Johannesburg is one of those cities which is forever on the move. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another venue or event pops up which beckons to be explored. The Fourways Farmer's Market is one of these must-visit venues.
Fourways Farmer’s Market on the corner of William Nicol Drive and Monte Casino Boulevard is one of those venues. Every Sunday between 10am and 3.30pm, vendors - 107 to be exact - and visitors alike descend on the market which is housed within the surrounds of the Earth Outdoor Living Nursery. The result? A veritable melting pot of organically orientated food, people, crafts and live music in the heart of Fourways. And dogs. Dogs are also welcome.
Access to the market can be gained via the nursery’s main entrance where there is a limited amount of parking. A short walk under the nursery’s established pine trees introduces visitors to the market which is characterised by ‘pockets’ including a dedicated play-area for kids and delightful seating areas scattered throughout in barn-like buildings, on the lawns in front of a small stage and around a beautiful May-pole.
In true rustic style, many of the ‘seats’ are made from brazil nut bags, logs and hay bales. The ‘business end’ of the market is concentrated towards a corner of the nursery. Here, rows upon rows of stalls set up shop every Sunday to sell their wares. And what wares.
Dreyman’s Brewery & Distillery sold Berghof, Jolly Monk, Honey Beer, an India Pale Ale named ‘Emperor’ and Weiss beer, amongst other beverages. Dreyman’s must be doing something right as there was a queue in front of its stall for the duration of the market. Next door, Windermere’s cider bar offered cider cocktails including Bubble-me-Berry, a delicious Ginger Fizz and Strawberry Fiddle.
Oysters were on sale as were delicious, sticky ribs covered with BBQ sauce and parmesan cheese, flapjacks, freshly squeezed juices, all manner of whole and glazed nuts and dog treats including chicken chews, savoury pops, ‘dogaroons’ and bacon bites. And that was just near the stage area. Further along, Balkan Burgers was doing brisk business as was ‘Sumting Fresh’ which had patrons lining up for their special fried chicken, chips and salad combo baskets.
Many of the friendly vendors are passionate about their products. For instance, The Pink Chef’s Dylan Millar likes nothing more than to whip up a batch of decadent cupcakes, examples of which were on display at the market. Flavours flying off his table included peanut bomb, Oreo, caramel, vanilla and hazelnut-coffee. Millar also caters to events across the board.
Jozi’s Nut Butters is another example of passion in practice. Jozi Nut Butters is an offshoot of Oasis South Africa which is passionate about community upliftment projects. The nut butters are created by hand by unemployed women who would otherwise struggle to find work. In addition to being paid a stipend for their work, the women can also access a bursary for university studies. All funds received from the sale of the deliciously creamy and all natural nut butters go directly to the women who make it.
Other incredibly delicious goodies on sale included decadent, freshly made waffles smothered with ice-cream; artisanal ice cream of every hue, donuts sprinkled with chocolate, mint and coconut; buffalo wings; fresh artisanal bread; cured and smoked meats; honey based products; bubble teas; ‘luxury’ milkshakes; assorted pies; duck burgers; cheeses; sauces; pates; gourmet fudge; free-range eggs…the list goes on.
International cuisine also had a presence. If dim sum, fresh Italian pestos, German flammkuchen, Dutch kroketten, Indian, Mexican and American Diner food (think corn dogs, pulled pork and Philly cheese steak) appeal to you, the market will be right up your alley. In keeping with the surrounds, visitors can also buy plants and flowers at ‘The Little Nursery’ and purchase a number of craft items including handmade jewellery.
During the course of the day visitors can pull up a log, enjoy a picnic on the straw strewn grounds and listen to some remarkably good, live acts while their dogs and children play and get covered in dust. It’s a far cry from the clinical malls most are used to frequenting over weekends and it’s quite obvious that Johannesburg needed a venue of this kind. What’s more is that it’s great to see new life being breathed back into what was once just a quiet corner of Fourways. Long may it last.