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The Potting Shed

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If you thought the Dirty Jane’s empire of an antiques warehouse wasn’t already great enough (*post coming soon*), you need to take some time to wander through the nursery and garden centre found on the same property just off Banyette Street in Bowral. The Potting Shed is the perfect outdoor segue between the front and rear buildings of Dirty Jane’s, transforming an otherwise unappealing industrial space into a sanctuary of thriving succulents, potted plants on wooden ladders and general ‘gardenalia’.

Nestled among the terracotta pots is also a beautiful selection of handcrafted wooden furniture from local designer Joe Vinks who specialises in the use of fallen timber. Green thumb or not, it is well worth a peek. I am sure Maureen, the delightful identity behind The Potting Shed, would love you to visit.

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Where: Dirty Janes Antiques, 391 Bong Bong Street, Bowral

When: Open 7 days 10am – 5pm

Made By Others

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For anyone who, like me, has a tendency to buy gifts last minute and has a track record of awkward moments watching someone unwrap something you’ve just realised they’ll actually hate – we need a shop like this. One of the true gems of Moss Vale, Made By Others is a quirky art and design store selling clothing, jewellery, accessories and cute housie things from both national and international artists. My guess is that if you buy someone (disclaimer: mainly talking females here) a gift from Made By Others, you will be hard-pressed to leave with something they won’t appreciate!

The fabrics are quality, the necklaces are bobblesome, triangle patterns are plentiful and bright colours are the new black! If you have time, make sure you stay for a coffee – locally roasted Rush beans – and a sweet snack at the communal wooden table.

Go for Lisa B wooly socks, a homemade marshmallow and anything made by Nancy Bird.

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Where: Shop 2, 366 Argyle Street, Moss Vale
When: Monday to Friday 9:30 – 5pm, Saturday 9:30 – 4pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm

Kiama Farmers’ Markets

 

It’s a stretch for this blog’s borders, but someplacesouth is going coastal. The blowhole is cool and everything, but if you are planning on making the trip to Kiama, PLEASE come foremost for these local produce markets. A recent addition to the community’s weekly happenings, the Kiama Farmers’ Markets are held on Wednesday afternoons to provide a mid-week outlet for South Coast and Southern Highland farmers to sell their goods. As soon as the bell rings at exactly 3’o clock, the stretch of stalls along the water at Black Beach is suddenly inundated with hungry buyers armed with hessian bags eagerly seeking this week’s prey. Rabbit pie, organic kale, crisp red apples, German sausages, raw chocolate cashew brownies, gluten free mango muesli crunch, local mead, freshly picked chestnuts – make sure you arrive hungry!

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These markets are all about that which is edible so there is no need to weave past all the woven nick-nacks and scented decorative things to get to the good stuff. Kiama Farmers’ Markets proudly showcase local food rather than re-selling produce bought wholesale elsewhere, making the delicious, diverse and abundant spread of goods that much more significant.  Though logistically difficult for the 9-5 worker, a chance to pop by this mid-week treasure is well worth any negotiating with the boss for the afternoon off. Possibly the best view you will find while gathering your groceries, and some of the friendliest shopkeepers as well. Go for organic veggies from Farm to Feast, granola from Ravenous and fruit salad plant from the Italian guy. And heck, have a wander up to the blowhole on your way out just for kicks.

When: Every Wednesday 2pm-5pm in winter, 3pm-6pm in summer.

Where: Black Beach, Kiama.

Exeter Markets

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What Exeter lacks in size it makes up for in the quality of its local market. Though small and often muddy, the markets are a real weekend treat. I am probably preaching to the converted here – but I really cannot emphasise enough how valuable it is to buy directly from farmers and producers at an event like this. You are intelligent folk, you know the deal, you can figure out why. And if this is completely unchartered territory for you, well, just do it anyway. Here you will find delicious food because it is in season and it is fresh, and you will be able to interact and exchange directly with the real living breathing humans who have gathered and produced these things for you to enjoy. See the dots connecting?

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There are a couple of produce stalls selling whatever fruit and vegetables they have growing – ranging from foraged pine and slippery jack mushrooms, to giant zucchinis, to ripe red rhubarb, to devastatingly sweet berries – anything and everything that is in season at the time. You can also pick up soy candles, Argentinian knitwear, potted herbs and succulents, young citrus trees and unusual varieties of pretty plants. Inside the hall is a cosy little café for a cup of tea and cake if you get a bit chilly, as well as a bakery stand, a book shop, a wall of vintage buttons and lace and a delightful fellow in a red cap selling delicious curds and chutneys from a suitcase. Arrive early, arm yourself with a take away coffee from the Exeter General Store across the way and treat any growling stomachs with a home baked melting moment, almond crescent or Portuguese tart from one of the market stalls.

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When: First Saturday of the month
Where: Exeter Village Hall, 12-20 Exeter Road, Exeter 

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