I don’t know when, where or how the concept of farmers’ market arose, and when I think about it, I wonder if it’s a purely western concept. While all across India, there are weekly and daily markets/ stalls, farmers’ markets are generally more associated with organic products, products which are toxic-free and have relatively less pesticides, etc. Beyond fresh produce, there are also different kinds of flours such as amaranth. I recently visited a farmers’ market that was organised in my society, and I must say, I was quite blown away by the quality of the produce offered. Plump red tomatoes, solid looking potatoes, shiny onions, dried oyster mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and a whole plethora of sauces, honey, relishes, ghee, unprocessed oils, flours, rice. Ah! It was such a trip.
I find it so strange that even though the set-up was quite small as opposed to some of the other popular versions across Delhi NCR, I really enjoyed my time browsing through everything, picking fruits and vegetables. As a child, I hated whenever my mother would drag me to get groceries with her. I didn’t mind a trip to the wet market, chicken, mutton or fish. I found this fascinating. But fruits and veggies. Boring! And look at me now. I am stumped at myself.
The farmers’ markets in Delhi NCR usually take place on Sundays. I only know of two and haven’t really been to either as of yet. The one I’ve heard the most about is the Earth’s Collective Organic Farmers’ Market held in Sunder Nursery over the weekends. It’s usually open from 7-ish in the morning till around 1-2 pm. This market is not just relegated to fruits and vegetables or dry pantry items, artisan products, cheese, honey, jams and relish but also gives space to ceramic pottery stalls, handmade artwork, apparels, and more. The one time I visited Sunder Nursery, it wasn’t specifically for the market, but I still went ahead for a quick browse through. I picked up wild honey and cheese from Darima Farms. I am yet to open the cheese, but the lightly flavoured honey has been very satisfying.
These are two of the items I picked up, among the regular fruits and veggies. On the left are whole roasted jeera seeds. I miss the spice shops in Kolkata. There were a couple of my mother’s favourites and they would freshly roast and grind them, themselves. The aroma in that part of the market was intoxicating. I loved it. Sadly, I now depend on only Everest. But I wish I could find good-quality, unadulterated spices in Gurgaon somewhere.
I was quite surprised to see stevia leaves. The lady who sold it said it’s better to use the leaf form than the more processed sugar-like cubes. In fact, the more processed form is made from extracts and actually contains less amount of goodness. So if you have a leaf just simply on its own, chew it a little and it’ll release a certain sweetness. We use it in our morning tea sometimes. While we don’t use white sugar, stevia is still different from gur or brown sugar. I’ve gone through a number of articles online, and most studies claim its benefits are inconclusive. It is beneficial, to a certain degree I assume, which is why I don’t use it daily. I’d really like to know more about this before I can include it in my diet fully. If you know more about this, please drop a comment. I’d love to broaden my knowledge on this.
This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z challenge, a month-long blogging marathon.
Header image is by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash.