Curry and cheesecake, proteas and elephants tables

So where would you find curry and cheesecake, proteas and “elephant tables” in one location? No ideas? Okay here is a clue . . .

This row of pick-ups (known here as “bakkies”) remind you of anything? ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Still nothing? Okay another here is another clue . . .

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

If by now you’re thinking of farming, you would be getting warm. Yes, it is a farmers’ market! More specifically, the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market on the outskirts of George in the Southern Cape. The idea of the market is to provide high quality, locally sourced and grown goods and produce to both locals and visitors to the area.

Opened to the public since November 2011 . . .

The Outeniqua Farmers’ Market is built on a disused plantation, which was cleaned up to make way for the market. During the clean up process, over seven thousand indigenous plants were recovered from the site. These plants will be replanted or sold in an indigenous nursery. To date, over a thousand trees have been replanted around the area.

A local architect was commissioned to design the market, with a brief to ensure that it fits in with the context and surroundings. They also conducted an environmental impact assessment to ensure that the development would have minimal impact on the natural area.

The market not only takes care of the local environment. It also helps to promote the economic sustainability of the area, since every stall creates three jobs for the local community.

from: The Outeniqua Farmers’ Market website

The permanent “sheds” or stalls, not only house farm produce, but a wide variety of other foods and goods.

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

We went to visit the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market recently on a beautiful sunny winter’s day. It has a really good vibe, with a lot of the locals making their way there during the course of Saturday morning. Everybody seems relaxed and the stall owners have time to chat with their customers. So different from shopping at the local mall! It is a good place for families to spend some time together.

Spot the little person in the photograph – one of the youngest visitors to the market that day. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The young children we saw there loved it.  They have not only built a children’s playground at one side, but there are also a couple of rides the kids can go on.

The playground with the beautiful Outeniqua mountains in the background. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A more traditional farm ride! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The market even welcomes dogs, and we saw several people who had brought their dogs along for the outing. Just like the people, the dogs looked like they were having a good time.

Two dogs have a chance to make a new friend. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The Outeniqua Farmers’ Market was also designed to be eco-friendly – not only in terms of its construction, but in how it is managed.

Recycling at source. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

There are lots of picnic-style tables for people who need a break and something to eat and drink. One of the first stops we made for refreshments, was at the Mezzo Mezzo coffee bar which serves a variety of  excellent coffees and other hot drinks.

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Although there are many different food options (including Greek, Thai, Indian, Lebanese, Israeli cuisines) at the market, Willie naturally made a beeline towards the Indian Curry! Meenachee’s Curry Corner sells Indian Spices, Curries and Samosas. This is only a small sample of what is available at Meenachees Restaurant in George, which offers both North and South Indian cuisine.

Meenachee’s Curry Corner ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Spices for sale. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Indian Curry dishes for the hungry. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

This is what Willie ordered. Even though this is a picnic style lunch, attention has been paid to the presentation. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Lauren’s Deli & Eatery in George, have a stall at the market to sell their gourmet cakes. You can buy them by the slice.

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Taking the lead from Reggie at Grains of Sand who always seems to end a hike or outing with coffee and a slice of cake, I chose this New York-style Cheesecake. As a “cheesecake connoisseur” I can tell you that this baked cheesecake is very good. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Rosenheim German Delicatessen. Rosenheim has a Deli and Bistro in Mossel Bay. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Bokkems at the local “fishmonger’s” stall. [From Wikipedia: Bokkoms (or Bokkems) is whole, salted and dried mullet (more specifically the Southern mullet, Liza richardsonii, a type of fish commonly known in the Western Cape of South Africa as “harders”),and is a well-known delicacy from the West Coast region of South Africa. This salted fish is dried in the sun and wind and is eaten raw after pealing off the skin. In some cases it is also smoked. It is sometimes referred to as “fish biltong”.] ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

South Cape Flowers and The Cheeseman – two local businesses. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A variety of Proteas. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

And if you don’t like cut flowers there is always the on-site nursery where you can buy plants.

