Saturday, June 19, 2021

Farmer’s market brings organic produce and healthy living to life

Finding fun things in to do around the city involving a friendly environment, good healthy food and great company is never easy. Unbeknown to many there is an amazing farmer’s market, a brilliant initiative that combines organic foods with good music and great company.

Farmers market has been taking place every last Saturday of the month at Bull and Bush for almost 4 yrs now. Julia Farmer who happens to be the owner of farmers market says “when the market takes part in charity or fund-raising events we donate half the stall money to the charity”.

The concept of farmers market is easily found in the owner name Julia Farmer, very fitting word especially since they sell organic vegetables and herbs grown from her own farm in Notwane. A majority of the stalls sell home-made or locally sourced items as their aim is to show case local entrepreneurs and local products.

“The farmer’s markets are for friends and families to meet and enjoy what the stallholders have to offer and to support various charity and community projects such as Botswana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA), La Leche League and Cancer Awareness”. They aim to provide local entrepreneurs of all types, including those providing services such as massage and spiritual coaching. Farmers market is particularly keen to include stallholders that offer products and services which contribute to a healthy mind, body and soul.  

Julia is a true depiction of how simple things we do as children can grow to have a massive impact in our lives. The roots of farmers market first started when Julia was a little girl who used to run charity fund raising events in front of her garden by herself. To prove she is a woman of many talents she not only has her time occupied with farmers market but she has been a head teacher for 10 years. And since she loves organizing events juggling her market and being a principle comes easy to her.

Farmers market is unique and certainly stands out from the rest because it has regular, well organized market stalls with a wide range of home-made or locally sourced products. A variety of stalls are on display that has been there since the inception of the market in 2012. They have since introduced new stalls with eccentric and interesting products too. “There is a great ambience because the stall holders themselves have become friends over the years with each other as well as with our regular clients. There is also a real community feel to the markets – it is not only about buying goods but having a great time with good people and supporting local charities and community organizations”.

The public seems to have responded very well to the Farmer’s markets as they love the “uniqueness of the products on sale, chatting with the people who produce or source the goods and they use it as a meeting place for their family and friends. We have clients who attend nearly every month and who follow the markets where ever they are taking place. I have over 600 people on my market clients email lists”!

As we know now that farmer’s market sells an array of products. You are most likely to find seasonal, fresh vegetable such as parsley, tomatoes, relishes, green peppers, sprouts all grown using organic methods. We can also find some fresh flowers which you can use to pretty your garden or house but they are also edible (spring bouquet popsicles comes to mind, healthier option and also very tasty). Farmers market would not be complete without a delicious variety of ready made jam, pesto, syrups, pickles and chutneys. To add the cherry on top, Julia also bakes home-made muffins which again contain produce from the farm such as beetroot chocolate muffins or fruits and vegetables bought locally. Sometimes she sells home-made chocolates, cake pops, mincemeat pies and vegetable and herb seedlings when there is a surplus from the farm.

Bull n Bush is not the only place to find farmers market, these past few months they have introduced a relatively new concept of pop-up markets. Sanitas already has 2, of which have been a success and are placed at fitting place which offers tranquility and relaxed atmosphere whilst admiring local produce. There is also a monthly pop up market at Mowana Park Shopping Centre in Phakalane.

The future certainly does have a lot in stock for Julia as she plans to further expand her business. “A recent initiative is to have a theme at each market to make it more interesting for the public and stall holders themselves are creating the themes and giving prizes to the best stall”. These initiative have now expanded to charity themes and at this month’s market they will be collecting winter clothing and blankets to be donated to those in need and in October there will be a pink theme to support Cancer Awareness organized by the ‘Pink Ladies’. 

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