Food – Fruit and veg markets burst with goodness

2010-09-17 14:08

Spring is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to reconnect with the earth and eat accordingly.

To set the trend, I undertook an exploration in and around Durban in search of regularly available fresh produce.

This yielded a host of markets bursting with seasonal, locally grown foods, allowing urban folk the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of fresh farmfare in the city.

So, grab your basket and stock up on affordable, wholesome food and make it a weekly habit. After all, eating local is good for the planet too.

» First up is the small Thursday morning farmers market at the Jimmy Bellow Sports Field in Westville where six juicy pears, six naartjies, five avos and a packet of tomatoes cost me a mere R30.

The farmers themselves sell their just-picked fruits and vegetables, and freshly cut herbs and flowers.

» Other weekly farmers’ markets include the Tuesday morning market at the Amanzimtoti Sports Centre, and a market in Autumn Drive, Umhlanga, on Wednesday mornings.

» On Fridays visit Earth Mother at 106 Bulwer Road, Glenwood.

If it’s organic produce you’re after, pop in on their market days on Tuesday or Friday where baskets overflow with local organic harvest.

The shop itself boasts a large selection of organic products.

There is a garden café where you can devour a delicious slice of raw chocolate cake or an organic cappuccino.

» For a unique experience, get your herb and veggie fix at Giba Organics food farm in Assagay where you pick your own organic veggies and herbs straight from the earth.

Pickings are weighed and paid for just as in a supermarket, but cheaper.

Eight succulent organic tomatoes cost me R11. You can’t get fresher than this.

Giba Organics is open seven days a week. (www.gibaorganics.co.za)

» With the kids in tow, the Saturday markets are a good bet. The popular Shongweni Farmers’ Market is the perfect way to start a Saturday morning, but get there early as it closes at 10.30am.

Savour a farm-style breakfast and stock up on home-made fare, fresh produce, artisan cheeses, hormone-free meat, fresh free-range chicken and duck eggs, home-made breads, crafts and much more.

My favourite take-homes were the hormone-free bacon (same price as regular bacon) and a wedge of hand-made cheese from a wonderfully quirky cheesemaker.

» It was still early when I headed back down the hill to the Essenwood Craft Market where an Underberg farmer and his wife were selling their organic veggies, double-yoked free-range eggs, hormone-free meat and Drakensberg trout.

While the children make use of the park and free pony rides, tuck into a frothy cappuccino and freshly made bread topped with avo and pickles.

» Continue Saturday under the trees at The Fine Food Market at Green With Envy Nursery. This market suits the sleep-in weekend risers as it stays open until 2pm.

The scrumptious scents waft through the air as 20 stallholders tempt you with fresh fruit and veg, cheeses, salads, breads and cakes, free- range chickens, jams, relishes, pates and pestos. It mimics village life with all its goodness.

Arms laden with recycled bags, I arrive home feeling healthier already.

Now all that remains is to convince my kids that vegetables are indeed delicious. 

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