As the clouds hugged table mountain and a fine mist appeared intermittently to remind us that we are deep into fall, my visit to the Oranjezicht Market remains a highlight of my weekend. As I excitedly informed a friend of my discovery, she was quick to help me with the pronunciation of the Market as well as the meaning.
She explained that it is of Dutch origin, which makes sense since this urban garden and market is on the exact spot where the original Dutch first tilled the land. She also explained that it translates into “orange view”. As I recall standing in the beautiful manicured gardens of this volunteer experiment in fruits and vegetables, I can fully picture what the settlers were blessed with on a daily basis, as the orange sun rose and sank into the ocean below.
Beyond being an organic market that believes in full on recycling and composting (unlike a few of the other markets in the area), Oranjezicht Market is a social experiment. This market has become the pride of Oranjezicht and has proven that when neighbours talk and work together then they end up living together in greater harmony(in other words, less crime).
This community market sells fruits and vegetables from their adjacent garden as well as other local produce, plants and prepared meals sold by the weekly artisanal producers. The vibe is inviting as visitors sit at communal tables, under the sprawling old leafy trees, munching on their purchased delicacies and listening to the cords of the volunteer band waffling in the air.
Cheryl, a friend and head honcho of the organizers of this amazing Market, was hell bent on selling all of her Turkish figs that had been picked from a farm in Paarl to be sold at the market this weekend. Obviously, we bought a box and I have been enjoying them ever since. Both in savory and sweet recipes, my purple figs have been used as appetizers, breakfast fruit for my yogurt and granola and finally for a tasty salad.
Rather than baking my figs, I stuffed them with some Gorgonzola from the market, drizzled then with a little fynbos honey, sprinkled them with some pistachios and dropped a few into a rocket salad, picked from my garden, that had been dressed with some tasty local olive oil and lemon juice. The peppery flavor of the rocket mixed with the sweetness of the figs was a lovely combination and a great memory of my weekend visit to the Oranjezicht Market.
I just discovered, as I was doing a little more research on this market, that Oranjezicht City Farm is offering a 10 part-series food dialogue with an amazing collaboration of experts. Please check them out to see if you might be interested in attending. I have signed up for most of them! Hope to see you there.