Metro Organics – fresh organic fruit, veg and herbs

We are very happy to announce that Metro Organics have joined the Earth Fair Market family every Saturday in Tokai. Metro Organics is situated on Sleepy Hollow Farm. This 2400m2 organic farm is run by the Clack family who are passionate about growing both the organic consciousness and organic veggies. They started the business in November 2016 with the intention of make a living doing what they love. They have a vision to grow the awareness, demand and supply of organic vegetables in the Southern Peninsula by networking with like-minded growers in neighbouring communities, by activating more local, unutilised open land/gardens for growing organic veg and thereby benefitting local communities.

The Clacks believe in creating a healthy community by encouraging people to work together and help each other. Eating consciously, and preferably as local as possible, are very important in today’s society.

The key to Organic farming is all in the soil. Nutritiously grown organic veg requires rich soil that is full of life and microbial activity. We strive to nurture the soil as much as possible, and to achieve this there are many different methods. Metro Organics uses a combination of Organic, Permaculture and Bio-dynamic principles and soil is farmed as much as the veg they grow.

They plan on holding regular hands-on courses to encourage a new generation of growers and farmers to start their own ventures and thereby work towards food security as a whole. The idea being to educate and demystify Urban Farming as market gardening holds and will play an ever increasingly important role in healthy sustainable food chains moving forward.

The Metro Organics fresh fruit and veg stand at the Earth Fair Market is primarily stocked with their own produce, grown in Noordhoek, and are now providing a large variety, where necessary sourced from like-minded organic farmers. Feel free to ask them where your produce is coming from!

The Metro Organics urban farm currently provides fresh produce to local restaurants, retail outlets and sells direct to individual local clients. As the business grows they hope to add more local employees to their current team of 6 full time staff members and seasonal workers.

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Zero Waste Shopping

Some top tips to help you think out the box

We’re all getting more clued up and conscious of cutting down on unnecessary packaging and shopping bags but it’s actually really easy to take it a step further…

Shopping at markets as opposed to big chain stores is a very good first step and we have put together some other tips to help you along. We are also very happy to have one of the first Zero Waste Stores in the country right inside our Tokai market.

Top 5 tips for Zero Waste Shopping:

1) Baby steps…this is no time for perfectionism. It takes time to learn new habits so don’t beat yourself up if you forget the reusable shopping bags or the glass jars. Commit to making it a habit to put your shopping bags back in the car after you have unpacked them and if you do forget, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, but do take all your shopping home loose – the frustrating experience of unpacking it from the boot item by item may help this habit form quicker!
2) When you shop at markets be demanding. Speak up – tell a trader that you do not require a bag as you have brought your own. They are more than willing to hand it over as is and often put it in a bag out of habit. Bring all glass containers back to the traders once you have finished the contents and they can either fill it up for you again or they will discount you off your next purchase and reuse the glass jar. If you see traders using polystyrene and other non-environmentally friendly packaging – ask them about it. At Earth Fair Market traders are not allowed to use such packaging and so if you see it – speak up.
3) Bulk shop for grains using glass jars. These can be bought at Mambos and other stores or can be reused when you buy a jar of yoghurt etc. Bring your glass jars to the market and get them filled up with grains, sugar, cleaning products, oil and vinegar etc. Barry from the Zero Waste Store currently has over 30 items available for purchase at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Please click here for a link to their Facebook page
4) Buy a reusable coffee mug. If you are like the average city-dweller-on-the-go, you would have bought your fair share of coffee to keep you on your game. Many awesome coffee shops (such as Hazz and Seattle) are selling great cups to keep. It is worth the initial investment for peace of mind and you get 10% off all your purchases at some of these stores from then on.
5) Shop seasonally. This means that you can buy your fruit and veggies loose as they haven’t had to travel. They are fresher, taste better and have a lower carbon footprint. Visit Fresh or Live Organics at the market for great fruit and seasonal veggies.

We would love to hear any feedback you may have on Zero Waste Shopping – please feel free to leave us a comment below or to share any suggestions that you may have.

