New food trends pop up all the time, but this one may just hang around a little longer. A trip to the farmer’s market has become one of the most popular Saturday-morning activities around South Africa, thanks to consumers wanting to get their hands on organic produce, fresh ingredients and unprocessed foods. Haven’t joined the movement yet? Here’s why you should navigate your way to your closest farmer’s market.
By Jana du Plessis
1. Reduce your carbon footprint
A huge step towards living a greener and more sustainable life is to plan your food shopping around local, seasonal produce. Locally produced food means less handling and less travelling to get the goods to the consumer. What’s the benefit of this? A lighter carbon footprint. Not only is it kinder to the earth, but you can be certain that the produce you’re buying is fresh and of top quality. Another bonus? When buying local, only seasonal fruit and veggies are available. At first, you may be disappointed at not getting your avo fix, but seasonal fare looks and tastes better – all the more reason to look forward to that first, beautifully ripe avocado when they come into season.
2. Show some support
Buying imported produce means less income and support for our local farmers, and as a result, our economy. Farmer’s markets sow this capital back into the economy to help foster growth in local industries. Think of it this way: Would you rather help boost foreign markets so they can expand and grow, or invest in our local market, so we can better provide for our own? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
3. Community building
Besides the benefit of fresh, delicious food, farmer’s markets are also good for the soul. Walking through the different tables and stalls, you can meet the farmers, and learn where your food comes from and the process it has undergone. Take your family along and educate the kids on the smells and tastes of different foods, or simply enjoy a stroll in the sun, with the knowledge that your just-bought produce will nourish and sustain.
HERE ARE SOME OUR FAVOURITE FARMER’S MARKETS ACROSS SA:
Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market, Sedgefield
Open Saturdays, 7:30 am – noon (summer) and 8 am – noon (winter)
Slow Market, Stellenbosch
Open Saturdays, 9 am – 2 pm
Hazel Food Market, Pretoria
Open Saturdays, 8 am – 2 pm
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market, Joburg
Open Thursdays, Saturdays and public holidays, 9 am – 3 pm