddle and chow down on a classic pub fare that highlights the tastes of the region.

The farmers’ markets are also a hop, skip and jump to Hanging Rock if you feel like a hike afterwards.

When: Every 1st Saturday of the month from 9-1pm

Where: High Street, Woodend

Parking: There is free street parking along High Street and side streets. Or catch the V-Line regional train to Woodend from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Facebook: @WoodendFarmersMarket

4. Malmsbury Village Farmers’ Market

This wonderful, new accredited farmers’ market falls on a Sunday and is located along Malmsbury’s quaint High Street. It has a brilliant range of produce and is a short stroll to the sublimely beautiful Malmsbury Botanic Gardens. Plan your day around a picnic with your market haul under the willows or overlooking the spectacular bluestone viaduct bridge.

In fact, being on a Sunday it’s the perfect excuse to book a night in a B&B in Malmsbury and make an entire weekend of it. Visit local cellar doors, go walking in the fresh country air and even get a line wet in the nearby Lauriston Reservoir that is well stocked with Trout, Red Fin, Yellow Belly and Macquarie Perch.

When: Every 3rd Sunday of the month from 9-1pm

Where: Mollison Street, Malmsbury

Parking: There is free street parking along Mollison Street and side streets. Or catch the V-Line regional train to Malmsbury from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Facebook: @MalmsburyFM

5. Riddells Creek Farmers’ Market

This accredited farmers’ market is small and intimate with a real grass roots country feel to it. Treat yourself to local honey and eggs, table olives and chutneys, beer and wine, plants and cider, organic produce and cakes. Live music adds to the atmosphere and there’s plenty of room for kids to run around (there’s even free face painting after 10am).

Afterwards, you might want to go for a bush walk at the nearby Conglomerate Gully Flora Reserve. Home to kangaroos, echidnas and currawongs, this is an easy 2.9km (1 hour) return walk. You’ll come across unique conglomerate rock formations, a small seasonal waterfall and native orchids flowering between October to December.

If hiking is not your cup of tea, visit the historic, family-friendly Dromkeen Homestead for all day breakfast (Saturdays only), lunch or a Devonshire Tea and stroll through their pretty gardens. Built in 1889, Dromkeen also offers an art gallery and hold regular events and workshops you can time your visit around.

When: Every 3rd Saturday of the month from 9-1pm (except December when they hold a Twilight Market on the 2nd Friday of the month)

Where: Riddells Creek Primary School, 69-77 Main Road, Riddells Creek

Parking: There is free street parking along Main Road and side streets. Or catch the V-Line regional train to Riddells Creek from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Facebook: @RiddellsCreekFM

Millett Road Maker Riddells Creek Farmers Markets

Daraweet Valley Cider Riddells Creek Farmers Markets

6. Macedon Village Farmers’ Market

Hosted by the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, this farmers’ market has a strong focus on sustainability, authenticity and community. It’s a gem of a market with a super friendly atmosphere, live music and seriously delish local produce and treats.

Plus it’s just a quick nip up the road to Mount Macedon afterwards for a bush walk and wood-fired BBQ at Days Picnic Ground, a beer garden session at the Mount Macedon Hotel, or a meal at Mount Towrong Winery.

Spring is also the perfect time of year to explore open gardens* on Mount Macedon, such as Forest Glade or the Gardens of Tieva Tara. Spread a picnic blanket and enjoy goodies from the farmers’ market for lunch…

When: Four times a year on the 5th Saturday of the month (next market on 30 November), 9-1pm.

Where: Macedon Primary School, 67 Smith Street, Macedon

Parking: There is free street parking around the Macedon Primary School. Or catch the V-Line regional train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station.

Dog Friendly: Yes, on leads.

Facebook: @macedonvillagefarmersmarket

*Admission fees required to access open gardens on Mount Macedon.

While you’re here…

Enjoy a stroll and a picnic at one of the beautiful spring open gardens in the Macedon Ranges. Read our guide to spring open gardens to find out more!

 

A spring guide to open gardens in the Macedon Ranges (1)

 

Find out what’s happening in the Macedon Ranges this month