Truthfully, before last weekend I actually had no idea where Rouse Hill even was...turns out it's not too far from Parramatta. It's a shinny new suburb complete with a purpose built town centre, shops, housing, cinemas, restaurants, parks, community gardens...you get the gist. And with a brand-new Farmers Market on each Saturday (9am - 1pm) it turns out that the new Rouse Hill has everything you could ever want (apart from a beach and a a train station that is).
I actually found out about these new markets from fellow tweeter Tim, who runs Smokey O's BBQ. Tim (and his wife Lindsey) were running a stall at the markets (their first ever market stall) offering (free range) Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches ($8.00) with 'slaw + BBQ Sauce. Yes please (in fact I'll have two if you don't mind). Lindsay says that Tim is obsessed with BBQ'ing and it shows - the pork is smokey, juicy, packed with flavour and beyond delicious.
Of course it wouldn't be lunch without something sweet to finish. This chatty young fellow, Oskar, was quite the salesman, convincing us to buy two pieces of this delectable Caramel Slice ($2 each). We enjoyed a slice of Chai Caramel Slice and took a piece of Peppermint Caramel Slice home for later, Ron.
We washed all of this down with a cold cup of Homemade Lemonade ($4.50). There were quite a few food stalls at the markets. Apart from the ubiquitous Gozleme Stall (seriously, I never knew Sydney had so many old Turkish ladies about to wo-man all these Gozleme stalls) there were dumplings, sausages in rolls, macarons, Bacon & Egg rolls...the list goes on.
Like all good farmers markets Rouse Hill had a good selection of produce on offer - three stalls selling fresh fruit and vege, a butcher selling pasture-raised beef + lamb, an egg seller (organic AND free-range eggs), stalls selling various baked sweet-treats and a stall selling bread (who'd sold out by 10.30am)!!!
There was also a jumpling castle for the kiddies as well as Shetland Pony Rides. As neither the ponies or the jumping castle were edible (in Australia at any rate) I didn't pay them much attention.
The markets are only new - last week being their very first spin around the block. I was really impressed by how many stalls there were and how receptive the local community were to a farmers market.
The market organisers are still looking for stall holders - if you're interested in having a stall yourself you can contact Elizabeth from Organic Food Markets on 02 9999 2226.
The Rouse Hill Farmer's Market are held each Saturday 9am - 1pm at Rouse Hill Town Centre - plenty of marketing under the dreaded Coles or Woolies.