This story was first published on 19 April 2016 and was updated on 21 January 2019 by Leigh Hermon.
Plan your weekends around local country markets and stock up on fresh, homemade treats. These are our favourites in and around Mpumalanga…
1. Malalane Market, Malelane
This is a quarterly market that supports local suppliers and focuses on fresh produce, creative items and gifts. Add fresh flowers to your basket or pick out a handmade apron or artisan ceramics to take home. The market is a wonderful place for family and friends to meet, relax in the Lowveld sun, shop, eat, enjoy.
- When: Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm, check Facebook for dates.
Where: R570, Malelane Gate Road
2. Bagdad Farmer’s Market, White River
Visitors come from far afield to feast on cheese, chorizo, pickles and olives at this White River market. Products are original, handmade, home-grown and of excellent quality. Spoil yourself with handmade soap and shoes, clothing and accessories, and buy farm-fresh veggies and fruit, before getting down to the serious business of tasting craft beer and frozen cocktails, followed by dishes made by local foodies while you wait. With a small airstrip nearby, many people literally drop in by air and some even arrive by horse or bicycle.
- When: Second Saturday of every month, 8am to 1pm
- Where: Bagdad Centre
Much larger than your usual farmers market, and you are spoilt for choice with 80 exhibitors selling fresh fruit and veggies directly from the farm, cuts of meat, baked goodies, preserves and handmade products. It’s housed undercover in two big marquees; one allocated to exhibitors and the other offering visitors a place to sit down and tuck in to a delicious farm-style breakfast.
- When: First Saturday morning of each month, 7am to 11am
- Where: Oewersig, just past the Lowveld Show Ground
- Contact: +27 (0) 13 752 2801; +27 (0) 83 492 0583
4. BFM Casterbridge, White River
BFM is a community-based farmer’s market at Casterbridge Centre in White River. I love that it supports local and is a fabulous showcase for all the best Lowveld products. The market is set outdoors on lovely lawns in this classic Lowveld village centre, with umbrellas, bunting and live music that add to the fun atmosphere. The area is famous for nuts, fruit and avocados, but this market has so much more. The food on sale is just fabulous with everything you might want for a delicious breakfast or a healthy, tasty brunch or lunch. The food stalls have a wide variety of goodies to snack on right there and then or to take home, as well as local beers from the Sabie Brewing Co, local wines and limoncello. For shoppers like me looking for a gift or something for your home, there is clothing, gorgeous handmade soaps, ceramics, flowers and art, all sourced locally. Activities such as yoga classes, trail runs and free kids movies at the Casterbridge Cinema all add to the family theme of this event. Kids will love this market. Held on the first Saturday of the month (except for January), and for a week before, there is a pink branding campaign where the trees are wrapped in pink, BFM banners flutter in the breeze and even the local rhino statues are dressed in pink. Make sure you come with empty tummies and empty shopping bags because, like me, you won’t be able to resist. The ‘FM’ in BFM is obvious (Farmers’ Market) but the ‘B’ stands for ‘back for more’ and you will be.
- When: First Saturday of the month, 9am to 1pm
- Where: Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre