BUYER'S GUIDE: 31st Jul - 6th Aug


The overall market is in winter mode and will hold like this for the next few weeksThis will change once the weather warms up in QLD, which is usually around August.

FRUIT: Market Overview

  • Ones to watch out for are the melons: Water, Seedless, Rocks & Honeydew. We will see a change by week's end as the NT season kicks in and supply increases however price is expected to remain in the 'high' zone
  • Bananas are up slightly due to the cold temp up North
  • Local grapes are on the way out- Seeded Black still good buying, Seedless Red & White are now New Season Imported USA fruit
  • Citrus is in full swing- Lemon and Limes slightly up, Blood Oranges, Ruby Grapefruit and Oranges- great quality, good eating and priced to suit

VEG: Market Overview

  • The cooler temperatures up North are slowing supply on the following lines this week and prices are up;  Beans, Green Capsicums, Lebanese Cucumbers, Celery, all Pumpkin, all Tomatoes (ripened fruit hard to source) and Zucchini.
  • Picks for the week: Beetroot, Broccoli, Cauliflowers, Carrots, Celeriac, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Silverbeet and Spuds.  
  • Also most gourmet salad lines are back to normal supply and price


FruitGrapes - black seeded (VIC) * Ruby Grapefruit (QLD) * Kiwifruit (NZ) * Mandarins (QLD) * Persimmon (Imp- NZ)

Vegetable: Baby Fennel- bulb (NSW) * Brussel Sprouts (NSW) * Celeriac (VIC) * Portabello Mushroom (NSW) * Sugarsnap Peas (Imp)


Fruit: Buddha Hands (QLD) * Cumquats (QLD) * Grapes- green seedless (Imp- USA) * Green Mangoes (QLD) 

Vegetable: Borlotti Beans (QLD) * Choi Sum (NSW) * Jicama aka Water Chestnut (QLD) * Namenko Mushroom (NSW) * Red Banana Capsicum (QLD) * Shimeji Mushroom (NSW)


Short Supply: Butter Bean - yellow * Guava- cooking

Expensive: Honeydew (expensive) * Rockmelon (expensive)

End of Season: Quince

Not Available: Chestnut Mushroom * Baby Ginger

BUYER'S GUIDE: 24th Jul - 30th Jul

With the market as erratic as the recent weather along the Eastern Seaboard, here is our guide to produce for this week:

FRUIT: Market Overview

  • Apples and Pears have stepped up in price, quality and supply no problems.
  • Navel Oranges, Grapefruit and Lemons all travelling well, limes holding, Mandarins have firmed due to changing varieties and weather.
  • Bananas are affected due to cold nights and wet weather in QLD. Sizing is medium to large.
  • Rockmelons & Honeydews are still in short supply and up in price for quality.  
  • QLD Strawberries have been affected by the weather. Supplies holding with some quality issues.
  • All Pineapples have been severely affected due the cold and wet weather, will be the same for the next few weeks.
  • Kiwifruits, Pawpaw & Papaya are good eating, well supplied and priced to suit.
  • USA cherries excellent quality and good buying
  • Figs are in short supply and expensive
  • For something different, Cumquats and Buddha hands
  • Dried Muscatels are at the end of the season NA

VEG: Market Overview

  • Broccoli, Cauliflowers, Iceberg & Cos on the buy list for the week. Quality and price, good to go!
  • Gourmet salads, Spinach, Rocket & Mesclun still on the watch list for the next few weeks. Supply limited and quality is ok, prices holding.
  • Green & Butter Beans are on the short list, quality is a problem.
  • Eggplant, Squash and Zucchini have been affected due to cold snaps and rain, will remain short for the next couple of weeks.
  • All pumpkin varieties on the increase.
  • All Spuds are in full swing- good buying and great quality.
  • Something Different- Broad & Borletti beans & Fennel!


