Words and photography by Kate Iselin
On a neglected rooftop in Sydney’s trendy Surry Hills, a group of passionate nature-lovers are bringing local, organic produce to the inner-city suburbs. The Local Harvest Collective is a pint-size market bursting with the kind of goodies that Sydney hipsters would usually have to take a long drive out to the country for – we’re talking artisan cheeses, freshly baked bread, home-made granola and of course, the staple of the market, bundles and bundles of fruit and vegetables.
Every Saturday morning, the Local Harvest group takes over the rooftop of the Paramount Building on Commonwealth Street and puts their wares on display. Seasonal veggies (at the moment, we’re talking fennel, cabbage, and beetroots in every colour of the rainbow) are sourced from growers who are usually only an hour or two away from the CBD. Care is taken to make sure that all produce is organic, healthy, and fresh – that means that the delicious rainbow carrots you might be taking home have only been out of the ground for about a day. Botanicals like flowers and herbs are also available, with heaped bouquets of basil and rosemary being popular choices.
If you can’t make up your mind as to what you want, you can always let the team decide for you. Every week, a different ‘mixed bag’ is made available to pre-order, filled with the cream of the crop – quite literally. You might find yourself taking home a kilo of tomatoes, some farm-fresh eggs, and a bundle of lemons; or a loaf of sourdough, some leafy fennel, and a chubby pumpkin. The team are also on hand to offer suggestions of just what to do with your spoils – their Tumblr is updated multiple times a week with recipe suggestions and instructions on how to cook anything you might not be familiar with.
A few floors below, the Paramount Coffee Project opens their doors for breakfast as the market team starts setting up, so it seems only too perfect to whet your appetite by dreaming up recipes with the Local Harvest Collective team before popping downstairs for a coffee and some waffles. And if you can’t make it down to Commonwealth Street? Well, they’re about to start offering delivery. Too perfect.
More information about the Local Harvest Collective can be found here.
80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
9:00am – 1:30pm every Saturday