So, the phone alarm was set for 4:45am. An unearthly hour for some, but we were headed to the north of Pretoria to visit a very special venue and a particular favourite of mine. As anticipated, the phone did its thing and I got myself ready, warmly dressed as it was really chilly, and out the door within 30 minutes… with a thermal mug of rooibos tea clutched in my hand.
The Pretoria Boeremark (Farmer’s Market) is located around 50kms away from where I live and opens from 5:30am to 9.30am every Saturday, but if you don’t get there early, the best produce is gone. It’s a while since I last headed there and, in the intervening years, it’s changed to a much bigger and more organised venue, but is still based in Silverton, in the northeast of Pretoria.
We arrived bright and early at 6:00am and hired our special little pull along cart… well, not so little really as it requires a fair amount of space to accommodate the cart and handle while trailing it behind you. This is a non-negotiable in my eyes, as I always buy more than planned, who doesn’t, and it’s a long way to walk carrying all that stuff, especially if it’s heavy.
Even arriving as early as we did, a lot of the veg was almost sold out. It was still quite dark, fires were lit around the market… and the place was packed. These people from the Jacaranda City don’t hang about!
There’s something for everyone at this market, and it’s a farmer’s market in the true sense of the word. There’s everything in the farm-line from meat, chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants… to deli products and craft goods. Lots of wooden items, the usual braais, and braai stuff, as well as clothing, bedding, toys and even a little petting farm complete with pigs, rabbits, and several rather loud and pompously strutting roosters.
Since everyone is clearly up well before the crack of dawn, there’s a lot of homemade food available to satisfy grumbling tummies, along with piping hot coffee and hot chocolate. And for the really adventurous, since it was still quite cold, fresh fruit smoothies, which is what I chose along with some pancakes laced with decadent chocolate chips.
I have no idea what time the stallholders must set out, and for the farmers, that extra early start is probably after a day harvesting the produce they intend selling. However, it seems well worth their while… and ours… since the prices are great for both parties, the foodstuff is fresh and they accept cards!
It’s really wonderful to select what you want to buy and find that it’s so much more than you would generally get for the price, even taking into consideration the cost of fuel (which is a shared cost when there’s a few of you). Of course, the overheads are minimal and there’s no middleman in most cases. Nevertheless, it’s a foodies’ paradise and definitely a place to visit at least once.
Pretoria Farmer’s Market: 665 Moreleta St, Silverton, Pretoria, 0184 Tel: 012 804 8031