What's fresh at your local farmers' market
Sugar snap peas
Sweet, crisp, plump and juicy, sugar snap peas are like the lollies of the vegetable garden. As any home gardener will tell you, it can be hard to get them back to the kitchen because they're just so good eaten fresh from the plant. Sugar snaps are similar to the snowpea (also in season now) - they have an edible pod, but they're a bit plumper, a bit sweeter, and have a bigger pea inside. Like snow peas, sugar snaps are a great snack for the kids' lunchboxes, and are great raw in salads. If you have any left over after snacking, throw them in a stir fry or lightly steam. Look for fresh sugar snaps at Organic Forrest (Mullumbimby Farmers' Market), Church Farm (New Brighton and Mullumbimby farmers' markets) and Jumping Red Ant (New Brighton/Mullumbimby).
The black sapote, also known as the chocolate pudding fruit, will be in season from now until Christmas. As the name suggests, the flesh of this fruit is like chocolate pudding, with a rich, dark chocolatey colour and smooth silky texture, and chocolate flavour. For the best eating, you need to wait until the fruit almost looks over-ripe and about to collapse. The skin will turn from yellowy green to brown and the fruit will feel mushy - this could take anywhere from a few days to a week. Serve chilled with yoghurt, cream or ice cream (you can also blend the fruit with one of these to make a chocolate mousse-style dessert). You can also add them to smoothies or in baking. Not only do black sapotes taste good, they're good for you too - full of fibre and vitamin C. Find them at Jungle Juice (Mullumbimby Farmers' Market).
Spring has officially arrived, which means it's a great time to plant your warm weather crops like cucumber, corn, tomatoes, zucchini and capsicum. Local seedling suppliers One Organic has a great selection of locally-raised organic heirloom vegetable seedlings available at its stalls at the New Brighton and Mullumbimby farmers' markets. One Organic also has everything you need to keep your seedlings healthy and strong, including its own home-made, specially-formulated organic compost, plant food, plant protector and Effective Micro-organisms or EMS (a liquid probiotic for your veg patch).