The terms "farmers' market" and "growers' market" have only received widespread use in Australia in the last decade as a result of globalisation, so it is worth remembering that many long-established produce markets often consist of farmers and growers selling their own produce.
The listing below are those that label themselves farmers' markets - many other produce markets can be found in our listing of Markets in Victoria. Farmers' markets are opening and closing all the time, and we will mention newly opened farmers' markets in our free email newsletter about great things to do in Melbourne.
At farmers markets, you will find lots of calico bags and motherhood statements about saving the planet. But, unfortunately, they don't always stack up. The grower who has driven halfway across the state to sell a few bags of nuts or a few litres of olive oil is not exactly reducing their ecological footprint.
Nor are the customers who drive from Melbourne to St Andrew's Market in their 4WDs. If such things concern you, then get to know the growers or speak to the organisers. The better ones have a code of practice about the nature of goods accepted for sale. If, on the other hand, you just want to buy some good fresh produce without having to feel too much holier-than-your-parents, then farmers markets are always a great place.
It is also worth remembering that the current preoccupation with 'food miles' is a useful consideration when regarding whether a product is environmentally responsible but forms only part of a complex equation. Is it more environmentally responsible for buying rice from a water-starved Victoria or shipping it in from a place where water is much more plentiful? Although the concept of 'food miles' is often adopted as a simplistic mantra, it can often lead to the opposite result to what the well-intentioned buyer was trying to achieve.
Fortunately, the quality media usually takes a more informed approach (read more) and looks past the single dimension. So, for example, at farmers' markets, you can get to discuss how the food is produced and the relative benefits to the environment.
Melbourne Best Farm Markets
Going to a farmers' market has many advantages, including that it helps local and independent farmers, you can usually bring your dog, and you get to know the people who grow your food. Farm-to-table, home-cooked meals can also be found at farmers' markets.
Grab a basket and experience a slice of rural life at one of Melbourne's many excellent farmers' markets. Want inexpensive, locally grown, organic produce that is at its peak of freshness and flavour during its prime season? What you need is a weekly visit to one of Melbourne's many farmers' markets.
In many cases, the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets are surprisingly lower than those of their grocery store counterparts. In addition, the minimal amount of packaging ensures that your purchase directly benefits environmentally conscious farmers. A win for both parties is being achieved here. So if you're in the mood to do some good for the community and have a good time doing it, check out one of the many farmers' markets happening all over Melbourne on Saturday mornings.
FAQs Melbourne Best Farmers Market
Melbourne Farmers Markets (MFM) is a not-for-profit dedicated to Victorian food and farmers, seasonal produce, biodiversity, sustainable farming practices and the strengthening of relationships between the consumer and the producer.
Melbourne Farmers Markets is a not for profit social enterprise dedicated to Victorian food and producers, regional food cultures, seasonal produce, biodiversity, sustainable farming practices and strengthening relationships between the consumer and the producer.
Organic produce at the farmers market is often cheaper than what you'll find in the grocery store, and buying what's in season means that farmers sometimes have special deals on crops that are plentiful, particularly if they have a bumper crop they need to move. Some sellers offer quantity discounts when you buy more.
Carlton Farmers' Market
When the Carlton Farmers' Market first opened in 2014, locals were thrilled to have a chance to buy food directly from farmers. At a farmers' market, customers can put a face to the names of their favourite regional growers and take home a bounty of fresh, healthy food that was produced in a way that respects the environment and local farmers.
For a wide variety of locally produced goods, including Flinders Sourdough bread and The Old Farm Happy Valley eggs from Flowerdale, visit the Carlton Primary School market. Pick up some fresh juice or a bag of CherryHill's delicious cherries while you're there.
Owner and his crew are regulars at Melbourne's many markets and festivals. Coffee beans are roasted in-house, and other ingredients like chocolate, milk, and tea are also sourced locally. First and third Saturdays of every month, local farmers and food producers gather at the Carlton Farmers' Market. In order to learn about all the farmers' markets in Melbourne's various neighbourhoods, check out our comprehensive guide.
Gasworks Farmers’ Market
Set inside the walls of the historic Gasworks Art Precinct, this market is nestled in amongst the trees just a couple of blocks from the beach. You’ll be able to find fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies, meat and seafood, baked goods and gourmet treats. Don’t forget your canvas bags because this market is plastic-free.
Boroondara Farmers' Market
After more than a decade, this Hawthorn market is less a hub of commerce and more a friendly get-together. Locals have been catching up with guys like Trevor from Red Hill Cheese for years, and before long, you'll spot him chatting over turnips across the reserve.
