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This month we celebrated Taste Ballarat 2016 at the Rural Lifestyle Expo at the Ballarat Showgrounds. It was a day some of the finest producers of the region came together to show the quality produce this region has to offer. For the winners of the Artisan Pantry and Paddock to Plate 2016 awards check out this blogpost.

As Suzi and I strolled through the Taste Ballarat Marquee we were thrilled to see so many regular Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market stall holders. We were chuffed. We created the Jiggety-Jig to offer the freshest, highest quality local food produced in our region to the people of Ballarat every third Saturday of the month. It was the only weekend of the month that producers were unable to sell their fresh produce to the town.

This Saturday is our 11th Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market. We have a band of regular stallholders who faithfully come to the Showgrounds to provide their tasty awesomeness to a loyal base of locals who appreciate the effort it takes to deliver truly good fresh food as an alternative to the industrial supermarket food options.

Thank you to everyone who has come along to buy some excellent food and for anyone who is yet to check out the Jiggety-Jig here’s a few of our regular producers who are making food that you need to eat.

Ballaratfood Pauline Basilio
Pauline Basilio and her lovely daughter.

Basilio Sourdough is a traditional sourdough bakery based in Ballarat run by master bread maker Georgio Basilio and his wife Pauline. Georgio, winner of 2016 Ballarat Food Artisan Pantry award uses traditional time intensive techniques to create REAL sourdough in a variety of loaves including high tin, ciabatta, wholemeal, wholegrain, batard, olive bread and fruit loaf. Baked fresh and delivered to the Jiggety-Jig still warm, you would be well advised to buy a couple of loaves as it will keep well all week.

Ballaratfood Nat and Jono Brooklands Freerange
Nat & Jono from Brooklands Freerange Farm

Nat and Jono from Brooklands Free Range Farm are two beautiful and busy people from Balampied. You may know Nat from her other fabulous business from Rub A Dub natural skin care products, you will see her at quality markets in our region. Jono and Nats run an ethical and sustainable free range farm in Blampied raising rare breed Berkshire pigs, British White cattle and Finn Sheep. Their ethical meat range attracts a regular loyal base which includes a lot of Ballarat chefs who come to Jiggety for Brooklands beef, pork and lamb.

Ballaratfood Sebastian Jurcan
Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods

Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods. Sebastian developed his unique charcuterie skills at Istra and in recent times has established his own business in Bald Hills where he creates the best sausages, salamis, ham and bacon in the region. Once you have tried his sausages you will struggle to go back to supermarket sausages again.

Ballaratfood Daniel Tarna Valley
Daniel Armeni from Tarna Valley Farm

This year’s Nature’s Cargo Paddock to Plate award winner for a business under two years, here’s Daniel pictured receiving his award. Mandy and Daniel Armeni from Tarna Valley Farm in Cape Clear raise rare breed pigs in a free range natural environment. These guys are producing some of the best quality pork in the region. Those in the know use Tarna Valley Pork including Country Style Smallgoods and Catfish Thai.

Ballarat Food The Preservers Pot
Mel and John Davey from the preservers Pot.

Mel and John Davey from The Preservers Pot are producing the best fruit based products in Ballarat. Based in Smythesdale the Preserver’s Pot create a delectable range of seasonal artisan preserves, jams, syrups and sauces, handmade and preservative free. If you are looking for something special to add to your Basilio bread or to accompany a special platter or meat dishes Mel and John will have something seasonal made from local vegetables and fruit forages including wild blackberry syrup, melon and pineapple jam and fig jam.

Ballaratfood Yendon Tomatoes
John Elford from Yendon Tomatoes.

John Elford from Yendon Gourmet Tomatoes has been growing tomatoes for 15 years in Yendon, just a few minutes east of Ballarat. His range includes tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, capsicum, basil and strawberries. John took out this year’s 2016 Nature’s Cargo Paddock to Plate award for a business over 2 years. He has perfected his produce using hydroponic techniques and the flavour of his tomatoes have to be tasted to be believed. Yendon tomatoes are the freshest you can buy in Ballarat.

These are a handful of some of the regular Jigetty-Jiggers - more to come.

