by Jill Robinson
The month of May is hitting full stride, and along with warmer temperatures (unless you are in Chicago), baseball games and street festivals making their debut, farmer’s markets are starting to pop up on the calendar promising fresh fruit and vegetables for the next few months.
Sipping coffee and slowly winding through a market vibrant with color from various produce is one of my favorite spring and summer past times. Exploring the local farmer’s market is also a great way to meet the resident farmers and contribute to the local community – wherever you may be. Whether traveling in the States or abroad, finding the local markets is a wonderful (and inexpensive) way to get to know a place, learn about its culture and mingle with the locals – not to mention an excellent place to practice your language skills.
With the help of Food and Wine’s website and a few of my colleagues suggestions, Greenheart Travel would like to share a quick list of markets to explore next time you travel abroad.
- MERCADO DE SANTO DOMINGO in Costa Rica
“There was one in Heredia, Costa Rica that I used to go to all the time and it was awesome. I don’t know that there was a name for it though…we always just called it el Mercado de Santo Domingo. It was just great because all the produce was locally grown and the fruit was always amazing, especially the papaya.” – Amy Neal, Program Manager
- MAKOLA MARKET in Accra, Ghana
“The Makola Market is a huge farmers market; they sell everything. The other really cool one in Accra (not a farmer’s market really) is a huge outdoor market for used clothing. It’s call the Obruni Wao market.” Jessica Burns, Student Services Director
“When I was volunteering in Ghana, the markets worked a little bit differently. Instead of being a higher-end shopping alternative, the markets are THE place to get everything you need for the week – fruit, vegetables, fish, beautiful fabric, bread, kitchenware, live chickens, pure Shea butter, you name it! The markets don’t happen every Wednesday or Saturday like they do here in the states – the market day happens every fourth day. This is when everyone has the opportunity to sell their wares, and purchase everything they need for the next few days. It’s an incredibly lively day, and people come from all over the area. The fresh fruit in Ghana is amazing! Just thinking about it is making me crave fresh pineapple and mango! At the market I bought tons of the beautiful colorful fabric that Ghana is famous for, and now it is put together as a patchwork comforter on my bed!” – Lauren Bauer, Program Manager
- MERCADO DE LA MERCED in Mexico City
- BE in Paris: (The name is short for BoulangÉpicier, a combination of bakery and grocery store).
- MERCAT DE LA BOQUERIA in Barcelona
- KRETA AYER WET MARKET in Singapore
- CHANDNI CHOWK in Old Delhi, India
- VICTORIAN STREET MARKET in Durban, South Africa
“The market was really vibrant with a variety of vendors (from food and spices, to animal skins, clothing, and handmade local goods). I liked the energy; it was a great place to take in all the diversity of Durban.” – Joanna Flagler, International Director