Fruit: Blood Oranges (QLD) *Cherries (Imp- US) * Corella Pears (VIC) * Kiwifruit - bulk (Imp- NZ) * Paw Paw - yellow (QLD)

Vegetable: Broad Beans (NSW) * Broccoli (QLD) * Cauliflower (QLD) * Fennel Bulb- large (VIC) * Iceberg Lettuce (QLD)


Fruit: Buddha Hands (QLD) * Carambola- aka Starfruit (QLD)  * Cumquats (QLD) * Dragon Fruit- yellow  (QLD)  

Vegetable: Borlotti Bean (QLD) * Broad Beans (NSW) * Namenko Mushroom (NSW) * Red Witlof (VIC) * Radicchio Lettuce (NSW) * Russet Burbank Potatoes (TAS)


Short Supply: Chestnut Mushrooms * Pineapple (expensive) * Rockmelon

Not Available: Asparagus - jumbo * Butter Bean - yellow * Muscatel Grapes - dried


BUYER'S GUIDE: 17th Jul - 23rd Jul

Due to extreme weather patterns over the last 6-8 weeks many lines of fresh produce have been heavily affected. The wet weather experienced before winter delayed plantings, this was followed by extended cool nights, frosts and then more heavy  rain.

FRUIT: Market Overview 

  • Apples and Pears will be unaffected due to the majority of fruit coming out of cold storage
  • Citrus fruits (incl. Navel Oranges, Grapefruit and Lemons) are unaffected, yet limes will be firm. Mandarins will be firm due to changing varieties more so than weather
  • Avocados and Bananas are affected mostly due to the cold nights rather than the wet . Sizing will remain small and skin dull in colour 
  • Melons are adversely affected due to the cold nights and rain. NT Honeydew and Rocks are due to start at the end of this week- 19/20 July
  • Strawberries have been affected, quality concerns expect
  • Pineapples and Bethonga have been severely affected due to lack of sun, cold weather, rain and the inability of growers to pick. Pineapples will be extremely short supply for the next 2-3 weeks
  • Blueberries and raspberries are also affected and will remain expensive for the next couple of weeks

VEG: Market Overview

  • Wet lines such as iceberg, Cos and celery should be ok. Broccoli has shortened mainly due to the cold. Cauliflowers will have issues
  • Salad lines have been severely affected. Rocket is very difficult to get, and Mesclun and baby Spinach have increased in price. These lines will be short for the next 2-3 weeks
  • Capsicum have been affected- reds and yellows will have some quality issues. Pricing is stable
  • All cabbage lines have been affected due to the inability for farmers to get to the fields to pick. Prices will rise sharply but not for long. 
  • Beans and Corn have issues in quality and supply. Good beans will be scarce and expensive. Due to the rains, corn hasn’t been sprayed and we are expected to find grubs
  • Eggplant, Squash and Zucchini have been affected due to the cold and rain and will remain short for the next couple of weeks
  • Cucumbers are good and have not suffered much
  • All pumpkin varieties have been affected, especially Jap and Butternut. Theses lines will be in short supply for 3-4 more weeks
  • Snow peas and snaps have been affected but pricing remains reasonable
  • All Chinese vegetables have been adversely affected. There is planting gaps from previous rain falls. Short supply is another issue.
  • Fancy lettuces are smaller in size and in short supply
  • Herbs – Basil , chives , mint have been affected but these lines are quick to recover


Fruit: Avocado (QLD) * Kiwifruit - bulk (Imp- NZ) * Oranges - large (QLD) * Panama Passionfruit (QLD)

Vegetable: Broad Beans (NSW) * Celery (VIC) * Parsnip * Telegraph Cucumber (SA) * Russett Burbank Potato (TAS)  


Fruit: Cherries (Imp-US) * Blood Oranges (QLD) * Green Mangoes (NT) * Pomello (QLD) * Red Papaya (QLD) * Tamarillo - red (WA)

Vegetable: Borlotti Bean (QLD) * Namenko Mushroom (NSW) * Red Witlof (VIC) 

Other: Black Truffles (WA- New Season)


Short Supply: Butter bean- yellow * Chestnut Mushrooms

Short Supply & Expensive: Mesclun Lettuce * Pineapple * Wild Rocket

Expensive: Rockmelon


Q: How long is the rain likely to last?  

