Market lover Katie Irwin sings the financial and environmental benefits of choosing local farmers markets in Brisbane for your fresh stuff.

For the majority of people in Brisbane, the weekly fresh food grocery shop centres around a large chain supermarket, involves a lot of packaging, a heap of money and likely some impulse buys.

What if there was a different way to view the weekly grocery shop? Local markets offer a slow, conscious process that helps you save money, reduces food packaging and food miles and allows you to connect with your food and the people who grow it.

Budget benefits

In our experience, we save a significant amount of money at our local Carseldine Farmers Markets when compared to shopping at a chain supermarket.  We are a family of three and purchase all of our fruit and vegetables at the markets (we don’t eat meat, so this shopping trip amounts to a lot of our food) for around $50.00 – $65.00 a week, depending on how much we need.

Here are some cost comparisons we noted down recently:

  • Pink lady apples $4.80 kg / $6.00 kg
  • Brushed potatoes $1.80 kg / $3.50 kg
  • Sweet potatoes $2.90 kg / $5.50 kg
  • Corn cob $1.20 each / $1.70 each
  • Brown onions $1.80 kg / $2.90 kg
  • Red capsicum $5.90 kg / $8.90 kg
  • Cherry tomatoes $10 kg / $12.00 kg
  • Field tomatoes $3.50 kg / $5.50 kg
  • Cucumbers $3.80 kg / $5.90 kg
  • Silverbeet $2 a bunch / $4.50 a bunch
  • Asian greens $2 a bunch / $2.50 a bunch
  • Lady finger bananas $3.99 kg / $7.50 kg
  • Herbs $2.00 a bunch / $3.00 a bunch

These are just the prices from our regular stallholders, so it’s possible you could hunt around and find cheaper, however the savings are significant as you can see.

If you’re paying in cash (which we recommend), stallholders generally round down the total you owe (more savings) and if you’re regular customers they often take off a few dollars or add in something for free. And if you come towards the end of the market, you will likely find some great bargains as growers aim to sell all off their produce by lunch.

Meat, seafood, dairy and eggs at farmers markets tend to be slightly more expensive than supermarket prices, however these products are generally organic, free range and/or come from very small family farms.  These prices are justifiably higher, and the quality is exceptional.

Environmental benefits

Shopping at your local markets is a fabulous way to cut down your food budget whilst also treading a little lighter on our Earth.

Firstly, we love shopping for plastic-free produce and we buy almost everything we eat plastic and packaging free at Carseldine Farmers Markets. We also shop as much as possible from stallholders who grow food locally, thus reducing the carbon footprint of our meals.

You will still find imported food at farmers markets, so it’s important to ask where their produce is from if this is important to you.  You will also find greater access to spray-free and organic produce for very reasonable prices. Buying organic means that your food will not have contributed to possible soil and water pesticide contamination which in turn can significantly affect wildlife.

Market tips

  • Get cash out prior to the market in order to avoid the mobile ATM fees.
  • Remember to bring your reusable shopping and produce bags, water bottle and a reusable coffee cup.
  • Do a trip around the markets first so you can scope out what you would like to buy and where from.
  • Start with hard fruit and vegetables packed in to the bottom of your bags, softer more delicate produce on top, then purchase your eggs, dairy, meat and seafood at the end of your shop so they don’t get hot in the sun.
  • Take it slow and enjoy the sunshine!

Brisbane farmers markets directory

Central Brisbane

Brisbane City Markets
Where: Reddacliff Place, George St
When: Every Wednesday, 8:00AM – 6:00PM
More info: http://goodwillprojects.com.au

Milton Markets
Where: Little Cribb Street, Milton
When: Every Sunday, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.miltonmarkets.com.au

Kelvin Grove Village Markets
Where: Blamey Street, QUT Urban Village, Kelvin Grove
When: Every Saturday, 06:00AM – 01:00PM
More info: www.kelvingrovevillagemarkets.com.au

Powerhouse Farmers Markets
Where: Lamington Street in front of the Brisbane Powerhouse
When: Every Saturday, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.janpowersfarmersmarkets.com.au

North Brisbane

Carseldine Markets
Where: 532 Beams Road, Carseldine
When: Every Saturday, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.carseldinemarkets.com.au

Nundah Markets
Where: Bottom of Station Street, Nundah
When: Every Sunday, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.nundahmarkets.com.au

Blackwood Street, Mitchelton
Where: Blackwood Street, Mitchelton
When: 1st Sunday of each month, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.janpowersfarmersmarkets.com.au

Northey Street Organic Market
Where: Corner of Northey and Victoria Streets, Windsor
When: Every Sunday, 06:00AM – 11:00AM
More info: www.nscf.org.au

South Brisbane

Beenleigh Town Square
Where: Corner of Crete and Kent Streets, Beenleigh
When: Every Wednesday, 08:00AM – 02:00PM
More info: http://www.earlybirdmarkets.com.au/

Kuraby Markets
Where: 1342 Beenleigh Road, Kuraby
When: Every Saturday, 06:00AM – 12:00PM
More info: www.kurabymarkets.com.au

Manly Harbour Village Farmers Markets
Where: Manly Harbour, Royal Esplanade, Manly between Cambridge and Cardigan Parades
When: 1st and 3rd Saturday every month, 06:00AM – 12:00PM.
More info: www.janpowersfarmersmarkets.com.au

Moreton Bay

Redcliffe Jetty Markets
Where: Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
When: Every Sunday, 08:00AM – 02:00PM
More info: https://redcliffejettymarkets.com

Satori Boutique Farmers Market
Where: 198 Seymour Street, Sandgate
When: Every Sunday and Wednesday, 07:00AM – 11:00AM
More info: https://www.satoriorganics.com.au

Samford Valley Market
Where: St Paul’s Anglican Church, 12 Mt Samson Road, Samford Valley
When: Second Saturday of the month from 07:00AM
More info: www.stpauls.net.au/samford-valley-markets.html

Petrie Town Country Market
Where: Old Petrie Town, Dayboro Rd, Kurwongbah
When: Sundays from 07:00AM
More info: www.facebook.com/pages/Petrie-Country-Markets/163307867027291

Caboolture Country Markets
Where: 140 Beerburrum Rd, Caboolture
When: Every Sunday, 6.00am – 12.00noon
More info: https://caboolturecountrymarkets.com.au