WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, July 09, 2007

More market


While I've always thought that outdoor markets are great (they promote local produce, enliven public space, and help small businesses get started), I have to admit that I haven't been a frequent visitor to the two downtown Sunday markets at Waitangi Park and upper Willis St. They have certainly been popular with bargain hunters, but somehow I just don't find the idea of strolling among a dozen trucks all selling the same range of cheap vegetables to be an enticing way to spend a Sunday morning.

Stalls at Waitangi Park MarketRecently, though, the Waitangi Park Market has been getting more interesting. Among the mountains of broccoli and bok choy, there's now some stalls selling a wider range of produce. The venison salami is particularly good, and there's an artisan baker who comes in from Upper Hutt with a wide range of goodies. There are various stalls selling eggs, honey, noodles and the inevitable cheap sunglasses, but it's especially encouraging to see a farmer from Feilding bringing in cuts of fresh lamb. It doesn't quite count as a farmers' market yet, but it's heading in the right direction.

11 Comments:

At 8:18 am, July 10, 2007, Blogger llew said...

Any macadamia nuts?

 
At 9:18 am, July 10, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Not that I noticed. Why? Do you know a potential supplier? ;-)

 
At 11:06 am, July 10, 2007, Anonymous LX said...

The Nut Store on Ghuznee Street?

Actually thinking about markets all I really need now is a decent cheese stall (like the dutch shop in Petone) and I'd never need to leave the city again.

 
At 11:28 am, July 10, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

"Actually thinking about markets all I really need now is a decent cheese stall (like the dutch shop in Petone) and I'd never need to leave the city again."

There's always Kirk's Fromagerie, Moore Wilson and Truffle, and Zarbo might have some nice stuff when they open at Chaffers Dock in October. But I agree: and artisan cheese stall, packed with unique stuff that you can't otherwise get in the city, would be fantastic at this sort of market.

 
At 2:16 pm, July 10, 2007, Anonymous Michael-D said...

Pick the nicest/freshest vegies at the best prices - why pay 50-100% more - down with supermarkets I say...

(I love my Sunday morning market blitz...)

Besides, the people are way more interesting at the market than the supermarket...

 
At 2:30 pm, July 10, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Michael: "why pay 50-100% more - down with supermarkets I say..."

I agree up to a point. Why pay more? Because the market only runs once a week, and it's not on the way home from work anyway. I'd much rather buy the ingredients fresh on the day that I'm going to use them, rather than leaving them all week. They won't be all that fresh by the time Thursday comes around, and I hate having to plan the week's meals that far in advance.

So the market for me is more for curiosity and variety. If there were 7-day markets in the CBD, then that would be great, and I'd be happy to pay supermarket prices for the convenience.

 
At 3:42 pm, July 10, 2007, Anonymous gemma said...

"I'd much rather buy the ingredients fresh on the day that I'm going to use them, rather than leaving them all week. They won't be all that fresh by the time Thursday comes around"

Fiar enough about having to plan in advance, but I've always found that market produce always lasts waaay longer (like, twice as long)once I've got it home than stuff from the supermarket does - I guess it hasn't taken so long to get from the farm to the market.

Having said that, I'm never in much of a state to leave the house on Sunday mornings...why doesn't the Lady Luck coffee caravan park up at the Willis St markets like it used to years ago?

Glad tp hear there's more4 exciting stuff at Chaffers these days...I should get down there this weekend.

 
At 3:55 pm, July 10, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

Someone told me the produce for sale at the Sunday markets was from the same suppliers at the supermarkets anyway, just that it wasn't up to standard (cosmetically) for the supermarket shelf. Can anyone confirm/deny?

 
At 4:15 pm, July 10, 2007, Anonymous Michael-D said...

Michael: "Someone told me the produce for sale at the Sunday markets was from the same suppliers at the supermarkets anyway, just that it wasn't up to standard (cosmetically) for the supermarket shelf. "

I would say that this is most definitely the case, but the supermarket stuff is supplied in a pre-ripened state (to make it last longer on the shelves). Buying form the market you inevitably have produce that has been ripened in the fields which considerably improves the flavour (and the nutrient content too I believe). Consequently the market stuff does taste a whole lot better than the supermarket. As for its length of life - I eat it too quickly to judge! Yes, I have to use supermarkets to supplement this (which is how I can comment on the taste factor!).

Point taken regarding the convenience of supermarkets - it's a world of convenience that we live in now (tv dinners and all)

 
At 4:33 pm, July 10, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

I'm not sure whether it's the same suppliers, but there's definitely a better range (at least compared to Willis St Metro, which is the only supermarket I visit regularly). Not exactly being a vegetable fan, I'm not in the best position to judge the quality!

"Point taken regarding the convenience of supermarkets - it's a world of convenience that we live in now (tv dinners and all)"

I actually find supermarkets very inconvenient, since they're based on the idea of large, infrequent shopping trips via car to widely-spaces stores. My ideal would be small grocery and specialist stores every few blocks rather than huge supermarkets that you have to drive to. The convenience is more due to the fact that they're open 7 days a week.

 
At 4:34 pm, July 10, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

michael-d: "Buying form the market you inevitably have produce that has been ripened in the fields which considerably improves the flavour (and the nutrient content too I believe). Consequently the market stuff does taste a whole lot better than the supermarket."

I 100% agree, weather they come from the same crop destined for the supermarket or not, sunday market veges are more often than not fresher and tastier, which is my main concern when cooking and eating them...

Supermarket convenience at the expense of taste? Not me...

 

Post a Comment

<< Home