A while back I’d read about the Porter Estate Produce Market on the Mother City Living blog (which is a really cool site, by the way). Always keen to explore markets and fairs where organically grown and locally made things are on sale, I persuaded hubby to drive out to Tokai this morning.
The market is held in the grounds of the Chrysalis Academy (behind the Steenberg Golf Estate) every Saturday from 9h00 to 13h00 – weather permitting. All the stalls are outdoors, so I guess the market is cancelled if it rains. Click here for a map. Oh, and follow the pink pigs!
You can grab breakfast and all manner of snacks to sustain you while you browse. The farmstyle brekkie captured my attention – scrambled eggs with bacon (or smoked salmon; or tomato and spinach, etc.) – and I hope we’ll have that next time. But as we had already breakfasted, we chose pancakes instead; they were a little limp for my liking, as I would have preferred them just a tad crisper, but they were still good.
One stand was offering organically grown fruit and veggies straight from the farm (or so I like to think), and the one next to it was making freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices.
All this natural goodness was nicely counterbalanced by its immediate neighbour ‘Cafe Espresso’, where you can stock up on the strong black stuff that makes your heart palpitate. If you preferred tea (Ceylon or Rooibos) and good and proper Moerkoffie (instant coffee granules) served in an enamel mug, you could have that too.
One stand at the lower end was selling handmade clothes and shoes.
The ‘Original Candy Company’ displayed all kinds of sweets that looked so full of colours and sugars that I’m sure my teeth would fall out if I just looked at them.
We passed stands selling colourful hand-printed tablecloths, beautiful photographs and unusual paintings.
We also saw people selling children’s toys, honeys, jams, vinegars and oils, neatly packaged sausages for braaiing, and some delectable looking cakes and cookies and such-like. Some stalls were selling cheeses and all kinds of stuff made from aloes, as well as handmade chocolates. One stand had a display of lovely handmade pottery.
We came to a stand selling baskets of all sizes made by the blind, and stood for a while, watching a young blind woman deftly weaving away at a basket. How she knows what it will look like, that it is symmetrical, and that the handles are at the same height and in the right position is a mystery to me. I’m sure her fingers must have been quite sore.
We had intended to buy some freshly baked artisan bread from the famous Knead bakery, but they hadn’t arrived yet. So we bought a big round rye-loaf from the Crocodeli bakery instead. (It only lasted two days…).
There are enough activities to keep the littl’uns playing happily – face-painting, being led around the market on a big horse (the really small kids always look so cute, perched high up on some big steed!), creating works of art out of coloured sand, and a big undercover sandpit with colourful toys to play with (and squabble over).
P.S. The R5.00 you pay on entry into the grounds is a donation to the Chrysalis Academy, whose students help with the parking etc. In case you have never heard of the Chrysalis Academy, they offer a 5-year voluntary and free program to “develop and build ‘youth at risk’ into strong, positive community leaders”. They work with unemployed youth (originally only young men between the ages of 16 and 22, although they now include young women, as well as young offenders and those with limited education standards), who come mainly from disadvantaged communities.