Wandering through the Garden Route Farmers MarketsJune 11, 2020
Loads of freshly baked, artisanal breads. Bountiful array of handcrafted cheeses. Crates of brightly coloured, organic fruit and veggies. Handmade delights, sticky jams and jars of olives. The smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sizzling sounds of hearty breakfasts being prepared… Are you drooling yet? We thought so. There’s nothing quite like a visit to a good old-fashioned, authentic farmer’s market to get your day or weekend started, and when it’s located in one of our all-time favourite places in the country, it’s a double winner. Without further ado, we present to you your guide to the thriving markets along the widly acclaimed Garden Route.
Harkerville Saturday Market
This time-honoured farmer’s market can be found in the Garden route along the N2 between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, and is best described as a flea-market-meets-craft-market-meets-farmer’s-market. You’ll find everything from books and flowers, to scrumptious homemade pies, fresh baked breads, and a range of other amazing produces. Set under the shade of oak trees and with an ideal market mix, it’s the perfect way to kick things off on a lazy Saturday.
Milkwood Evening Market
Located in the well-known Milkwood Village in the Wilderness, the Milkwood evening Market takes place every Friday evening, and has become a beloved establishment in the area. Not only will you find the usual market arts, crafts and food stuffs, but there is also live music, so the atmosphere is a very festive one. Browse the stalls before enjoying an authentic South African braai and a little dance – the best way to ease into the weekend for sure.
Outeniqua Farmer’s Market
With over 100 food and craft stalls which include farm-fresh produce, handmade goodies and specialty foods, the Outeniqua Farmer’s Market is definitely worth a visit. Open all year round come rain or shine (being undercover certainly helps!), it’s a great place to pick up your fruit and veg for the week, along with perhaps some biltong and dairy products too. There’s an amazing variety of entertainment for the whole family and it’s dog-friendly too, so bring your pups along.
Knysna Friday Farmer’s Market
Just off Welbedacht Road in Narnia Village, you’ll find the Knysna Friday Market. It offers the holy trinity: food, drink and live music and, is the perfect opportunity for you to mingle with the locals and get a taste of the laid-back Knysna life, because it sure is sweet.
Die Ou Tronk
Translating in English to “The Old Jail” and also referred to as the “Mouse House” (for reasons we choose not to think about…), this unusual spot in Riversdale (Murant Street) boasts an inner courtyard with shady avocado, paw-paw and orange trees that provide cool shade for the wooden tables and benches. There’s something incredibly novel about the idea of shops in a jail and, it’s fun to float from one to the next, checking out the antiques and bric-a-brak. You’ll find it almost impossible not to leave with something, trust us. There’s also a coffee shop (serving some mouth-watering carrot cake), museum and nursery there, but the best, is the Saturday morning farmer’s market. Come and tuck in to a delicious brekkie before picking up a few odds and ends from the market.
Plett Market on Main
Open seven days a week, this market has become a popular feature along Plett’s Main Road. The traders’ stalls sell a selection of goods, from African arts and crafts, to hats, jewellery, leather products and so much more. Get in a bit of shopping before feasting at one of the food stalls or grabbing a cuppa. There’s always an excellent vibe here and, on Wednesdays and Fridays, there’s live music to enjoy: shopping, food and a little boogie – what more could you ask for?
Old Nick Midweek Market
Nothing like a little midweek market fix! Established back in 2012, the Old Nick Midweek Market was started “for locals, by locals”. With a focus on promoting healthy eating and living a “greener” life, you’ll find the freshest produce and yummiest food stuffs here every Wednesday. Everything is natural, made with love and, is the perfect solution to that mid-week-out-of-groceries problem. You’ll find Old Nick opposite the Keurbooms Lagoon Caravan Park and it also welcomes your four-legged friends (as long as they’re on a leash).
Mossel Bay Family Market
Yup, even Mossel Bay has a market and it’s a good one too. Welcome to the Mossel Bay Family Market, just off the N2, where you’ll find everything from fresh eggs and pure honey, to herbal products, hand-made jewellery, organic natural soaps, crocheted items, jams, juices and breads. The atmosphere is a lively one and since it’s geared towards families, there’s something for everyone.
Wild Oats Community Farmer’s Market
Possibly the most well-known market in the area, the amazing and award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmer’s Market is all about just that: “community”. Bringing locals together, under the trees, to buy and sell the finest local farm produce is what propelled this Sedgefield institution, established back in 1999. The idea behind it, as stated on the website, is “to encourage the art of free-range “locavore” shopping in the fresh outdoors” – and this is exactly the kind of environment that has been created (for those who don’t know, a locavore is “a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food”).It’s a real vibrant social scene, but without the slightest pretension, and the products are some of the best around. Apart from the insane selection of cheeses, olives, preserves, meats, home-bakes, juices and much more, some seriously mean breakfasts are also served and enjoyed at one of the tables and stools fashioned from tree stumps.
Under the Oaks Farmers Market
Although not strictly on the Garden Route, the Under the Oaks Market in Swellendam is certainly en route. This small country, craft and food market takes place on a Saturday in Church Square and as the name suggests, is set under some lovely big oak trees. Take a slow walk through the market before grabbing a bite to eat (we highly recommend the waffles!). You can even pick up a few locally made toys for the kids.
And we can’t forget George’s annual Christmas market – EkLiefKrismis Market
Fast becoming a much anticipated annualevent, this fantastic Christmas market is the ideal place to pick up gifts for the special people in your life. In between choosing presents, you can tuck into some delicious food from one of the stalls and even take home a few treats for later. Live music will be your shopping soundtrack and since there’s a playground to keep the kids occupied, your experience is sure to be an enjoyable one. Entrance is free and credit card facilities are available. Who doesn’t love a Christmas market adventure?
These are some great markets but, if you cannot wait to enjoy great farmers produce and handcrafted products, take time to stroll through the Growzit online farmers market. Here you will find many of the wonderful products from the same vendors, and you can order and have them delivered to your door.
Growing Local with Growzit
Growzit is South Africa’s online farmers market, a place where local producers and service providers can connect with local shoppers. A place where communities support each other for the common good.
Please take a few minutes enjoying browsing your local stalls.