The Farmers Market on Manning is better known to locals as the Clontarf Markets, given its location on the grassy grounds of Clontarf Aboriginal College. Established in December 2009, this outdoor market is open for business every Saturday morning.
Market-goers sit, eat and chat with family and friends at the sun-dappled tables surrounded by tents in the cool shadows of towering gum trees. Most bring their own baskets and eco-friendly bags ready to be filled with fresh local and organic produce. There’s a decent crowd but plenty of space to move around as you browse the stalls. The atmosphere is relaxed, social and leisurely.
We are immediately attracted to the enticing smoky aroma from Elmar’s Smallgoods‘ stall, Bratwurst with Attitude, where sausages and onions are sizzling in an enormous cast iron pan. The bratwursts contain no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours and are gluten free.
We order a curry bratwurst each, a glistening plump pork bratwurst sausage in a soft bun with fried onions and sauerkraut, sprinkled with curry powder and finished with lashings of curry ketchup. I had my first taste of German curry ketchup at the Good Food and Wine Show last year and loved it.
We get a RAW juice each, sold chilled in glass bottles, unpasteurised and with no preservatives. I get an orange juice; Jac, a zinger, made with granny Smith apple and lime juice.
Jac surges ahead looking at stalls while I take my time, taking pictures as I walk.
The fresh produce at the market is beautiful and it’s all Western Australian, direct from growers all around our wonderful state. The stalls include Karra Orchard from Karragullen; Caraholly Orchard from Dwellingup; and Ivan’s Market Garden, Wattleup. There are button mushrooms and broccoli from Wanneroo, tomatoes from Kwinana, grapefruit from Bedfordale, field mushrooms from Pickering Brook, sweet potatoes from Hope Valley, cauliflower and kale from Serpentine, oranges and clementines from the Chittering Valley, mandarins from Mundaring, avocados from Gingin, fruit and vegies from as far away as Carnarvon, and lots more.
There are flowers for sale, in bouquets and in pots.
There are all kinds of fresh herbs and chilli plants.
The Beef Shop sells meat farmed in the South West of Western Australia, including Willowbank beef from Harvey. Next to The Beef Shop is a fish stall selling fresh fillets as well as whole fish and frozen prawns, scallops, squid and crab meat. At the Redtail Ridge organic meat stall today’s specials include oxtail, beef tongue, hearts and liver, lamb fry, T-bone steaks and veal shanks for osso bucco. The aroma of goaty socks tells you a cheese stall is nearby. Don’t forget to BYO esky for those goodies.
Vince’s Mobile Pizza serves up wood-fired pizzas, fresh out of the oven, piping hot and crisp with cheese still bubbling on top. There’s Turkish gozleme and burgers (hamburgers, steak, bacon and egg) cooked to order while you wait and salivate.
There are several bakery stalls at the markets selling fresh crusty sourdough loaves and other artisan breads, pastries, cookies and cakes. Macaron fans, Maison St Honore sells French pastries including macarons and canneles.
Jac finds me again, and this time she’s munching on a crispy pastry stick called a cinnamon twig (AU$1.50) from Artisan Organic Foods, where a range of handmade mini croissants and pastry snacks are available. She’s bought a twig for me too. One bite and I understand why we’ve seen so many people walking around the markets eating these.
The Farmers Market on Manning is a dog-friendly place where fur kids of all shapes and sizes are on their best behaviour, visibly excited to be out and about with their families. Tails are up and wagging, cold noses snuffling in the grass or sniffing friendly bum hellos. Doggy treat stalls sell biscuits, chews and the old favourite, pig ears.
It’s a fantastic farmers market and a great way to kick off the weekend. These photographs and words have captured only some of what’s available. There’s yoghurt, honey, olive oil, free range eggs, nougat, chutneys, jam, pickles, spice pastes, essential oils and more. The Saturday morning we’re there, a sign announces that the fresh popcorn stall won’t be available; regular market-goers tell me I’ve missed out on one of the market’s delicious highlights. Next time.
The Farmers Market on Manning, also known as the Clontarf Markets
Clontarf Campus (opposite the Chem Centre)
295 Manning Road, Waterford
Telephone: 0417 188 363
Open every Saturday 8am to 1pm
Lots of free parking available