Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A French Summer, Hobart Style...

Summer is nearly on us (not that you would know it from the weather today) and we at Piccalilly are very excited about it.

The two main reasons are tomatoes and the new Farmers' Market. Iain's father Chris has never enjoyed a day of gardening in his life, however, inspired by memories of Provence he has been out and about scouring nurseries and gardening stores.


He has returned home with 30 large pots, a ute load of potting mix and every heirloom and special or rare variety of tomato plant he could lay his hands on. With the help of Google and various tomato online forums his thumbs have turned a deep shade of green and there is now a forest of tiny plants on waist-high bench in a sunny spot out the front of his shed.

Chris tending to his new "babies"

This makes us very excited! Chris hopes for about 80 kilograms of vine ripened tomatoes still warm from the sun to be arriving at Piccalilly's kitchen door through the last month of Summer ready to be sliced, seasoned and served! Lets hope that Google provides the right information to ensure a premium product!

No pressure Chris but this is what we're expecting!

The Farmers' Market held every Sunday (as of last week) has also piqued our interest. We woke early on Sunday (after only finishing work at 2:00 am the night before) and walked the couple of blocks to the site of the market in Melville Street, our mouths watering in anticipation of all the nice things we were going to see and buy.

The crowd.

As we approached we saw a lot of people and our hopes were raised even higher. Turning the corner into the car park we were a little disappointed to see only about 10 stalls and then even more disappointed as we joined the flow of people cycling past the stalls. It was all sold-out. This left us in two minds: Great! hundreds of people turned out to see a new market, very encouraging. Hopefully it will gain momentum and take over the whole car park quickly becoming an institution. Bad: so many people to such a small market with nothing to sell might cause people to leave not wanting to give it another go.

With nothing to buy...

Only time will tell, but the more the merrier! We hope to see organic growers, and people who have a glut of veggies from their own garden rocking up with a box of home grown things to show off. The council or whoever is managing this market needs to get stall-holders involved quickly before it is too late!

We will be going back for sure!


  1. Hi guys

    You're totally correct with all you say about the Farmers Market. I wrote about on Sunday when I returned from a visit. See link:
    Hoping to taste the results of your tomato exercise soon....

  2. Bring it on! We agree with Rita that Maddi Peattie should be highly commended for her efforts. Big hopes for the market's success. And Rita from your photos it looks like you got there a lot earlier than us, although we were sure that 9:45 was sufficient, an early alarm for this Sunday is required.

  3. Wishing & hoping Farmers Market is a triumph. Danced at TSO ball on Sat night so unable to make inaugural market but it's a brilliant idea

  4. AND... go Mr GreenThumbs and tomato propagator Chris! hoping for a warm, sunny season...

  5. Hi guys, great news about the tomatoes. Last year we grew several varieties to keep us in tomatoes for one simple dish that we committed to on the menu with great success. This year I have grown from seeds the new tomatoes we intend to use. Much cheaper, more resilient to disease, more hardy plants & considerably cheaper than seedlings BTW! Looking forward to hearing how they go.

  6. Great stuff the tomato initiative. My lust for tomatoes is insatiable. I have already booked Mary and I in for the Tomato Gluttony day at the Agrarian Kitchen next March!
    I have Mortgage Lifters in.
    As to the Market, it is just wonderful.
    I note Varuni and Brian are opening Chado on Sundays just to create an added incentive for people to get out to the market and have something else to do as well. Great symbiosis.