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  • Tina Nandi

Farmers Market Fun!

I’m still kind of in disbelief. I learnt today that there is this gorgeous park in the middle of Bombay that I had no idea about. And this park… Maharashtra Nature Park, is not what usually (unfortunately) comes to mind when you think of parks in India (ie. no place to avert your eyes from the couples smooching, litter everywhere…) it’s like a small clearing in a jungle, immune from the sounds and pollution of the streets of Dharavi, grass that you can actually sit on, and butterflies everywhere. It’s surreal. Unbelievable for Bombay. Where has this park been all my life?!?

Today was the first of this season’s Organic Farmer’s Market which will run every Sunday (except for a few long weekends) until March. I can’t remember how exactly I found out about this apparently well-kept secret market but gosh, am I glad I did!

I used to be of the opinion that “organic” is a snobby, snooty-falooty, concept for people who don’t live on a strict budget but as I have been learning about food and also thanks to Robert’s cousin and her family who run a farm in Wisconsin, I’ve learnt that “organic” should be the way everyone eats. Good, healthy, uncontaminated food should be a right for all people. And also, farmers deserve immense respect and support. Somehow, we have come to expect fresh produce to be cheap and plenty but that usually comes at a high cost to the land, fauna, farmers, and ultimately our health.

The pesticides and herbicides used in conventional farming is highly toxic and pollutes the land and water. Non-organic produce may also be using genetically modified seeds which is a whole other can-o’-worms, but in a nutshell, it’s best avoided!

Even with all the arguments for organic produce, I’m not gonna lie, it is expensive and probably not yet possible to switch to all organic but remember that every time you do choose to buy from an organic farmer, you are encouraging more farmers to grow organic and then I think the simple rules of economics of supply and demand will eventually tilt in our favour when it comes to price! Also, the bees will thank you for trying.

To start off, educate yourself about the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables. These are produce that you should try to buy organically because they are known to be the worst offenders when it comes to chemical pesticide and herbicide residue.

Secondly, if you live in Bombay and you’re not convinced about organic produce, just come to the Farmer’s Market, there are beautiful trees to sit under, food to be eaten, music to be enjoyed and friends to be made.

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