This market oozes with stereotypical country charm. It’s almost mandatory to pack up the family and dog, take a sturdy basket and arrive early. Treat yourself with a breakfast and from your vantage point on a hay bale, decide your method of attack. Peruse stalls at a leisurely pace as hands-on producers passionately talk you through their wares from traditional English sausages to decadent baked goods, handcrafted organic cheeses, breads and rustic French staples like terrines and rillettes. You’ll also find Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialities from baklava to falafel. If you’re shopping with a conscience you can buy organic veg or a pre-installed, irrigated system to grow your own organic vegetables.
The Shongweni Farmers Market was started back in 1998. Initially just 12 stalls selling food and fresh produce, it was located on a field belonging to the Shongweni Polo Club which is in the far outer west region of Durban. From humble beginnings the market grew rapidly, attracting stall holders and customers from far and wide initially starting with 12 stalls and now has more than 150 of which over 80 are food and fresh produce related. Shongweni is probably the only market where dogs are welcome. Indeed, the more indulgent among us think of it as a chance for our best friend to engage in some social climbing, not to mention the biltong sampling when the opportunity arises. The market is open every Saturday from 6.30am to 10.30am.
Our aim is for people to realise the importance of purchasing locally produced, every day, items such as bread, milk, cheese, vegetables, fish and meat… as well as more luxury items such as homemade cakes and pies. Knowing where your food is made, grown, reared or produced will ensure quality & peace of mind. It can actually be a less expensive option as Farmers’ Markets cut out the middle man, not forgetting it is also a more environmentally friendly way to shop!
If one had to sum up what it is about the Shongweni Market that draws people week after week, you could say it’s the ambiance, the fact that you can buy there most of what you need often directly from the maker, the safe environment, the professional management, and above all, the feeling of a real community. It’s a rare combination, which undeniably makes this the most authentic market around.
(taken from the Shongweni Farmers Market Website)