by KATE O'NEILL
Georgica farmer Kenrick Riley, of Wiccawood Organics, always has something new and unusual at his Mullumbimby Farmers' Market stall, and the vegetable that's been catching the interest of market-goers of late is his jicama.
Also known as Mexican yam bean, this root vegetable looks a little like a turnip or swede, but it has a sweet, juicy and crisp flesh, with a texture and flavour similar to nashi pear.
It's lovely eaten raw - prepare by removing all skin (this is important as the skin contains an organic toxin), then grating into salads or coleslaw, adding to stir-fries, or enjoying as is. You can also do as the Mexicans do - cut your jicama into sticks then coat in lime juice, chilli and salt for a tasty snack.
Health wise, jicama is also excellent for your gut: It contains prebiotic fibre that helps promote the growth of good gut bacteria. It's also an excellent source of vitamin C.
One of the best things about the cooler months is the abundance of vitamin C-rich citrus that Mother Nature so conveniently provides.
The limes and lemons have already arrived at the markets and now the mandarins are in season, too.
Local farmers have some beautiful new season organic imperial mandarins now - try Jungle Juice (Mullum), The Organic Avocado (Mullum/New Brighton) and Rancho Limes (New Brighton).
Eungella farming brothers Matt Everest (Mullum) and Will Everest (New Brighton) have started picking the first of the season's broccoli.
Highly nutritious and packed with vitamin C, it should be one of your winter vegetable staples. Eat it lightly steamed with a little butter or add to stir-fries, soups, casseroles and salads.
Tea helps fight colds, flu
When it comes to fighting colds and flu, Mullumbimby Farmers' Market visitors swear by Organic Forrest's organic honey, lemon, ginger and turmeric tea.
Made with ingredients from Dave Forrest and Sue Mangan's organic farm at Federal, it's warming, soothing, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.