Young, gifted and edible: Meet the delicious produce of the Oranjezicht City Farm Market
There are a few markets to visit in Cape town on a Saturday morning depending on your mood, but If you really want to embrace the local foodie culture where families and friends gather with children (and all kinds of dogs ) then The Oranjezicht City Farm Market located in Granger Bay will give you a taste of real life in Cape Town. All the local produce is sourced from independent micro farmers and for vacationers in self-cater accommodation or locals alike, the market will provide you with everything you need to cook a real wholesome South African meal. Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or carnivore, whether you need wheat free, gluten free, dairy free or free range, the market caters for every eating preference.
The atmosphere is warm and friendly. Music sets the scene- jazz, swing or folk fuses with the fresh air and carries out to sea. This last Saturday there was a tribute with the songs of the recently departed Leonard Cohen. And it was this day that I realized that the farmers of this current world are in a way our poets too: their products and efforts a creative expression feeding and inspiring us in tune with nature.
Inside and outside the tents wifi is free and communal tables are set up come rain or shine for brunch. Choose from a variety of vendors serving hot foods, slow cooked or raw. Have you ever tried a Kudu Potjie, pronounced “poiky”, venison stew cooked in a traditional three legged cast iron pot? Sometimes I take lunch from Kitchen Cowboys or just sit and sip on a turmeric latte. If there is a wind chill it really takes the edge off with a kick of spice. If you like it take a packet of the latte mix home.
You cannot miss the broad welcoming smiles of the cheese lady, Jane Selander, a vivacious cheese lover who selects cheeses that have been naturally made from the milk of pasture fed cows without colourants, additives or preservatives. Have fun and try them all especially the Karoo blue, delicious with a glass of red wine.
There is something quite emotional about acknowledging the stories of the animals that feed you. I feel a connection to Buttercup, a jersey cow from the Happy Hens Farm that produces 20 litres of double cream milk daily. Once her friends, the farm animals have had their share then the rest makes for Buttercup’s yoghurt. Her portrait proudly graces the table where her yoghurt is displayed in beautiful glass jars.
Happy Hens produce pasture reared eggs from field foraging fowls ( their words not mine, I did mention they were poets) with a diet free from hormonal antibiotics and pesticides.
I pick strawberries from laden filled baskets that taste like they did when I was a child. Spoon home made garlic mayonnaise from That Mayo and sample shiitake mushroom and ginger chutney from the Real Food Factory.
I pick up a hand woven basket to collect spinach, chard, beetroots, edible plants, fruits and other seasonal produce. I once read that Leonardo Da Vinci was a great cook. His philosophy was to breathe in the aromas of each vegetable when cutting, chopping or slicing and sing or hum the notes of its essence . The taste and smell in relation to the sound will sharpen your senses…. try it… make a chorus as you prepare your ethically grown produce, perhaps for a salad or minestrone soup.
There are gorgeous flowers, roses, proteas, pin cushions and potted herbs. Seedlings and a whole range of mushrooms. The market has recently taken on Green Fish. Fresh fish, I have found quite difficult to source in Cape Town so this is special. But you must get there early as he is sometimes sold out by eleven.
For meat lovers you are in for a treat: look for the butcher Salvin Hirschfield who believes that the quality of the meat is intrinsically tied to the manner in which the animal was raised. Grass fed and dry aged steaks, wild boar sausages free from gluten and preservatives, succulent lamb from the Karoo. And free range chicken, the best I have ever had. I was thinking about becoming a vegetarian until I discovered The Son of a Butcher.
There are so many wonderful discoveries that will surprise and delight you at the Oranjezicht farmers market. Take unique and original gifts of honey, olive oil, jams home and treat your friends to a taste of Cape town.
Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day page for map and general info
Granger bay / V&A waterfront
Saturday 9am to 2pm
Bus route 104 stops outside