An ideal weekend market

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By Betsy Gazo

Kaleidoscope

Thursday, July 3, 2014


A LOT of people have the Saturday habit of going marketing at the Negros Farmers Weekend Market, that bamboo-enclosed former parking lot along Magsaysay Street across the D.C. Cruz office.

A project of the D.C. Cruz company, the market has attracted housewives, health nuts, families and finicky gourmets who want a clean, convenient, and hassle-free way of buying wet market goods.

Organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are displayed side by side with potted herbs, health supplements, pottery and basketry items, and even beauty products.

Within the hectare-wide area is the restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch and merienda.

While homemakers have a big enough range of fresh produce to choose from, health nuts are assured of truth in labeling so “organic” really means organically grown farm products.

The conventionally farmed area is, understandably, a magnet for those who do not mind going non-organic. Families have a reason to sit down and have a meal together to renew ties over salad greens, paella, rellenong bangus, dinuguan, and adobo. Or maybe explore the Pick and Pay Area and bond over the okras, eggplants, string beans and kamote tops.

Just like any other wet market, one gets to form one’s own alliance of suki and I’m no exception. One booth sells native chicken eggs at P108 per dozen. The same booth sells aged tuba vinegar that was stored in bottles buried in the ground for about six months. At a taste test at home, the P20 per lipid won over the P50 branded tuba vinegar I got in a mall’s grocery store.

The green thumb might want to grow his own herbs such as basil, pau d’arco, balbas pusa, pandan, butterfly plant, lagundi, Korean ginseng, tarragon, stevia, tarragon and peppermint. The black thumbs might opt to buy herbs in teabags instead.

Philip Cruz displays his Daily Apple brand of herbal teas i.e., cat’s whiskers, banaba, lemongrass, guyabano, peppermint, moringa, and roselle. And sells in the booth next door healthy drinks such as roselle, moringa, lemongrass and turmeric all served chilled.

One concessionaire sells barley and wheatgrass plants and also soy products, kesong puti, alfalfa sprouts and even herbal soaps.

One suki who always gives me a hearty breakfast is the OISCA where I buy my ramen, money cake, squash cake, and the cabbage pancake okonomiyaki. Down all of these with Herv’s sugarcane juice just a couple of booths away. The canes are freshly squeezed before your eyes.

For over a year now, the weekend market opens every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. If once a week isn’t enough, those who prefer marketing on a Sunday will be pleased to know that the Negros Farmers Weekend Market opens on Sundays as well, starting last June 29.

When we buy local produce, we support our local farmers and assure them that they can earn a decent living, and the consumers, in turn, are assured of food security.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 03, 2014.

Lifestyle

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