Although the City of Melbourne is hardly devoid of fresh produce (Queen Vic, for example), there’s never actually been a farmers’ market in the most business and office-dense part of the CBD.

Now you can find the city’s first down Goldsbrough Lane, just near the corner of William and Bourke Streets, open on the first and third Thursday afternoons of each month.

Launched at the start of September, the Goldsbrough Lane Gourmet Farmers’ Market (or GLGFM for short) was set up by the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne. It was looking for a sustainable source of fundraising as well as looking to fulfil a practical need for both residents and workers.

“The absence of a farmers’ market that brought fresh food into the CBD seemed remiss in the world’s most livable city,” says Greg Cuthbert, fundraising director for the Rotary Club. “So when we were looking for a way to fundraise, as well as bring fresh fruit and vegetables back into the city centre, this was a good way to do it.”

The GLGFM is run almost entirely by volunteers from the Rotary Club, and use of the site in Goldsbrough Lane has been donated by The GPT Group (a property group which also covers the cost of security and cleaning). The small fee the stallholders pay to be involved in the market is then used in its entirety by Rotary to help fund its many charitable endeavours (one of which was the construction of six schools in Laos).

Around 20 farmers and producers from all over Victoria make the bi-monthly trek to Goldsbrough Lane, selling eggs, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, breads, meats and sweets. The complete list of stallholders is posted online a few days before each market, but you can expect to see producers such as Warialda Beef, Happy Fruit dried fruit and nuts, Gypsy Chai and Phillippa's Bakery bread and cakes.

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The organisers hope to bring the market to Goldsbrough Lane weekly from next year.

“If we can do it weekly we’ll be able to replace people’s regular shop on a Saturday morning. They’ll get their Saturdays back, they’ll get better quality fruit and vegetables and they’ll get to talk to the farmers growing them,” says Cuthbert. “Food tastes a thousand times better when you have met the person who grows it.”

The Goldsbrough Lane Gourmet Farmers’ Market runs on the first and third Thursday of the month between 4.30pm–7.30pm.

Goldsbrough Lane Gourmet Farmers’ Market
Goldsbrough Lane, Off Bourke Street (near corner of William Street), Melbourne's-on/farmers-market.aspx