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Rural Lifestyle Expo logo 2015 Horizontal

Save the date Saturday April 2nd 2016 The Rural Lifestyle Expo is on again at the Ballarat Showgrounds from 9:30am to 5pm. This is the fifth Rural Lifestyle Expo event which is set to showcase a variety of lifestyle activities from the region.

The event is a great chance to check out a variety of unique and interesting breeds of animals, over 50 demonstrations and seminars, new technology, sustainable energy, garden zones, fibre and fashion and food artisans and vignerons.

The Rural Lifestyle Expo is a fantastic opportunity for food producers, chefs, cooks, artisans and anyone with a food business to share your product and skills to an audience looking to sample some of the quality foodie activities taking place in our region. Featured below are some of the food businesses at last year's expo.

enbom honeyAngela Enbom from Enbom Honey

gorae applesThe Gorae Organics team with their organic apples

charisma boysThe Charisma team with their awesome coffee

saltbush kitchenSaltbush Kitchen

organic juiceOrganic Juice

zandcoandboysZ and Co Freerange Farms

Applications are now being accepted for food artisan stalls showcasing everything from bread, pastries and baked goods, pigs, cows, poultry, lamb, game, water creatures, yabbies, eels, trout, fruit, vegetables, spices, herbs, edible flowers, condiments, preserves, coffee, chocolate, chocolate, olives, oil and honey. So don’t delay secure your place in this amazing expo showcasing the best of all things edible in Ballarat and surrounds.

Visit the Rural Lifestyle website to download an general trade stall kit to apply.

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mel preserverspotMel Davey from The Preserver's Pot

WHAT’S YOUR THING? Traditional Handcrafted Preserves

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Mel Davey started making preserves about 20 years ago after spending time watching and helping her Auntie from Warrenheip make jam from homegrown plums and foraged blackberries.

Mel has a background in hospitality and has been making preserves to share with family and friends for a long time. John Davey, Mel's husband now joins Mel in their home based business. Together they have turned a hobby into a great business success.

No preservatives or additives are used, only traditional methods of preserving. Mel has been inspired by past generations. The Preservers Pot recipes are from family, friends and some new creations inspired by the seasonal produce.

Mel and John are great supporters of the locavore and slow food movement and they truly live the ethos that anything made with produce from your own backyard always tastes the best.

ballaratfood caulipicklesThe Preserver's Pot Cauliflower Mustard Pickles


We held a workshop titled "Jam Making for Beginners" at The Diggers Club Garden of St. Erth in Blackwood. It was a great experience and was well attended by like-minded people wanting to share their love of preserving and learning new skills. We took our equipment and made Raspberry Jam and sent home a recipe and little sample jar with each person.

In 2014 we had a fantastic result with our entries in the Ballarat show. The Preservers Pot took out many awards with their locally made produce.

This year Mel and John are focusing on establishing their edible garden to supply home-grown produce for the Preservers Pot preserves.

ballaratfood saucesTomato and Worcestershire Sauces from The Preserver's Pot


The Preserver’s Pot create so many classic and interesting variations of jams, preserves, jellies, chutneys and pickles it’s hard to choose. It’s such a seasonal thing, there’s something for everybody’s pallette, sweet and savoury.

preserverspot assortmentDamson Fruit Cheese

JAMS apple & raspberry, apple & blackberry, apricot, spiced pear & blueberry, strawberry rhubarb & vanilla, banana, Mirabelle plum & pineapple and cherry vanilla
PRESERVES feijoa and fig
MARMALADES breakfast, Seville orange, cumquat and Ruby grapefruit
JELLIES quince, crab apple
FRUIT CHEESES & PASTES Damson fruit cheese, quince paste
CHUTNEY tomato, fruit and beetroot
PICKLES cauliflower mustard, sweet mustard and zucchini
RELISH red capsicum
SAUCE tomato and Worcestershire plum

preserverspot JohnandMelThe Preserver's Pot - John & Mel Davey


The Preservers Pot has a large local following with many cafes and restaurants in the region stocking and serving The Preserver’s Pot produce.

The Preservers Pot is also a favourite produce offering at The Jiggety-Jig farmers market where Mel and John are always bringing new seasonal creations along to sell along with their classic favourites.

You can also enquire via the website www.the

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