“The pleasure lies not in discovering…but in searching for it.” With apologies to Tolstoy, it’s…
Here in Canberra, we’re fortunate to have many options when it comes to accessing farm-fresh produce. Among the best of these is Choku Bai Jo: the famers’ outlet.
I first heard about Choku Bai Jo’s Lyneham store when I moved to Canberra in 2008, but as it seemed to be a bit far from where I live Southside, it took me until the opening of their Curtin outlet to finally try it for myself.
Wow! The produce was high quality, the prices reasonable, it was easy to understand where the produce has come from, the service is great, and the philosophy behind this ‘farmers outlet’ produce store is so important.
According to Choku Bai Jo, they are “trying to bring the freshest best fruit and veg to their customers while looking after farmers and producers to create a win win solution.”
Sounds good to me. This year, I am focusing on eating and shopping for SOLE food: that is Sustainable, Organic, Local and Ethical.
This is something that has been important to my family for years, but being busy with little kids, work & school, setting up our own productive gardens – and just everyday life – has often meant we’ve relied on the convenience of the supermarket as a one stop shop.
But we do love the farmers markets here, and there are other good SOLE food options in Canberra, so this year I have started researching these to find out what suits us. So far, Choku Bai Jo not only provides the sort of food we want, but it is more convenient than the markets, cheaper than health food stores, has organic meat, dairy, local gourmet items, and some grocery items too.
Choku Bai Jo sells produce from other producers that are at Canberra’s local farmers’ markets as well as producers not able to make the markets. The goal for the shop was to give farmers another outlet for their fresh produce while making it easier for the public to access fresh produce.
The shops are open Monday to Friday from 2pm-7pm, and Saturday 8am-1pm. Unusual opening hours, I hear you muse.
Choku Bai Jo explains that this allows fresh produce to be picked every morning for the shop, so you know you are getting the freshest food possible. As well as the fresh produce picked every day from Gleann na Meala (certified organic growers from Hall), the shop also picks up other regional produce from Young, Cowra, Picton and Sydney. Produce from other producers is dropped off from areas like Leeton, Batlow, Marulan and Cowra.
If you love the freshness and flavour that comes with produce direct from the far, give Choku Bai Jo a go.
What: Choku Bai Jo
Where: North Lyneham Shops off Cossington-Smith Crescent, and Curtin Shops.
When: Monday to Friday, 2pm to 7pm; 8am to 1pm Saturday.