Affordable organic fare, straight off the farm, every Sunday

March 20, 2013 0 Comments

16th Mar 2013

For Bagh market wears a deserted look on Sundays —almost, but for the buzz within a small dilapidated building. Step inside, and you will discover the Organic Farmer’s Sunday Market. What started as a weekly organic food haat in Lodhi restaurant has now grown into a full-fledged market being held every Sunday since last month. Founder Vic Gaffney explained the rationale behind the initiative. “Most consumers labour under the myth that organic food is expensive. Here, they can directly deal with the farmers. By cutting out the mandi mafia, consumers can buy the produce cheap while farmers are also able to sell at a healthy margin. The farmers are given the space here for free, while retailers pay a small fee”, he said.

From brands like Altitude, Sewara, Tijara, Organic Maati to and Blue Tokai coffee, there was enough variety to keep visitors engaged. An organic food café that served everything from tarts, burgers, sandwiches, quiches to soup, coffee, tea and snacks was proving to be a big hit. “I love the idea. There are so many farmers to choose from and the prices are much better than at a shop. I also like the fact that I get to try out the produce before I buy it”, Linda Araujo, a dietician from the US, told Guardian20. The sizeable expat presence could perhaps be explained by the plethora of gourmet items that are hard to find at regular stores. For example, items like Vacherin or Emmental cheese, rosemary sugar, and porcini salt or basil oil are difficult to find. Even fewer places will allow customers to sample a bite before buying it.

Sneh Yadav, who runs Tijara farms in Rajasthan, explained how she as a farmer, benefits from the venture. “For example, I am selling peas at Rs 40 per kg, the same price at which you will get your regular peas. If I had to sell it to a middleman, I wouldn’t have got more than Rs 35 per kg, while the price would have increased to at least Rs 50 per kg by the time it reached consumers in cities”, she said. Another customer, Ritu Mathur, had come all the way from Gurgaon for the week’s shopping. “We should have something like this in Gurgaon as well”, she said hopefully.

The run down, exposed brick walls and rickety stair case added a quaint, rustic air to the place. Gaffney explained that this is just the start. “We came upon this venue when we hosted a pop-up here as part of the KONA festival. We plan to make this a regular feature and also expand to other places hopefully”, Gaffney revealed.