Farmers Market Taranaki...a Sunday only visit...Eggs and other great

The tiny free range eggs we purchased at the grocery store the day we arrived compared to the eggs we purchased at the Farmers Market Taranaki on Sunday.  This morning, during the football game I made Tom nitrate free local bacon and three of these jumbo eggs, scrambled with cheddar cheese (referred to as non-processed Tasty cheese in both AU and NZ).
We'd heard and read in a local paper that there's a farmers market downtown on Sundays only from 9 am to noon.  Busy posting each morning we weren't certain we'd get done in time to visit.

However, after wakening very early yesterday, we uploaded the post by 10 am and headed out the door to the Farmers Market Taranaki.  By the time we made the 20 minute drive to the quaint, charming and easy to maneuver New Plymouth downtown, we found a convenient free Sunday parking spot and walked the short distance to the market.

The eggs are so big, the crates won't close.  We'll save the crates to return them to the farmer next week.
The Farmers Market Taranaki is located on a side street closed off on Sunday mornings only, with many bordering shops open, also hoping to sell their wares. Smaller than we'd expected with no more than 20 stalls, once we started perusing the products we realized two things; one, next time we'll arrive at 9 am, when by 10:30 almost all of the produce was gone; two, many of the products they offered were right on target for our goal of a healthy lifestyle.

The market was unquestionably geared to unique health-type products with our greatest find, the free range eggs.  Over the years, we've become discriminating on buying eggs.  Here's a chart from the US Humane Society describing the differences in purchasing eggs:

Buying eggs may be confusing, even when fully aware of the details of this chart.  We feel most at ease when buying eggs in countries where food regulations are high, such as in Australia and New Zealand or in countries where we know the eggs are organic when buying from certain local farmers recommended by the locals.

Although a lot of plants were still available, most of the produce was already sold by the time we arrived, 90 minutes after opening.  Next time, we'll arrive at 9 am.
Is consuming regular eggs from chickens squeezed into tiny spaces, fed chemicals, injected with drugs, ultimately dangerous?  We can't imagine its safe to eat chemically treated caged eggs especially when eating as many eggs a week as we often do. 

A band was playing during the farmers market.
The USDA and FDA allow "regular" eggs and other food products to be sold which is no assurance of safety in today's world when people are becoming ill (with many deaths) from listeria, salmonella and other life threatening conditions from poorly managed food processing and handling. (No, I won't get out my soapbox on this topic). 

Of course, there's no guaranty that buying organic eggs or other foods from local farmers is entirely safe.  But, the odds are greatly improved without added chemicals and drugs and, with less handling and transporting.  We opt on the safer side when possible.

Tom eyeballed the bread and pastries and as usual was able to resist.
When we discover a friendly local egg farmer at the Farmers Market Taranaki with some of the finest looking eggs we've seen in awhile, we couldn't resist purchasing four dozen at NZ $6, US $3.89 each, an excellent price. 

Prices are reasonable for the baked goods when based on today's rates the NZ $1 is equivalent to US $.65.
What surprised us the most was the size of the eggs after the tiny organic eggs we purchased at the supermarket when we first arrived when no other options were available at the time. Out of the first dozen of the store bought "organic" eggs, four or five eggs were bad. Although able to handle seeing and touching gross things in general, I cringe and almost gag when cracking open a bad egg.

The organic guy was busy consulting with a customer taking time to handle our two purchases, Himalayan salt and raw walnuts.
These free range organic eggs from the local Carpe Diem Farms were not only huge, as shown in the above photo, compared to the supermarket eggs but they were fresh after using several when making last night's dinner and Tom's breakfast this morning.  We never encountered a single bad egg.

Excited over the eggs, knowing we'd return for all of all future egg purchases, we continued perusing and buying more products as we walked along the two rows of vendors.

We purchased finely ground Himalayan salt for cooking and brushing teeth at NZ $10, US $6.49. I couldn't resist a 500 gram (over one pound) bag of raw organic unsalted walnuts at NZ $30, US $19.47.  Plus, we bought two bags of  tomatoes, one acid free and another bag of regular tomatoes at NZ $5, US $3.25 each which we had with our homemade Asian burgers (no buns) last night.

A variety of vegetable and fruit plants and trees were offered for sale. Its summer here (comparable to July in the northern hemisphere).  Soon, more locally grown produce will be available.
With our yellow Costco bag almost filled to the brim, we stopped at the last vendor booth to find a treat I'd never expected to find; organic, flavored without sugar, coconut butter.  Samples were provided and after tasting each of the four flavors offered, we purchased three flavors; toasted coconut, chocolate and vanilla.  Its texture is comparable to eating peanut butter out of the jar. What a treat! 

Its a rare occasion that I can have something that naturally tastes like a dessert.  Last night after dinner (a rare dessert-like dish) I filled a small bowl with a square of leftover homemade sugar free, grain free, starch free coconut cake, topped with this amazing coconut butter, a dollop of full fat sour cream and a handful of the raw walnuts. 

To the left are the organic acid free tomatoes with organic regular tomatoes to the right, all priced at NZ $5, US $3.25 per batch as shown.  We purchased both for comparison for future purchases.  So far, the acid free are winning at the same price.
My after dinner treat was comparable to eating a fine dessert!  Then again, this may not appeal to everyone when my taste buds have adjusted to living without much sweetness.  Most nights, I don't eat anything after dinner.

We spent a total of NZ $110, US $71.40 at the Farmers Market Taranaki , much more than we've ever spent at any farmers market when in most cases we only purchase produce and eggs.  Prices are often higher for organic specialty foods.  Next week, we'll make a point of arriving by 9 am to ensure we can buy the fresh fish (our favorites were gone) and produce which was cleaned out by the time we arrived (except for the tomatoes).

These jars of coconut butter, priced at NZ $12, US $7.79 each, are delicious, low carb, gluten free, sugar free and starch free with a texture similar to peanut butter. The Himalayan salt was NZ $10, US $6.49.  The organic raw walnut were NZ $30, US $19.47.
This isn't a poor area by any means.  Whereby in Fiji, the local farmers, desperate to earn a meager living, worked the farmers markets almost daily selling their products at very low prices.  Most of the produce in the grocery stores is organic but prices are considerably higher, which we expected. 

With the help of the staff in the produce department, we've been able to determine which veggies to buy that are provided by larger local farms that don't use pesticides/herbicides on their crops.  We do the best we can, based on what is offered locally.

Four baby alpacas hanging out together close to our driveway, all born in the past week.
Tom's busy watching NFL football which started at 9 am today.  I'll be busy making dinner and taking photos today.  Last night, Trish and Neil moved the alpacas to our side yard to give the other paddock a rest for a week.  Now, these adorable creatures are visible from where I'm sitting now only a few feet outside the sliding door to the wraparound veranda.  Wow!

To all of you in the US have a great football day and to those in the rest of the world, enjoy your other forms of football (footy in Australia) which are equally popular if not more.

Photo from one year ago today, January 24, 2015:

One year ago, we were thrilled when we began to experience a social life, many thanks to our new friend Richard whom we'd met at the golf club.  Here's a view while crossing a bridge on our way to Hanalei Bay for more exquisite scenery in Kauai.  For more details please click here.


Joanette Larson said...

The jars of coconut butter look wonderful. I can't find them available in the US, too bad. Enjoy your find!

Jessica said...

Joanette, I used to buy the coconut butter in the US at health food stores or online at It's referred to as "coconut manna". If you prefer to avoid sugar, make sure its listed as unsweetened and has no added sugars of any type. If you can't find any, let me know and I'll be happy to send you a few links.

Thanks for writing. Great to hear from you again!

Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom

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