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Barn Dance

We are spreading our wings and hosting the first of our Super Saturdays Nights in the form a Barndance on Saturday 10th September. The tables inside the market will be cleared away to make space for some serious cowboy style boogying!

The ever popular Caroline Blundell will be brining her magic to the market. She uses simple dances that are easy to learn and you’ll be dancing in 5 minutes even if you have never danced before! The country and western music is foot tapping and anyone between 10 and 100 years old is set to have the time of their life.

Barndancers will be able to enjoy a selection of dinners from our top traders as well as a range of craft beers and biodynamic and organic wines from the Laughing Crocodile Bar. Party goers can grab a hay bale or table under the Bedouin if you need to catch your breath, chat or have some supper.

Put on that checkered shirt and cowboy hat and join us for a fabulous evening of dancing, eating and a lot of fun!

Please buy your tickets from Quicket (R65 per person).

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ShenFM live on Wednesday 15th June

Join us to welcome in the long weekend with a bang. Shen and Adam are a hugely talented duo playing an inspiring, foot tapping combination of musical styles reflecting the diversity of African, rock and dance blended with the fine overtones of Jazz and Western traditions. This promises to be an evening of great music, delicious food and fun for the whole family. See you there!

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Manouche live Wednesday 17th February, Retreat

The fabulous Gypsy Jazz band, Manouche will be playing live at our Retreat Market on the 17th February between 6 and 8pm. This promises to be a great evening out for the whole family. Join us for delicious food, great craft beer and an incredible vibe. See you there!

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A market owner’s guide to getting the best out of your market

Markets are thriving in South Africa. The positive spinoffs of this are that more small producers are getting a piece of the pie and people are becoming more connected to their food and community. What is the best way to choose the right market for you and how do you make the most out of your chosen market? Each market has its own personality, vibe and specialities. The next 10 points hope to improve your market experience.

1) Choose which market works best for you. Different people have very different needs. For want of a better idea, I am going to compare markets to restaurants. There are sushi restaurants, steakhouses, vegetarian and Indian restaurants and they all have different specialities and focuses. I definitely would not go to my favourite sushi spot and hope to get a good piece of fillet. Markets are the same. Some focus on craft beers and ready food, others on live music and location, and some focus on fresh produce shopping. If you are serious about buying fresh produce at the market, you may not want to be surrounded by beer swilling happy chappies and the happy chappies may not want your serious ‘organic’ vibes either. Whilst some markets provide a bit of everything, find the market that most fulfils your needs and make the most of it.

2) If you are interested in buying fresh produce, arrive early but not too early. The early bird catches the worm does not work as well as the second mouse gets the cheese when it comes to markets! Traders have a lot to unpack and get sorted on their stands before they are ready to trade. They can easily become harassed if they are unpacking and people are buying before the market has even opened. As a market owner, it also means that the trader is less likely to be able to create an effective and eye catching display if they are under pressure.

3) Ask questions about the food you are buying. A lot of questions. Get to know the trader; ask where the produce comes from and how it is made; ask about farming methods, preservatives etc. Ask the trader about the best way to prepare the item you are buying – they generally have some great tips. This not only connects you with your food but also lets the trader know that you are serious about their food and interested in where it comes from.

4) Be patient. Markets are not supermarkets. They do not want to become like supermarkets. You may wait slightly longer in the queue to get your veggies weighed because the stall owner is chatting to the person in front of you about how their artichokes turned out last week, but that is part of the joy of shopping at a market.

5) Give feedback! Especially to the market owner. It is very difficult to know what people think and feel unless they share it. Make it constructive and don’t rant but please give feedback. We love it!

6) Be tolerant of different people and different desires. We like the fact that many people feel like the market is an extension of their home but the downside of this is that if we try to move the couch around they may freak out. Market owners need to try different things, they have many different types of people to please and they need to reinvent themselves every now and then as every good business does. We get it wrong sometimes. Embrace change and give different things a chance. You can still give the feedback if you don’t like it.

