Monday, May 21, 2007

Late History Lesson: Queen Victoria Market...

In its 125-plus years, Queen Victoria Market has had a colourful and sometimes controversial history. During that time, the site has been a cemetery, a livestock market and a wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Each of these operations has its own history and an element of controversy.
The Queen Victoria Market was officially opened on 20 March 1878, a range of markets having operated from the site in varying forms prior to that date. The market is Heritage listed.

The Melbourne City Council was originally established in 1842 to manage the City's many markets, of which one was Queen Victoria Market.

Queen Victoria Market survives today as one of the largest and most intact examples of Melbourne's great nineteenth century markets.

The Queen Victoria Market.....A Green Market...
Queen Victoria Market is conscious of the environmental impacts of business, and has taken a number of steps to ensure the increased sustainability of the Market as a whole.
In 2007, the Melbourne City Council will undertake a Water Harvesting project at the Market, contributing a total of over $540,000 to the budget for the project, which also received external funding of $250,000.In the 1990s, 1,328 solar panels were installed on the Market's F Shed, with the assistance of BP Solar and Origin Energy.

The installation, which generates 252 megawatts of electricity for use within the Market, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 369 tonnes each year, reflects the commitment of both the Market and the City of Melbourne to using renewable energy. The panels have helped Council towards its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero (net) across the municipality over the next two decades.
In recent years, the Market has rallied behind the push to reduce plastic bag usage and landfill. The Market has introduced its own branded, reusable shopping bags that are produced using recycled materials. The uptake of these green shopping bags has been so strong that the Market continues to sell them today.

In the month of November begins a night market with approximately 150 stalls or so. Lanterns light the way through the stalls and music cascades through the old rafters and completes the ambiance of the place. Always nice on a warm night and great way to relax and have a wine and some fruit too.

For tourists, there is a two hour tour that you can book to go on that will show you everything you need to know about the market itself and you get to sample some goods along the way.

As a side note, when I go to the market, especially before a morning shift begins at work, I take along my own re-usable bags. I go see this gorgeous little Chinese lady and she sells me 3 punnets of strawberries for one dollar :)

If I go after a morning shift, I make my way to the delicatessan area (right where that man is standing in the image above) and see this lovely Greek lady. She sells me cheese, smallgoods and gives me a small kabanosi stick to chew on whilst I enjoy the market. She must miss me as I have not been there for a few months now, and she enjoys hearing about my four kiddies. She cannot believe I have so mny in this day and age. Go bless her, she thinks I am too young looking to have so many :)

The market is amazing, the smells, the people, the clothes and treasures to buy. Even if you never bought a thing, it is a great way to spend an afternoon, meandering through the stalls and hearing the blokes call out the price of their fruit in marvellous sing song voices.

Queen Vic Market, a treat for everyone who visits.


Andrew said...

I think the night market is a victim of its own success. We tried going once but it was so packed and there was not a chance of getting anything to eat or drink, let alone sit down to have it. Had a nice meal at a local Indian restaurant instead.

M said...

ohhh I love the Queen Vic market - and love the hot jam doughnuts. mmmmm

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Oh! My! Word! I soooooo want to go to this market.

You do realize that every time I read one of your posts the dollar signs ratchet up on a dial in my brain. My husband and I are planning a "once in a lifetime" trip to Australia in five years, and we are currently saving up. So when I read stuff like this, it gets added to the list and the budget grows.

If you didn't write so convincingly about all this stuff I might have gotten off cheaper. ;)

susan said...

It sounds so amazing! I'm loving your history lessons.

Betty said...

What a wonderful market! Your stories are making me want to visit Australia.

Rebecca said...

When they moved the cemetery to the new (current) site, they couldn't find all of the bodies on the Queen Vic site. It is believed there are around 13 bodies still buried on there, one of those being John Batman, who is regarded as the founder of Melbourne.

As for the donuts, the Spanish donuts are the best there.

Spark Driver said...

I havn't been to the Queen Vic in a long time but your short history lesson has inspired me.

I should take the kids for a look. I think my daughter would love it.

Dan said...

Oh! I love your history lessons!

Thanks so much for taking the time to do these! Hugs!

gawilli said...

Looks like a fun place to shop. I would like to have this nearby. It sounds like there is great concern and care for the environment there. We have much to do here.

I'm off now to look up punnet and kabanosi stick...

mjd said...

Your Queen Victoria's Market sounds like a glorious treasure. I am not sure that we have anything like that near our town. In the summer, I believe that there is a farmer's market outside in a nearby town on summer Saturday mornings. Now, that you have reminded me, I will go for a visit.

Jay said...

I would looooove to go to this market. I love markets like this. I could spend all day there.

Keshi said...

Been there when I was last in Mel. Terrific place!


Aidan said...

Blogger ate my comment....
I so want a doughnut now, i love that smell, at melb uni i used to wander down on my breaks and get a bag, they always sold out by the afternoon.

Saturday arvo is the best time to go, cut price trying to clear stock. 10 punets of strawberries for 3 dollars:)

so hungry now:)

paddy said...

You've already brought me there Cassie thank you, but there's no doubt I would like to visit in the flesh- not to be sold at the market mind you...... I'm sure I've said to you that I'd love to visit Aus. and Melbourne. Who knows, maybe one day.
Cheers Mate! Y;-) Paddy

Cazzie!!! said...

