While staying in Main Arm, we were able to make two visits to the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market, which is held every Friday morning at the showgrounds, just out from the town centre. The first time, we were even able to get into the spirit of the town and hitchhike down from Upper Main Arm as our van got bogged in. Seriously, everyone hitches around there – at one point we had a full house in our van, with a fellow helpx-er in the front, a dude we picked up down the road, then a couple we picked up further down with their dog.
I love farmers’ markets, and try to visit as many as I can as we travel around as I think they are a fantastic way to source a range of local, sustainable (and mostly organic) produce in one place, while supporting local farmers and communities. In the wake of a lot of issues regarding questionable growing/farming practices, it becomes important to consider where your food is sourced from and the practices used to produce it, and then determine where you are willing to put your dollar. I am very keen on the idea of cultivating your own veggie gardens and working towards a level of self-sufficiency, however this is not always possible – unfortunately there is little to no garden space in a travelling van! Anyway, I digress…the Mullum Farmers’ Market is a beautiful event – it has a very warm vibe, with live music throughout the morning and plenty of talented kids busking on each stretch. Not to mention some amazing stalls, from your standard veggie stall, to smoothies, to fermented produce, to sushi to raw food. The aromas as you wander about are incredible!
Our host had recommended Raw Ecstacy, a small business from the Byron area that sells a variety of raw food dishes, including cakes, pizza, quiche, cheese and crackers, all at quite a reasonable price. She specifically mentioned the chocolate beetroot cake, so I was stoked to find it there on our first visit. I’m forever seeking new ways to introduce beetroot to my diet, as I simply DO NOT LIKE eating it – raw, roasted, pickled, in sandwiches, etc.
Now I can certainly add cake to the list of acceptables. Billy and I had already begun munching this before I thought to take a pic, so here is the rest of the cake, in all its glory. What was truly amazing about this cake was the texture – I’m used to the dense richness of raw desserts, but somehow (with the addition of plenty of shredded coconut) this cake seemed almost fluffy! It definitely had an unexpected lightness to it. Combined with the fudgy icing, it was truly delicious!
Next visit to the market started with a visit to the juice and smoothie stall, where I had to try one of their black sapote banana smoothie, which was amazing. I’d never had a black sapote before, only heard rumours of this magical ‘chocolate pudding fruit’ but finally I was able to taste it. It really is quit unbelievable! I look forward to more of these treats as we head further north. Next stop, back to Raw Ecstacy to check out their lemon coconut cake.
As you can tell, this cake took a more dense form than the last, but was yummy and zesty nonetheless. I can’t fault it, but the beetroot was definitely my fave (what?! Beetroot? Favourite?! I know….)
While I’m here, I just wanted to quickly mention a pie shop called Humble Pie that our hosts took us to in Billinudgel, which was about a 20 minute drive north east of Upper Main Arm. This place was great, with a range of about six different vegan pies, including a few mock meat ones, with the rest being tofu/lentil/veggie based. Not to mention all of their pies are made with wholemeal pastry. Billy and I got the mock steak and pepper and mock thai chicken curry, both of which were awesome – we were starving so we woofed them down. We visited again when we were in the area and went for the classic curried lentil.
This was crazy! The gravy they’d made was so rich and delicious, no wonder this is the most popular veg pie on the menu. Definitely worth checking out if you’re ever up this way.
Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market
Mullum Showgrounds, Main Arm rd
(Between Chinbible st and Coral ave)
Every Friday, 7- 11am
Humble Pie Company
1 Mogo Place Billinudgel
Open daily 8am – 5.30pm