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Outeniqua Farmers Market – a feast to the senses

Outeniqua Farmers market visitors - Copy

It’s 9am on a 33°C hot Saturday morning in beautiful Eden, a district in the Cape Province on the southern tip of Africa. A bank of mist rolling in from the ocean slowly disappears as it meets the growing heat from the land.  Eden is called such because everything is green and lush – a welcome natural consequence of the relationship between the ocean and the Outeniqua mountains … and a stark difference to the intense draught in all the surrounding areas.

Outeniqua Farmes Market view

Photo credit: Outeniqua Farmers Market

As I’m waiting for my friend Diane at the entrance to the Outeniqua Farmer’s market, I catch myself staring at several colourful tjirping birds, dipping and playing in the blue sky above.  An inviting Africanised version of ‘Take me home country road’ beckons visitors into the stall-lined market area. The smell of fresh coffee, baked treats, pancakes and barbecued sausages reminds my tummy that I’m ready for breakfast.

Diane arrives and we venture into the market. Each stall is filled with colour and textures and smells … the expertly carved grey stone figures sold by a man from Zimbabwe, woven bags from India and Thailand with little mirrors reflecting the blue sky, the long-haired Iranian man sitting on a deep red Middle-Eastern couch in his stall filled with intricately woven, slightly rough to the touch, rugs and cushions from Pakistan, the Indian lady presenting her freshly made Samoosas.  The local farmer who welcomes you into his stall with a big, friendly smile, pointing to the soft and deliciouslooking peaches they picked that morning, soil-clad fresh beetroot, almost glowing orange carrots, shiny small red tomatoes … truly a feast to the senses!

Outeniqua Farmers Market Stalls

Photo credit: Outeniqua Farmers Market

As my eyes wander through the crowd, looking at all the locals who come out for their weekly fresh produce shop, I notice a gorgeous Siamese cat on a leash. Being a cat lover, I walk over and start talking to his owner.  Not only does she have one cat on a leash, but another lounging in their pram next to her, wearing cat sunglasses with little diamond-like studs in the shape of paws on the rim. She’s a regular at the market and the cats have … well … fans who stop by to give their weekly cuddle to these feline royalties.

Outeniqua Farmers Market

While I’m taking in this cat scenario, I notice a tired fluffy Labrador patiently waiting for his owners to move to the next stall. The look on his face says, ‘Why did they bring me out on a hot day like this?’  Poor creature!

Diane and I find a vacant wooden table behind the food stalls to sit down with a very welcoming freshly brewed cup of coffee. We discuss all the delicious options we have for breakfast.  She shows me the red Jalapeno chilli jam she bought for her mom, with her eyes still teary from the sample she had at the chilli stall.  The Outeniqua Farmer’s market is filled with so many surprises and is definitely well worth a visit!

Outeniqua Farmers Market cat

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