- Category: Markets
- Published: Monday, 23 September 2013 08:15
- Written by Nita Teoh
Looking for the best vegetables in Perth? Tucked away in the back streets of Inglewood you’ll find a stall selling fresh and crisp heirloom vegetables. Mark is the man who runs this unassuming vegetable stall in front of Mondos’ Butchers. He is there rain or shine each Saturday from around 8.30am to 2.30pm selling the fruits of his labours.
He grows his own produce, all of which are heirloom vegetables from his property located half way between Toodjay and Gidgegannup (or Gidge as it’s known to the locals).
Heirloom vegetables are a special breed of vegetable with seedlings that can date back to many decades ago. One characteristic that they all share is that the seeds can be used from harvest to harvest and are open pollinated.
They taste sweeter, they look different, and are often colourful and decorative in nature. And if you are thinking about growing heirloom vegetables in your own backyard, they tend to have a high yield, and higher resistance to diseases. Plus they mature in such a way that their produce can be enjoyed over a longer season, rather than being harvested all at once.
Mark is ever so helpful as he provides his tips on how to store your vegetables. The heirloom tomatoes are best left out at room temperature, and not to be stored in the fridge! You can see straight away that Mark's tomatoes are not your run of the mill supermarket variety. He tells me that the tomatoes have been grown just right, as you can see that the skin has not gone all wrinkly. As he cuts open one of the tomatoes to show me what the inside of a heirloom tomato looks like, the sheer redness of the flesh is striking, and it just oozes freshness.
The Australian spinach is also a new breed to my eyes, the leaves are way rougher than your normal type of spinach that you get in the supermarkets. It’s coarse, and you’ll certainly get plenty of roughage from this beauty.
Moving on through the vegetables, I spot the yellow warty squash. I chuckle inside as the yellow warty squash is a sight to behold. On first glance, I mistake it for a cousin of the bittergord, it has the same textured slightly scaled exterior, in a light yellow rather than the signature green colour of the bittergord. It’s funky as far as vegetables go.
The carrots get snapped up quick, while the radishes, melons, tomatos, yellow warty squash, pumpkins and a range of herbs including basil, are up for grabs. They don’t last too long as the customers quickly snap up what Mark has to offer.
The customers have a friendly banter between themselves and with Mark as they wander up to get their vegetables for the week. It’s not unusual to have a good laugh and exchange a story or two. When all is done with the Saturday morning vegetable ritual, it's then on to Mondos to stock up on provisions of meats and continental delicacies.
If you haven’t discovered Mark’s treasure trove of heirloom vegetables, you are missing out!
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