Fresh produce, paddock to plate
5 February 2019
In this Summer edition of ‘Stories from the market’ we turn our focus to our fresh produce growers and their wonderful array of products at the market each week, guaranteed to inspire you in the kitchen and get you cooking creatively and healthily. Look out for future editions as we focus on the people of the market, their stories and their products, uncovering their secrets and passions.
Here’s a ‘pay it forward’ tip for locals and visitors alike: think like a chef. If you come early to Salamanca Market, around 8 am, you’ll get the pick of the crop. And there’s plenty that is fresh and seasonal to help you decide what to cook. Provenance Growers will reward you with fresh farm eggs, superb chemical-free produce and the parking is easier at that time of day too. Bonus!
Provenance Growers is a family farm 20 minutes south of Hobart and their main aim is to feed the people of Hobart sustainably. For Paulette and Matt, that’s not just a catch cry, it’s a whole reason for being, driven from a wonderful ‘pay it forward’ moment. Paulette’s boss at a plant nursery, Will Fletcher, sold the business and gave all employees a share of the sale.
Paulette used the money to build a possum-proof fence to grow food sustainably and without chemicals for her two kids. Working at the nursery had sparked her interest in growing unusual edible plants. Enter Luke Burgess from Garagistes who gave her early support and like so many stallholders at Salamanca Market, Paulette initially joined her mum who had a stall there. Paulette introduced edible plants, preserves and fresh produce. Her mum’s jams though, are still on the menu.
So back to her early bird tip: “It’s all fresh and the biggest range of vegies is early in the morning – we’re usually set up by 8 am. The chefs come early, so our produce travels across a few streets. Most of the restaurants around are customers of ours.”
“The main aim is paddock-to-plate, but we work with the tourists who are looking for preserves – we make passata for pizza, or jam in tiny sizes for holiday makers. Even passengers off the cruise ships will buy a bunch of carrots or radishes to freshen their palates. We always pick the day before market so everything’s super fresh. Matt and I take turns being there to talk to our customers. We spend time telling people how to cook what we produce. Tomatillos are coming up and are great in salads - we’ll sell them fresh and then make a salsa for taking home.”
Sustainability is what they live by, using local seaweed, woodchips and local seeds as well. Their produce keeps really well, and why? Paulette explains, “We aim for strong cell walls, which means they last longer because they’re all natural and slower growing so they’ve got time to absorb minerals and nutrients from the soil. You need lots of healthy microbes for healthy plants. We’ve got a column in Gourmet Traveller too and Instagram brings a lot of people to us at the markets.”
Just then, a rooster crows and Paulette adds as she dashes back to attend her green crops, “Oh and bring our jars back, we love to recycle!”
Stall Site Number: Summer 204 / Winter 161
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