Boroondara is also about spreading the love: their GrubHub initiative encourages local cafés to order products directly from the farmers. This market is accredited by the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA) and is open on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.
Selling produce from all over Victoria, the Boroondara Farmers’ Market is a great place to find all your fresh produce, as well as some wonderful gift ideas. Stallholders range from organic fruit and veg, eggs, cheese, meat, seafood, fresh pasta and baked goods to soaps, flowers, dog treats, chocolates, craft beers and wine.
Make sure you get there earlier rather than later, though, because this market is popular, and it’s not unusual to see stallholders selling out of produce by mid-morning. An outdoor market in a pleasant grassed reserve featuring statewide produce including loaves of bread, olive oil, honey, fruit & vegetables. When White Hat last visited this market, we found a good wide range of products with the fruit & vegetables being particularly notable.
Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market
The market is great for families because it includes a stroll through the Collingwood Children's Farm. Despite its proximity to a major city, this market feels more like a rustic country fair. It's surrounded by iconic Australian gum trees, and guests can relax on bales of hay while feasting on home-cooked treats and listening to live music.
Produce, chocolate, vegan cakes, beer, olive oil, and many other ready-to-eat delicacies are just some of the many products made by local artisans. This foodie haven, located in the heart of Abbotsford, opens on the second Saturday of every month and is located in the bucolic oasis that is the Collingwood Children's Farm. Since its inception in 2002, the Collingwood Children's Farmers' Market has been the pioneering farmers' market in Melbourne's inner suburbs.
Guests can purchase prize-winning Victorian seedlings, sample farm-fresh produce, and interact with friendly (real) goats. Upon leaving, please stop and pet a chicken and a peacock. Every other month on the second Saturday, a list of producers is made public on Thursdays.
It's only two dollars to get in, and you can pet all the adorable newborn animals.
Originating in 2002 at the Collingwood Children's Farm, the Melbourne Farmers' Market has since gone on to win numerous awards.
The Collingwood market has over 70 vendors, making it one of the largest in the area. The market also features live music and is great for families. In the meantime, the market can be found at Carlton North Primary School.
Abbotsford Convent Farmers Market
A market that supports local farmers is located beneath the grey spires of the historic Abbotsford Convent. The market is run by the non-profit organisation Melbourne Farmers Markets (MFM), which acts as a conduit between rural Victoria and the city's urban neighbourhoods.
The market is open on the fourth Saturday of every month, and it specialises in seasonal, organic food. Bring your own bags to the farmers market, as plastic bags are not allowed there. The Abbotsford Farmers' Market is not only a place to buy locally grown produce, but also a place where people can go to learn the real, unfiltered story of where their food comes from.
The market, which takes place on the fourth Saturday of every month, exists solely to ensure that farmers in Victoria, Australia receive fair compensation for their work, and that shoppers receive high quality seasonal foods at reasonable prices.
The market features seasonal produce grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilisers, as well as free-range, rare breed, and heritage meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. A wide variety of other products, such as those made from scratch, are also available.
Veg Out St Kilda Farmers’ Market
After 14 years, this market has become a staple for residents of Melbourne and visitors to the city alike. There are many stands selling both prepared foods to take away and locally grown produce, so be sure to bring plenty of room in your stomach to sample everything on offer. The market is more of a social event than a place to shop because of the performances that take place there.
Veg Out Community Garden has delicious, healthy, and organically grown vegetables. For those curious about the results that can be achieved when a suburban bowling green is transformed into a community vegetable garden, White Hat suggests paying a visit to this market. The name "Veg Out" may imply vegetarians only, but rest assured, omnivores are welcome. Among Melbourne's many farmers' markets, White Hat considers this one of the best thanks to its welcoming vibe and extensive selection.
Brevard County Farmers Market
The Brevard County Farmers Market was created for two primary reasons: to provide a direct-marketing outlet for local growers and producers and provide a place for consumers to purchase their goods. All of the Market vendors are screened before being accepted as a vendor. This process ensures that products sold are grown or produced in Florida and are agricultural.
Each vendor must produce or grow at least 50% of the products sold at the market. The market is operated through a joint partnership with Brevard County Parks & Recreation and the University of Florida/IFAS Brevard County Extension Service.
Gasworks Farmers' Market
You better really love raspberries (or olives or rhubarb or honey) if that's all you're going to sell. You can feel the electricity in the air every third Saturday of the month at this Port Melbourne arts space thanks to the fervent support for fresh, locally sourced food.
