It’s that time of year when chilly temperatures bring out runny noses and chesty coughs.
But instead of waiting for the cold and flu bug to leave you feeling bleak, dosing up on seasonal food can help keep those nasties away.
Nourishing winter veges and tasty citrus will engulf The Levee on Thursday when Maitland produce market moves in between 1pm and 5pm to bring fresh produce to shoppers.
Chef Amorelle Dempster will send aromatic smells through the precinct with her beef and vegetable curry – a meal that will give the immune system a kick.
“It’ll be a winter tonic for those colds … It’ll have lots of good things in it to help, think lemongrass, cauline leaves, ginger and lime – all those very aromatic herbs,” she said.
“Seasonal food like cabbages, and cauliflowers and potatoes are all very good to nourish your body in winter.
“And when you add the citrus as well you are using as much fresh food as possible to build your immune system and deter illness and winter chills.”
Farmer Tom Christie, who left Newcastle for the rolling hills of Marshdale, near Dungog, four years ago to pursue his agriculture dream, is one of a growing number of young producers bringing food to the market.
The farm, which he runs with his wife Dominique Northam, nurtures an annual garlic crop as well as a range of salad greens, citrus, seasonal vegetables and flowers.
“We’re harvesting a lot of leafy greens, sorrel and herbs, salad greens, we’ve got broccoli … lettuce, silverbeet, kale – we try and grow a few different things to put in the salad mix,” Mr Christie said.
“Sorrel is related to rhubarb, it looks a bit like a spinach leaf but its got a really fresh lemon flavour – it’s very good in salads and with fish – anything where you want a bit of freshness.
“We grow an edible Chrystantheum – it’s something a bit different.”
Mr Christie likes a warm curry at this time of year and can make a delectable dish out of his vege garden.
He lets the produce dictate his menu.
“I like to look at what’s in season and then figure out what I’m going to cook from that, rather than picking out a recipe and going to the shops and buying all of the ingredients,” he said.
“Silverbeet in a curry works really well because you can cook it and it holds its shape.“I also like pumpkin soup – of course, it’s a classic; I like to put a bit of curry powder in mine and a bit of ginger.”
Maitland produce market is held in The Levee, central Maitland, on the first and third Thursday of each month.