hidden delights at the farmer's market
Tucked away behind the Talisman is something you can't miss out on if you appreciate fresh vegetables without all the nasties. If I were an organic purple carrot, the Farmer's Market is where I'd be seen strutting my stuff.
Each Saturday, farmers from as far away as Naivasha start the day well before dawn, packing boxes of freshly harvested veggies into their pick ups and making their way towards Nairobi. By 10am, they're set up and are ready for customers, so get there early if you want the pick of the bunch.
My first discovery was purple heritage carrots. These are veggies of great beauty, with variations on the depth of purple, sometimes streaked with bright orange. There weren't a great many of the purple chaps, and they sat amongst a pile of white carrots, next to their bright orange cousins. The purple originates from a very old type of carrot and is apparently indicative of anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that are found in other superfoods like blueberries (which can be bought here by those who've won the lottery).
These blue and purple pigments can apparently improve memory, enhance vision and help with a host of other human ailments.
With my haul of carrots, I needed a kikapu (woven basket) to carry them in. Helpfully, one of the stalls had just these for sale. Now I felt like I needed to fill it. So in went the oranges for my marmalade, some spinach for soup, potatoes for roast kuku supper, and an essential supply of garlic for aioli.
What's in the bottles, I wondered? The farmer waved at the shrubbery behind him and said 'you look at this, and you see weeds... but we look at it, and we see medicine'. The red liquid in these bottles is vegetable juice, a medicinal drink made from infusion various plants found in the forests. He added 'it's what we ate before you colonials came along'. Right. Well. I suppose I should try it, shouldn't I?
Organic Farmer's Market
Talisman - 320 Ngong Road
Every Saturday: 10am - 3pm