Food

Stroll through a Sunday market

A stall at Woodside Farmers Market

A stall at Woodside Farmers Market  

Cheeses, honey, vegetables and more… Woodside Farmers Market is back on September 18

Mohan and Moushmi Daniel live in Chennai, but their Kodai roots pull them yonder ever so often. The trees, the landscape and the fresh produce from the hills inspire them. The couple started the Woodside Farmers Market to allow others to experience that joy.

This Sunday, the fourth edition of the Market will be held at Union Christian School Grounds, Nowroji Road, Chetpet. It will feature 20 stalls and produce as varied as vegetables and fruits to pulses and honey. Stalls will also sell organic cow’s milk, artisan cheeses, and food created fresh in small batches. This time, among the things to look forward to, are products made from palm sugar and a stall that teaches you to set up an organic terrace garden.

The Market started off in March 2016, drawing in nearly 2,000 people, and Mohan hopes to hold one every two months. There’s demand for more, but he says it is not financially feasible to increase the frequency. The first two editions were held on Harrington Road, but the venue shifted because it could not accommodate the crowd.

“The market is an avenue for people involved in natural and organic produce to meet each other and further business. It helps that people benefit in the process. So many who take stalls say that people continue staying in touch with them for their needs.”

Millets are a big draw at the market, and it’s a treat to sample idlis and pongal made of millets, served with a fiery tomato thokku, and also buy the ready-mix. The women manning the stalls helpfully dole out recipes. The last time around, they had a tangy nannari sharbat and another with sabja seeds, just right to indulge in after a morning of shopping.

The market also has a section for vegetables — the spinach crackles with freshness, the ladies finger has a fine layer of down, and the coriander scents the car on your ride back home. The best part? Everything is seasonal.

Mohan says that when people visit a local farmers market, they also end up supporting people who get a better return for their produce. And, it’s always nice to know the people responsible for growing the food on your table.

This time around, they also have games such as horseshoe throwing and rope a bull.

If you still need convincing, think of this. How often do you get a chance to head to a Sunday market teeming with all-natural produce, held under the gentle shade of trees?

The market will be held on September 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry is free, and the first 100 people who walk in are gifted colourful tote bags. For details, mail woodsidefarmersmarket@gmail.com or call 72999 74841.

The market is supported by VIP Global Realty. The charity partners for the event are Mellow Circle’s Prathyasha Home of Hope for HIV AIDS Children and Y’s Men Club of the East’s Free Meals on Wheels for Destitutes. Children from the Home will man a stall featuring framed zentangles created by them. You can sponsor a meal for destitutes for Rs. 30 at the market.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 9:09:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-food/Stroll-through-a-Sunday-market/article14435882.ece

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