7) We know you love your dog but that doesn’t mean everybody loves your dog. Markets have their own policies on whether or not they allow dogs. Please be considerate and keep your dog on a leash. Don’t let him mistake the fake grass for a great place to take a dump and if he’s a barker…well then rather leave him at home. We have even had dog lovers bringing their stinky dog beds along with them to lay out next to the table for the old boy to lie on!

8) Bring your own bags, cooler boxes and anything else that will make your shopping trip more pleasant. Make a point of asking traders not to put their products in a bag for you as you have brought your own. Thankfully markets are trolley free zones which saves your ankles from those bad drivers but it can make it harder to shop. A business idea for any keen entrepreneurs – bring back those basket trolleys that old ladies pull behind them along the high streets.

9) Don’t get stuck in a rut. We are always amazed when someone who has been coming to the market for years makes the discovery that the market sells butter/yoghurt etc. Expand your range, try new things; you never know what little gems you may be missing out on.

10) Have fun! Take your time, choose your food carefully, bring the kids, aunties and grannies with you and enjoy yourself. Our favourite people are the ones who can’t stop themselves, cabbage in hand, from doing a little bop down the isles to the music. Markets truly do combine the best of all worlds. Good food, great craft beers, weekly shopping, kids entertainment and community.

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St Patrick’s Day Market (Sat 14th and Wed 18th March)

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Join us on the 5th November for our annual Beerfest!

Earth Fair Market BeerfestWe are very proud of our craft beer selection and we would like to show it off! Please join us on Wednesday 5th November between 3 and 8:30pm for your share of our 14 beers on tap, bratwursts and other German specialities.

The Wednesday market hosts over 40 traders selling a range of fresh produce and delicious foods. The Little People’s Corner is championed by Angie and Hoosna who will make sure that the kids are entertained. See you there and PROST!

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The Big 3 at St. G! Thursday 27th Feb

It is difficult to put into words the special kind of magic that happens in the centre of our beautiful city on a daily basis. There is an energy and a magic that is tangible – I challenge you to take a walk through the Company Gardens and around the city centre to see if you can’t feel it… We, at Earth Fair Market are the luckiest bunch on earth to be able to call the little piece of paradise between Wale St and Church St our home every Thursday from 11am to 3pm.

St Georges hit the ground running 3 years ago and it has become such a firmly entrenched institution that we have been told that people arrange their diaries around it. There seems to be a common ‘no meetings’ policy around the time that the market is on every Thursday. It is very gratifying to stand and survey the joy on people’s faces as they reach the market and smell the aromas, greet their favourite traders, try new flavours or discover a new favourite cheese. We start getting desperate weekly Tuesday Tweets from people wishing it was Thursday already!

Our gratitude towards the City of Cape Town, the CCID and the St Georges Forum is huge. We have seen first-hand the levels of passion and professionalism that is behind the running of our beautiful city. From the CCID security and cleaners to the strategic minds who run the City – it is truly no accident that we are ‘World Class’. We are delighted to be a part of what makes the City memorable and special. We are also very grateful to Mandela Rhodes Place for welcoming us inside whenever it rains and for the use of amenities and support. Doppio Zero and the Taj thanks to you too!

Huge thanks of course to all the delightful traders that line the streets with their beautiful wares – come rain or shine or the dreaded howling gale… But most of all, thanks to all of you who welcomed us into your lives from day 1 and continue to give us so much fantastic support.

We will be celebrating this Thursday by adding a little bit of extra magic to the market. Please join us!

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Celebrating our 4th Birthday with a Medieval Market Saturday 17th Aug 2013

It has been 4 years of fun, soulful food and community (and some very hard work of course) and we are ready to celebrate our 4th Birthday.

Hear ye, Hear ye good people of Cape Town; We are going back to our roots with a Medieval Market.
Town criers, court jesters, bucking broncos, fair maidens, strapping lads and trader specials await travelers, gentry and commoners alike at Ye Olde Earth Fair in Tokai

Gather ye merry folk and scoundrels on Saturday 17th August between 9-2pm for a day of festivities soaking up the medieval times.
Onwards and upwards we go on our quest to fill the fairest Cape with good, wholesome, soulful food!

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