Mackay Farmers Market

I hate waking up when its still dark in the weekend. So when someone asks me whether I want to go to the farmers market, I usually say yes with the best intention, only to bail the night before after having a few glasses of wine. When my friend Lizzie asked if I wanted to come, I said what the hell, I could get some good photos for the blog, and I have to do it sometime.

One good reason to wake up early

I woke up at some god forsaken hour, thankfully, we stopped on the way for a coffee to help combat the coma I was in and I set off for what Lizzie called, "the crap Mackay farmers markets". Now for all you Mackay people out there throwing up your arms, Lizzie was doing you a favour. She knows me well, and knows that by telling me that the markets were crap (and lowering my expectations), I would be pleasantly surprised by the truth of the matter. THE MACKAY FARMERS MARKET WAS LIKE A FOODIE WONDERLAND.

Although nothing to rival Vic markets in Melbourne. There was already a gathering of people around the little stalls set up by the local farmers/townspeople. I kind of felt like a child on Christmas morning, so many stalls, so many fruit and vegetables. Where to begin?

My goal for the day was to find some new ingredients to cook with, something that I had never seen or used before. I thought maybe I could pick up one unknown thing as I was sure that Mackay wouldn't have too many unknown ingredients to offer me. However it turns out I am useless at identifying, herbs, vegetables, common spices. There I was all excited at the thought that I had found yams when it was really tumeric, and you could see my head bobbing all over the show asking, what's this? What's that?

I stopped and took photos of two wonderful ladies that drew my attention to their stalls. Unfortunately I didn't get either of their names, and I feel they may have thought that I was alot more important than I actually was when I explained that I had started a food blog.

But I got to do what I think is the most important thing about farmer's markets, had a chat with both of these ladies while the educated me on their goods. Woman one, had the infamous yams/tumeric. She was shy when I asked to take her photo, calm when I showed my vegie ignorance and so polite.

The second woman owns the Wholly Goodness Wholesome Foods stand, I was lured in by her attractive stand with all her bags of unknown goodies lined up in a row. Beautiful dried ingredients stored in brown paper bags and so, from her, I purchased some red quinoa. I didn't know what it was, but she explained how to cook it, sweet and savoury, what it tasted like and what it went with.

I would say that my farmers market journey was a success. I had learnt a few new things for the day and had a handful of delectable treats ready to cook for a Sunday night's dinner. So come back tomorrow, check out my blog as I attempt to cook a meal with quinoa and see what this little red grain is all about.

The Mackay market is open every Saturday morning from 6:30am at the Mackay Showgrounds.


  1. Hi Mel,

    Thanks for the post about the Mackay Farmer's market. It was great to read a little baout the people and produce in your area. I would like to learn more about in the type of produce available locally in Mackay. I am flying up on Tuesday to learn more about Mackay and its food/wine/bar scene but I don't think I will be able to stay until Saturday.

    I'd love to have a chat to you about what happens in Mackay.

  2. Hi Erez, you can email me on I do not think that I would be the best source of information for local produce as I am only new to the area as well. But I am more than happy to help in any way.


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