Summer is officially gone and with it go the luscious stonefruits, berries and tomatoes that characterise Sydney’s summer menus. So what can we expect from Autumn 2012?

Sydney’s tropical (read: rainy) summer has taken its toll on local produce (especially ground grown crops- herbs, asian vegetables, tomatoes) however consistent supply from interstate has managed to keep the markets relatively stable. Unfortunately, we are now starting to see poor weather impact interstate products and if the rain continues we can expect to see quality and price issues across the board.

On a positive note all this wet weather has brought the elusive Pine Mushrooms to the markets early,  not to mention apple, pears, exotic fruits , cabbage lines and root veg are all looking relatively consistent and are good eating.



New season apples, pears and quince are abundant in Autumn with almost all varieties of apple and pear available over the course of the season.

Supply: Expected to be consistent bar a significant storms or hail in the growing regions

Inspiration: Vogue Entertaining + Travel’s Spiced Quince and Pears with baked custard

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Beans are a staple of Autumn, with Borlotti, Butter, French, Green, Roman and Snake making an appearance.

Supply: With the rains in QLD/Nth QLD this week the market for beans has turned dramatically with supply very tight and price jumping significantly. With supply directly influenced by the weather we hope to see supply and price improve as the weather clears.

Inspiration: Teage Ezard’s Barbecued ox tongue with southern gold potatoes, snake beans and sticky mustard dressing recipe

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Hitting the markets earlier than usual, cabbage lines – chinese wombok, red cabbage, Tuscan cabbage – fill the gap left by the slowing lettuce lines.

Supply: Hardier than other ground grown crops, supply should remain consistent. However excessive rain or flooding may cause splitting and as a result supply issues

Inspiration: Jacques Reymond’s Spatchcock & Buttered Cabbage with verjus

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Filling the void of the lush mangoes and berries come the passionfruit, custard apples, breadfruit, persimmon, guava and pomegranates & tamarillos

Supply: Some issues with guava supply at the moment but otherwise looking steady for the season ahead

Inspiration: Kim Woodward’s Butter roasted halibut, lobster salad, coriander pasta and passion fruit sauce

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Autumn also sees the return of the fresh nuts- with Australian grown pistachios (NOW), almonds (Feb-Mar), Hazelnuts (Feb-Apr), Peanuts (Feb-June) and Chestnuts (Apr- Jul) on the scene!

Supply: When they hit the markets, they hit in force- though they finish all too quickly

Inspiration: Peter Gilmore’s Caramelised Vanilla Brioche French toast

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I recently read a quote that said there were four seasons, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin and Winter. With all lines including Butternut on offer in Autumn, who can blame them.

Supply: Sourced locally, pumpkins are traditionally abundant and great eating for the whole season

Inspiration: Rick Stein’s Pumpkin ravioli with sage butter

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Autumn sees the root veg come into their own with sweet potatoes, horseradish, turnip, parsnip and spud varieties (Royal Blue, Ruby Lou, Pontiac, Desiree, Burbank, Purple Congo) all coming into their own.

Supply: While supply should remain consistent, root veg are susceptible to splitting and rot with too much rain – so lets hope for some clear skies.

Inspiration: Bar H’s Sashimi of striped trumpeter with mushrooms and ginger, horseradish and soy dressing

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More produce highlights for Autumn: Pine Mushrooms, Celeriac, Fennel, Leeks, Spinach and Silverbeet


A: Unfortunately it may last a while yet. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a wetter autumn than average for NSW and SA and a slightly drier season for VIC and TAS. There is a silver lining however, with the BOM describing their outlook model as having ‘low skill over South East NSW’ at this time of year! So you never know, blue skies could be just around the corner.