The plant nursery. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A “tree-garden” – another eco-friendly touch with plants in the nooks and crannies of an old tree stump. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Entertainment on the morning that we were there consisted of country music (!), and these young dancers.

©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

After wondering past all the produce and food-related stalls, one comes to the craft section of the market. Below is a small selection of what we saw.

The George Woodworkers Club has a stall to market its members’ work. Woodworking and furniture making has a long tradition in the Southern Cape, as there is a lot of indigenous forest in this area.  ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Frames without paintings . . . ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

. . . and paintings without frames. Looks like you get to pick your own combination. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Some beautiful quilts. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One of the local artists that has a stall at the market. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Steff, a French metal craftsman now living in the area, poses next to his “elephant tables”. The top one has been modified by a local elephant! ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One of Steff’s (a former chef, now metal craftsman) designs are these “elephant tables” which are based on the tables in the circus acts he remembers from childhood. Putting one to the test at the Knysna Elephant Park, showed that they weren’t quite elephant-strength though, and needed to be redesigned! You can read the full story from The Edge (Sedgefield’s community newspaper) here. You can check out Steff’s other metalwork designs at his website Orange Blue.

©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Some amazing metal sculptures displayed by a Zimbabwean artist. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

We had a really fun morning at the market. So what did I buy there? This  . . .

A little metal bush-pig from the Zimbabwean artist’s stall. After admiring a bigger version in a neigbourhood garden I just knew I couldn’t go home without it! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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14 Comments on “Curry and cheesecake, proteas and elephants tables”

  1. September 6, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    I love, love, love these kinds of rustic markets, Lisa. What entertaining photos and beautiful items for sale – such a temptation to go and explore. Thank you for telling us all about it!

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      I’m not really a “shopper” but the atmosphere there was so nice, that it’s an interesting place just to hang-out. There’s definitely too much to see (and eat!) in just one visit.

  2. GeoRoMancer
    September 6, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Mmmmm, tempting! Looks like another point on the agenda for my next Roots Tour!

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      Yes, it will have to be. The samosas at the Curry Corner were freshly made and “to die for”! 🙂

  3. September 6, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Looks a lot like the Bryanston Organic Market in Joburg. I love farmers’ markets!

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      As far as I could tell the produce wasn’t organic, but it looked really good. Often those quality of fruit are kept for the export market. I didn’t realise how interesting a farmers’ market could be.

      • September 7, 2012 at 8:44 am #

        I doubt the produce at the Bryanston Organic Market is all organic either. That’s just the name of the market. I kind of think the whole “organic” thing is a load of crap anyway. Buying local, organic or not, is the way to go in my opinion.

  4. September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    This post was wonderful! I caught the word elephant (I do have a ‘thing’ about them!) and was intrigued to find out how you were going to include these animals in a story on a market! Ha! You had me foxed!
    Seriously though, all the stalls looked so lovely and the blue drum cars awesome! Thanks for an entertaining and colourful read 🙂

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      It was Willie’s suggestion that I use the “elephant tables” in the title, to get people interested in reading the post. Seems to have worked!

  5. September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I love markets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wish we had some here in BA …

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      Huh, you don’t have these kind of markets in BA? Do you have craft markets there?

      • September 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

        We have craft markets, there is a Chinese market, but none of them in a location like the one you showed, that`s what I really meant. You have to go outside the city.

  6. September 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    This is a bit different from my local farmer’s market. Ours is great but it gets very crowded and hot. It looks like a very big market you have there with lots to do – a whole family outing. I love that you can also get local crafts and food/drink.
    But the spices would be my favorite thing. To be able to buy fresh spices at just the amount you need would be wonderful!

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:48 am #

      It did get busy at the Farmers’ Market later in the morning, but as there plenty of space you can get away from the crowd. I like that they kept some of the big trees – definitely makes it cooler.

      We also cook with a lot of spices, so it is good to be able to have a supplier of fresh spices. We can’t always find them in the local stores.

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