Monday, April 18, 2011

Fruit and vegetable shopping

A few years back, I bought fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, along with my other food purchases. I didn't think much about it, until I read a few articles regarding preservative use and the long-term storage of much of the "fresh" produce at the major supermarket chains.

Around the same time, I tried out local fruit and vegetable markets that are manned by local growers / buyers. The markets are only open Fridays and weekends (and public holidays) and there are three 'stores' within the overall market complex, which also includes some other smaller shops and food outlets. 

The main thing that struck me was the price. In some cases, half of the supermarket prices! The other thing that struck me was how 'real' the food seemed. It wasn't all perfect, and if it wasn't meant to be in season, it wasn't there. Most of it was West Australian.

I was sold. Visiting the markets is now part of my weekend routine, unless I'm particularly busy (or lazy!).

Today, I spent $27.80 and got all of this:

This is actually one of the more expensive sums, as usually the total comes in around $20. Sometimes it's as little as $10 - $15, sometimes, like today, approaching $30.

What exactly did I buy?

  • Brocollini
  • 3 red capsicums
  • 6 potatoes
  • Punnet of baby tomatoes
  • 1kg carrot bag
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Spinach leaves
  • Bok choi


  • 5 avocados (I actually rarely buy these, as I don't like them, but this week I wanted them for cooking. My partner also likes them in salads)
  • 4 slightly dodgy-looking bananas, for freezing (at half the price of unblemished bananas)
  • 5 red apples
  • 6 plums
  • 2 large peaches
  • 2 pears
  • A small bunch of purple seedless grapes

The fruit is really all for me (and won't last until next weekend!), whereas the vegetables should serve the two of us for a week, in conjunction with what we already have at home.

It is more effort buying things this way, in part because I have to visit two places (supermarket + markets) and in part because the markets aren't pristine and spacious the way supermarkets are - but I do find it worth the effort. 

Most of the time anyway. There are some weeks when I return home irate because people stand still in areas where it's crowded and thus block my route around the produce and then out when I am finished. But aside from that...


  1. Oooh, envious! All I have right now is some oldish broccoli, three carrots, a few green beans, and two over-ripe avocados that I'm scared will go off before I manage to make what I bought them for...

  2. @Hannah
    I must confess that my vegetables aren't immune to such a fate :P I sometimes buy exotic-looking vegetables and they make a slow progression from fresh, to ok, to wilting, to health hazard, to bin. It's a sad state of affairs for all concerned!

  3. Such a good haul you have there. I adore farmers markets. Love them, love them!


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