Everywhere I travel these days I make a point of finding a local farmers market. Both Mount Maunganui and neighbouring Tauranga have their own market but thanks to my late Saturday arrival, I missed the one in Tauranga. I’m told it’s much better than the one at the Mount but there was no way I’d be finding that out for myself anytime soon.
Held every Sunday in the Phoenix car park in downtown Mount Maunganui is a small collection of local artisans and fruit and vegetable growers, happily selling their handmade and locally-grown edibles to the coastal dwellers. Sadly the overnight rain, I assume, prevented many of the stall holders from setting up shop in the car park. The turnout was pretty dismal but at least I got to take a gander at a few things.
Local Viridis Grove olive oils from trees grown “just up the road” in the Bay of Plenty and some beautiful manuka wood-smoked venison salami’s from Basecamp, also based in the Bay of Plenty. There’s something about the warm climate and fertile soils that make the region ideal for food growing.
A couple of vendors churn out edibles to have there and then, like BOP Karate with their venison burger between two slices of white bread. All for a good cause as it helps fund karate lessons for local kids. Sit back and listen to some acoustic guitar and folky vocals and you can’t help but sink into the relaxed Mount vibe.