In addition to stocking up on seasonal produce and a few treats for afternoon tea (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone? ), head to the market for a fresh, crusty baguette to accompany your salad for later. Please remember to bring your own reusable shopping bags, baskets, and coffee cups to the Gasworks Farmers' Market.
Veg Out Farmers' Market
The volunteer-run Veg Out Community Garden's farmers' market opens the first Saturday of each month, overflowing with local organic produce, jams and preserves, handmade bread and sundry delights to fill up your basket.
This blue-eyed bloke's name is Rod Blake, but his customers know him as Blakey. On any given Veg Out Saturday market, you'll find him swapping stories with a young couple while weighing bendy zucchinis or talking footy with the 10-year-old son of a long-term customer. Along with his wife, Blakey's been growing organic produce at their Grampians farm for over two decades, ever since he parted ways with pesticides.
At 10 am, the Bellellen Grampians Organics stall is buzzing over the sound of a busker playing acoustic guitar. Stocks are depleting, but the two never falter in their back-and-forth energy and banter, despite getting up at 1 am.
University of Melbourne Farmers’ Market
This market is more of a foodie hangout than a market. Set right in the middle of the university campus, this midweek market is the ideal place to grab a fresh lunch from local producers while stocking up on some produce.
The market has wash stations for reusable cutlery and crockery, too, so you can enjoy your takeaway lunch without the packaging.
Kingston Farmers Market
The Kingston Farmers Market began in 2004 and now features 60-70 stalls at each market. Over the years, the market has grown into a community hub with returning stallholders and shoppers alike.
The market slogan is ‘picked on Friday, sold on Saturday’, so you know you’re getting genuinely fresh stuff here. BYO bags and keep an eye out for their annual Christmas Market event.
Flemington Farmers’ Market
Unlike the once- or twice-a-month schedules of most regional markets, the Flemington Farmers' Market is held regularly, every Sunday.
Located in the heart of Melbourne, this weekly market puts you in direct contact with local growers and food purveyors from Victoria. Produce, fruits, meats, dairy, breads, and speciality items are all available for purchase. Traders from all walks of life can be found here.
Alphington Farmers’ Market
This market at the Melbourne Innovation Centre has a range of Victorian producers, from fresh fruit, vegetables, organic dairy, eggs and traditionally made bread to ready-made food and gourmet delights. Be sure to check out artisanal cheese maker Boatshed Cheese, which makes a range of divine cow, goat and vegan cheeses.
This Farmer's Market is not just a 'market' but a weekly event. Featuring seasonal produce from around Victoria, here you can find fresh fruit and vegetables; free-range eggs and meats; olives and oil; honey; nuts and grains; dairy and cheeses; bread and pastries aplenty.
Here early? Why not grab a fresh brekkie from one of their bakers or speciality makers? Or how about a fresh OJ or coffee to get your morning started? And don't worry – your dog is welcome.
Gasworks Farmers' Market
Deep coloured, ripe and delicious fruit and vegetables, aromatic handmade cakes and jams, freshly laid free-range eggs and just cut flowers are only a few of the luxury goods you’ll find at our monthly Gasworks Farmers’ Market, held on the third Saturday of each month.
You will love spending Saturday mornings on the grass soaking up the vibrant atmosphere and sampling the very best of local Victorian produce, direct from Victorian farmers and specialty makers.
Accredited farmers’ markets reflect the true seasons of local fresh food and reconnect the two ends of the food chain; producer meets consumer direct. There is a simple philosophy at the market; that the goods are grown, made and known by those who sell them and that the quality of produce is of the utmost importance. From across Victoria, stallholders bring you a slice of rural life and create a unique and very personal shopping expedition.
Third Saturday of every month from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm at the Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park. Now in its 15th year, the Gasworks Farmers’ Market resides inside the former South Melbourne production plant. At this quirky abode, you’ll find resident artist studios, workshops, and the Gasworks BBQ. Don’t forget to check out the surroundings, featuring a bevvy of galleries, studios, cafes and parklands for a fun day out for the whole family.
The Fitzroy Mills
The Fitzroy Mills Market is a vibrant wellness event on Rose Street in the heart of Fitzroy. Our market allows you to source the very best produce directly from local growers and makers. This weekly Saturday market is housed in the iconic Fitzroy Mills on Rose Street.
Located a few steps from the Rose Street Artist’s market, The Fitzroy Mills market brings together a large array of Melbourne’s finest producers covering the best in artisan food, drink and products.
Bentleigh Farmers' Market
This market commenced in February 2013, and White Hat is particularly impressed that its monthly attendances are well over the 1300-1400 customer mark.
It should be a good omen that the school grounds now stand on what was once a market garden. The VFMA has accredited this market.