Real growth for market

Visitors browse the organic fruit and vegetables on offer.

Two months on, and the Thrive Hout Bay Farmers Market is living up to its name.

The NPO launched the market in October with the aim of encouraging consumers to buy local fruit and vegetables in order to reduce the environmental impact of mass production.

Since that time, no fewer than eight community gardens around Hout Bay have come on board to sell their produce through the Saturday market.

“We can no longer deny the effects of global warming,” said Thrive Hout Bay’s Bronwen Lankers-Byrne.

“We need to recognise that where our food is grown plays a part in that. Transporting food puts harmful emissions into the atmosphere, so we are encouraging people to buy local produce as much as possible.”

Colleague Chantal de Kock added the heavy machinery used in food production would also have a negative impact on the environment.

“People are responding to the market. We had a little bit of a lull about a month ago but it’s picking up as we head into summer,” she said.

Last Saturday, December 3, was the first time Thrive opened the market at 9am.

“We had some feedback from people that they had a lot to do on a Saturday morning, so we wanted to cater to them. Also it is a lot cooler in the morning, so we decided to open the market an hour earlier.”

Ms De Kock said while there were now eight farms involved, additional foods and products were being brought in from the Harvest of Hope market to offer visitors more choice.

“It is still early days, but at some point we will be looking at running an all-day market, so we are appealing to as many local farmers as possible to contact Thrive so we can sell their produce on their behalf.” She said the eight community gardens were well aware of the City’s Level 3 water restrictions, but had applied for alleviation during the dry period. “We are also working on innovative underground irrigation systems to cut down on water use during the restrictions.”