The Top 5 Green Winter Markets in Cape Town
This entry was posted on May 22, 2014.
As a Capetonian, one can easily feel overwhelmed with the amount of amazing places there are to visit in the Mother City. Where should you go this weekend? What interesting events are happening? Of course, you don’t want to miss out on anything, but if you are unable make a decision, simply staying at home becomes the comfortable (yet lame) option.
Now consider this - markets give you the best of everything in one location, and to make things better, they also frequently offer something new so you won’t get stuck seeing the same products, listening to the same music or eating the same food! In this blog we decided to highlight local markets that are pioneering environmentally sustainable practices, which gives you even more reason to leave the comforts of your home this winter.
1. Bay Harbour Market
The Bay Harbour Market is one of the first South African markets that aims to achieve zero waste. This may seem like a big challenge, considering that the market receives around 6,500 visitors each weekend.
In its partnership with Thrive Hout Bay, the market has employed a number of strategic recycling initiatives.
After reducing the number of black waste bins from 33 to 9 in the space of one month, their strategies are already showing success. The reduction was achieved through an effective dishwashing programme, provided to encourage vendors to use washable/reusable plates and cutlery, and a bokashi system. A bokashi recycling programme involves enclosing waste in a sealed bin sprinkled with bokashi, which activates a fermentation process that neutralizes odours and transforms food into high quality compost.
The Bay Harbour Market is the largest privately owned company in the Hout Bay area and currently employs 50 people locally (23 who have been previously disadvantaged). Employees are mentored so that they can spread environmental awareness around the community, and some workers have become empowered through this initiative to begin their own businesses. One community member launched an eco cleaning company while another started a recycling programme.
The vendors to look out for are:
- At SF (Sexy Food) the slogan is “don’t panic – it’s ORGANIC”. The stall offers delicious food such bunless veggie burger platters topped with avo, a variety of vegetables, and a pinch of brown sugar.
- ZA Coffee uses organic coffee beans to produce an excellent cup of coffee. When you ask for an Americano, you are offered the Africano – “It’s the same thing as an Americano, but we’re in Africa, so now it’s an Africano,” says the barista.
- Eco-Biz is an eco-friendly business supplier with clever products such as recycled wooden journals and solar jars, which produce hours of light when left in the sun during the day.
2. Neighbourgoods Market (Old Biscuit Mill)
The Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock is by far the most popular market in Cape Town.. There are a range of organic vegetable merchants and food stalls to visit. When visiting these stores, remember to enquire about the products to ensure that you are purchasing goods that are indeed locally produced or organic. The market also has a recycling program, which is run by Clearer Conscience.
The market is open on Saturday between 09:00 and 14:00, so make sure you get there early. The address is 373 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. The market is hard to miss, because there are always large crowds flocking to the beautiful Old Biscuit Mill building.
3. V&A Market On The Wharf
The Market On The Wharf has a prime location at the V&A Waterfront Harbour and strives toward organic, traditional, and sustainable practices.
In light of Cape Town’s diverse food offerings, the food market is planning a “Heritage of Food” campaign.
“I want to move towards the cultural heritage – the journey of food in SA and how it has led to the amazing culinary melting pot called SA cuisine,” said Waterfront Food Market manager, Karin Vermeulen. “We are aiming to communicate the heritage of food so people can understand why Africans eat what they do.”
The marketing campaign kicks off with new visual aspects – posters and signs that portray the story behind food. According to Karin, the goal is to eventually offer a historical food tour.
Although the market is far from being predominantly organic, they aim to attract sustainable vendors. Below are some of the market’s most sustainable and organic producers:
- Lavender Hill: certified organic production of soaps, tea, body butter, and biscuits.
- By Nature: organically certified nuts and seeds.
- Stokkiesdraai Biltong: hormone and preservative free biltong and droewors.
- Jean Pierre Fortain: imported vanilla from Madagascar and artisanally produced sugar cane.
- Oryx Salts: sustainably produced salt from South Africa's Kalahari Desert.
- Origin Coffee: delicious fairtrade coffee
The market runs from Monday to Sunday between 10:00 and 17:30 at The V&A Market on the Wharf, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront near Nobel Square. Be sure to visit this market on a rainy day as the Waterfront is always buzzing, even on gloomy days.
4. Earth Fair Market
The Earth Fair Market is held at various locations and times. The largest and most diverse market is the market which takes place on Saturdays.
There are a number of official organically certified vendors at the market; By Nature and Bees in Boots are certified organic regular traders and there are many other vendors that sell select organic products such as Laughing Crocodile’s organic wine and Manic Organic Pet Food.
Most Earth Fair stalls practice traditional, authentic, and sustainable methods, which is a result of the market operators’ emphasis on ethical food and local businesses. The market has a diverse offering from a range of nationalities including Belgian, Argentinean, French, and German, to name a few.
Since the vendors at this market vary in their sustainability practices, each stall has a board with a checklist next to each station to indicate whether pesticides were used in the products or whether it has been locally produced and so on - very convenient!
On Wednesdays the market is open in Tokai between 15:00 and 20:30. On Thursdays the market is held at St. Georges Mall between 11:00 and 15:00, and on Saturdays again in Tokai between 09:00 and 14:00. Directions to the markets are available on the Earth Fair market website.
5. Oranjezicht (OZCF)
Oranjezight City Farm is so much more than a community garden. Through urban farming and their non-traditional food market they promote community involvement and self-reliance through education and sustainable gardening.
OZCF is a non-profit project and aims to educate people on where and how food is produced and the benefits that come from living an eco-friendly lifestyle. The great thing about this farm is that it utilises land in a previous growing and harvesting region, which has gone unused for decades.
The market runs every Saturday between 09:00 and 14:00 in all weather conditions and offers guided self-harvests on Wednesdays between 16:00 and 18:00, weather permitting.
We hope that you feel inspired to visit a local market this week. Feel free to share your experience with us or information about other great environmentally friendly markets in the area. Stay up to date with green news by visiting our blog each week. Vendors, feel free to browse our site for products that will help make your store more eco friendly. Market organisers are also welcome to give our energy consultants a call to chat about lowering the carbon footprint of your market.