Guy’s guide to local veggies
For details of our local fruit farmers, see the relevant part of the Local Food Directory.
Ok, since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that a) you’re not completely self-sufficient re veggies and b) you’re interested in buying local.
If so, it may not actually be that easy for you to meet all of your veggie needs from local producers. Here is a simple example: there appear to be no local producers of broad beans, rockmelons or sweet potatoes, even though these veggies can all be easily grown in Melbourne.
A final point by way of introduction: veggies are mostly annuals so a farmer may change what veggies they are growing from year to year. Any lists, such as those included in this article, are therefore indicative only.
There are only two local farmers who regularly grow and sell a wide range of veggies:
|Farmer||Base||Available from||Indicative list of veggies|
|Kinglake Vegetables||Kinglake||Beans, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, carrots, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, swedes, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onions, tomatoes and zucchini.|
|Sugarloaf Produce||Strathewen||Eltham Farmers’ Market.
Kingsbury Drive Community Market.
Yarra Valley Regional Food Group Farmers’ Market.
|Beans, beetroot, capsicum, carrot, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, rocket, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini.|
In addition, there are a couple of farmers who grow a wide range of vegetables but which are less regularly available for sale:
- Farmraiser, who are based in Bellfield.
- The Veggie Empire, who are based in Greensborough.
Plus there are some local farmers who contribute to wider veggie boxes:
- Claire Harvey, who is based in Alphington.
- CERES Joe’s Market Garden, who are based in Coburg.
And, finally, there are few local farmers who are specialised:
- Basil and capsicum: Yarra Valley Gateway Estate, who are based in Coldstream.
- Foraged produce: Spurrell Foraging, who are based in Eltham.
- Pumpkins and herbs: Weeping Grevillea Nursery, who are based in Kangaroo Ground.
Note that, whilst many of the local veggie producers appear to be chemical-free, none are Certified Organic2. If Certified Organic is what you want, then you can still buy it locally although it typically won’t have been grown locally. Your options here include:
- Abbotsford Market: Baw Baw Organics.
- Alphington Farmers’ Market: Spring Creek Organics.
- Balwyn: Apples and Sage Organic Wholefoods.
- Carlton Farmers’ Market: Spring Creek Organics.
- Croydon South: Eastfield Natural Foods.
- Eltham: Dynamic Vegies or Organic Fix.
- Kew: Kew Organics.
- Montmorency: The Natural Food Market.
- Mt Evelyn: Organic Empire.
- Northcote: Terra Madre (a truly wonderful shop!).
- Surrey Hills: The Organic Union.
- Templestowe: Yarra Organics at Pettys Orchard.
- Home delivery: Kew Organics or Organic Angels. Click here to see which if these will deliver to your suburb/postcode.
1. Saturdays, Sunday and public holidays. 80 Old Plenty Road, Yan Yean, 3755.