Andrew, yes, I tend to agree, hoardes of people do go top the night market..the solution may be to put more seating? Or make another night market somewhere else perhaps.
Which Indian Restaurant? I love Indian.

M, Mmmmm doughnuts.

QOD, come on then, I will take you.

Susan, I am glad you like them, more up my sleeve soon.

Betty, I would like you to visit day :)

Rebecca, I almos put an image of the doughnut van on here too you know...too bad we do not have smellaputer or tasteaputer Hey??

Spark Driver, yes, there are some nioce things therefor little girls to look at and is all in the feel of the garment :)

Dan, thanks mate and huggs right back to you too.

Gawilli, ohh, ok, sorry, a punnett is a small tub they put the strawberries in, made from plastic. Kabanosi is also known as kabana, it is a smallgood, a cold meat, made into a sausage and smoked. It is often wrinkley looking and tastes very nice. We cut them up in small pieces and serve them with cheese too.
Markets certainly are fun to go to. Great atmosphere.

MJD, ohh a farmers market, they are always great. We have them here in our district due to the farms being basically in our backyard. Other markets, like this one here, have crafts, arts, local wines, cheese, jam, honey and the like.

Jay, yes, we do when we go, am sad when I only get to call n for a little while, usually just before the market closes at 4pm on weekends.

Keshi, I loved Paddies Market up there, but it misses the entertainment and the delicatessan areas was all. Otherwise, the seafood was to die for :)

Aidan, yumm, I loved the doughnuts too, my other half always buys them.

Paddy, that would be a whol lot of fun if you did come over.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Cazzie.

I'm a big fan of markets, and you really brought this one to life in this post.

Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I am not pro organic nor pro chemical but what I am is PRO LOCAL!!! All the organic food is still sprayed to ripen, still picked green if it comes from around the world. Plus someone's organic doesn't mean it's the same as ours. Best food you can buy... is from next door.

So what I don't grow myself during the summer I buy from the Amish a couple of side roads away or a fruit farm just up the road a few kms from them.

Soon.. soon there will be fresh veggies....


homo escapeons said...

Fabulous tour.
Yesterday I watched Judy Dench portray Queen Victoria in the remarkable film Mrs. Brown.
Quite fitting on Victoria Day eh wot?

Later on I watched a PBS special on the first TransAtlantic Cable connection from England to the US during the Victorian era.
Two ships met in the middle of the Atlantic loaded with huge spool of telegraph cable, connected their lines, and sailed off in different diractions..

and amazing feat that eliminated the 14 day interval of information going to and from the Colonies to England by ship.
Changed the world overnight and they charged 10cents a word for a telegraph. where else?

poody said...

wow that sounds like fun! What is kabanosi Cazzie?

G-Man said...

Cazzie, I love your History Lessons...
Thanks xoxoxox

Andrew The Asshole said...

I've never shopped in that type of evironment but I would love to.

phishez_rule said...

I have to say I'm not a big fan of the markets. They never have any clothes in my size, and its all repetetive. And I don't like crowds. Love to people watch, can't stand crowds. Go figure.

But it is an amazing old building.

Cazzie!!! said...

Winters, thankyou for the nice words :)

Farmwifetwo. yes, we have many market gardners here in Werribee South. I go to our local shed here at Foxes Fresh Fruit and Veg and get it all fresh as the day it is harvested. I know they also swap produce with the apple growers from up in the hills there so we all get a mix of the good stuff.
Vic Market has many an Organic stall... CERES, a place we have visited before, market their own veggie garden produce and that is all honky dory (original) organic. They even have chooks running aroung to fertilise the stuff :)

Homo Esc, that is sooo interesting, tell me more another day, I will be waiting for more stories like these!!

Poody, cold meat made into a sausage shape and smoked until it is shrivelled up, then it is consumed cold :)

G-Man, thanks honey :)

Andrew.... the atmosphere is wonderful , you should partake in such adventures some day :)

Phishez, yeah, I am not a fan of crowds, but then again, I usually go early, like 6am or late, like 30 min b4 closing, due to work schedule, so bodies are scarce then.

Shelley said...

How fun! I'll be right over. ;)

Here in Madison we have many many Farmer's Markets all over town, but the big one is always at the Capitol Square and it has a couple hundred street vendors each Saturday. You can get fresh produce at a steal, safe honey, pottery, plants, anything really, including grass fed meats that come from local farms. It's amazing.

egan said...

Renewable energy, now there's a concept. If Mez loves the market, then I do too.

rosemary said...

Sounds and looks like a great place. You always make something simple sound almost romantic. We are just actching on to the reusabel bag idea.....slow Americans. Absolutely lovely tribute to Don.

captain corky said...

The market sounds like a neat place. I would go and hang out at night and drink wine and eat cheese. That sounds good!

Cazzie!!! said...

Egan, indeed, Mez has great taste :)

Rosemary, thankyou so much, I am glad you liked the tribute. I did not want to say too much because I think Therese would not want a fuss made.
The market..romantic, it is just that :)

Corky, then, I would come hang out with you too, and have a good old chinwag at the same time :)

ZiggyStrauss said...
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