In a piece of excellent news for those who like their food fresh and local, or are tired of the bland homogeneity of the supermarket chains, from Saturday 19 May, Fairfield will have its own brand-new Farmers’ Markets. Featuring a wide range of seasonal produce from an array of Victorian producers, the Markets promise to supply Fairfield and surrounding suburbs with some fantastic seasonal produce, and to provide a unique shopping experience that’s far more personal and intimate than what you get in your local superstore.
A large range of products will be available, direct from the farms that produced them, so locals should come along and pick up whatever they need, whether that’s fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet cheeses, coffee, or just a few goats. The Fairfield Markets isn’t aiming to compete with its larger, established counterparts in Collingwood and the Gasworks Arts Park: its goal is to provide another opportunity for farmers to sell their wares directly to city shoppers, and for the inner-city community to access fresh produce without having to worry about where it came from. By only supplying goods that originate in Victoria, the markets try not to impinge on the turf of greengrocers, whose livelihoods depend on the supply of interstate produce. This is good news: greengrocers and butchers already have enough to worry about, what with the increasing dominance of the supermarkets and their unnaturally shiny, gargantuan apples. The Markets are the perfect antidote: they encourage a closer connection between urban and rural communities, an appreciation for the provenance of what we consume, and local support for local producers.
While you’re in Fairfield – but before you’re loaded down with fresh produce like honey, pasta, stonefruits, walnuts and olive oil from the Markets – a stroll or ride along the banks of the nearby Yarra would be a great way to while away part of the Saturday morning. If you’ve brought your dog along for the day, he or she could probably do with a visit to the Hound Lounge (266 Wingrove St, 03 9482 1111), a pet grooming business that prides itself on its blow-dry, and its ability to rid your best friend of that smell. The thirsty should make a beeline for the Grandview Hotel (429 Heidelberg Rd, 03 9489 8061), a local landmark that was built in 1888, and still stands in its original, imposing form. If you’re feeling peckish, Trapezi Restaurant (145b Station St, 03 9489 0080) would be a good bet: this local Greek restaurant has attracted a loyal following over the years – to the extent that it might be wise to call and book beforehand.