With the changing of the seasons, this is the perfect time of year to mix up the fresh produce you’re adding to your shopping cart every week or - if you want to put us all to shame - growing in your garden.
Not only are fresh fruits and vegetables the tastiest kind, but buying seasonally from local suppliers also reduces damage to the environment and supports producers in our community. In other words, it’s a win-win.
Check out our five hero items of the autumn below, all available from our celebrated local growers and retailers during Harveast on Sunday 25 March.
Garlic is one of those everyday items that it’s easy to forget has a season, but most garlic is at its sweetest in late summer and early autumn. The key is freshness, but by buying imported garlic you might be getting last year's crop. Instead of relying on the jarred stuff, try local. The team at Weyhill Farm hand plant and weed their plantations, and steer clear of all pesticides. This adds up to more delicious, healthy garlic, available at Harveast.
Most Australian berries are abundant between December and February. Here in Melbourne, we’re fortunate to have access to fresh berries all the way into early autumn. Strawberries in particular tend to thrive throughout the cooler months, and are usually at their cheapest at this time. You can taste a delicious array of fresh berries from Berry Direct, or pick up some local spreads from Jam Lady Jam at our Producers Market.
These orange beauties have the best flavour during autumn, their peak season. Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which can prevent vitamin A deficiencies and promote healthy eyesight. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, and when eaten with their skin on, a medium spud can pack nearly four grams of fibre. You can get a quick fix by swapping your regular order of potato chips for some delicious sweet potato fries at Hunky Dory.
Beetroot may be available year-round, but is best in the autumn. Besides the best known reddish-purple variety, you can also find golden, white, and even multi-coloured beetroots. When shopping, look for firm, smooth bulbs with bright, crisp leaves. Unsure how to incorporate beetroot into your everyday diet? Try the steak sandwich with house-made beetroot ketchup from the Abacus food cart.
Perfect on pizza, salads, or enjoyed in a dry martini, olives are always great to have on hand in the kitchen. It's also no secret that olives pack a powerful health punch. Pressed into cooking oil or eaten cured and whole, these little fruits come with a range of health benefits including improving heart strength, circulation and brain health. Pick up a jar of juicy West Gippsland olives from Tarago Olives at our Producers Market.
Harveast is a free annual celebration of local flavours featuring more than 60 producers, celebrity chefs, kids’ entertainment and plenty of food-related tips for your family.