Article on Farmers' Market on the Terrace in Hidden Gems in Property Weekly in Gulf News

Edited on November 2018: The Farmer’s Market on the Terrace has shifted its location to Bay Avenue at Business Bay (opposite Zaha Hadid building) and is open on two days - Fridays and Saturdays during season from 7am until noon (October until April).
Buy local, eat local

The above is my article on the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace in the Hidden Gems column in Property Weekly of Gulf News. Yes, I absolutely adore this initiative! Imagine eating breakfast on Fridays sitting on a wooden bench or on a picnic mat on green grass surrounded by locally produced fresh, bright organic vegetables available at affordable prices. Does the term ‘affordable’, that too ‘organic’ even exist in Dubai, you wonder? Yes, it does. Cooler weather brings local, organic, seasonal produce to the original Farmers’ Market Market on the Terrace, as it returned for its sixth season at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Starting with 7 farmers, today there are many more local farmers who have joined in, along with other organic vendors displaying a variety of organic products – ranging from Coffee to Honey. In fact, interestingly there are more and more farmers joining in with each season, and that is a very good sign. A gathering over breakfast served by Baker & Spice on the lawns of Jumeirah Towers kick-started the Farmers Market yesterday, along with discussions and talks to increase the awareness amongst people and to support the farming community. It was an opportunity to know the local farmers and buy the produce directly from the Farmers. What started as a locally inspired, community-based initiative in 2010, the Farmers’ Market has really gained momentum in the UAE and should be supported.

The Farmer’s Market on the Terrace Dubai

Yael Mejia, the founder of Baker & Spice in Dubai, pioneered The Farmers Market on the Terrace back in 2010.

This is not a request to you all to increase the awareness of people about this community, but my demand that you do it!

Yes, those are the exact words from Yael Mejia (above), food consultant and retired founder of Baker & Spice Dubai, the lady who has been championing the cause of farmers’ market in the UAE cause since 2010. And why? Because, according to her,

The knowledge that the produce is organic, local, of such amazing quality and so cheap, has resonated with people who are concerned about what they eat and how they feed their children. Being able to connect directly with the people who grow the food we eat is so important. By purchasing fruit and vegetables at the market, not only are you getting the freshest produce possible, you are actually getting a better choice. You can feed your family with quality ingredients for the week at considerably less cost than you would spend in the supermarket. In addition, you are doing your bit for the environment, reducing carbon footprint and supporting a sustainable practice.

Thoughts pouring out from a lady who is so passionate about ingredients that she makes sure that the spices used in her restaurant are not only organic but also procured ethically. Yael along with Lokesh of the organic store Down To Earth Dubai, share their experience of Shekhawati Festival in Rajasthan, where they actually travelled to check on the farms from where the spices are grown (read all about it in an earlier article). On the day, we were invited to a breakfast picnic to celebrate the launch of a new season of the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace, hosted by Yael and Bakers & Spice. Everything was home made, fresh and presented creatively. Labneh made with leftover coffee milk, or the homemade Clementine and fresh ginger Syrup, the Palestinian version of Ka’aks, or my favourite – Russian tea breads. Gabi Kurz of Talise Nutrition created her delicious version of muesli with fruits – what a wonderful kick start to a wonderful season indeed! Here’s a photo journey of the breakfast and the produce from the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace on it’s first day of this season.

Food from Baker and Spices in The Farmers' Market on the Terrace

Russian tea biscuits from Baker and Spices in The Farmers' Market on the Terrace

Food from Baker and Spices in The Farmers' Market on the Terrace

Familiar faces

The first day of this season had a great vibe and had many familiar faces who have been shouting out loud for the Farmers Market for a long time – Suzanne Husseini – a regular in the market doing her cooking demonstrations, Sally (My Custard Pie) too, is a very strong advocate on buying local produce, Debbie (Coffee Cakes and Running), Dima Sharif (DIma Sharif) and others. Debbie writes a lovely post about the first day and her thoughts on the Farmers Market, while Dima has been making a series of videos. I was also thrilled to meet Shaikha (the first image in the series below), the first lady farmer in the UAE and owner of Organic Oasis. Local farmers participating in the Farmers Market this time include Showaib Farm Al Ain, Rashed Farm Al Ain, Organiliciouz Sharjah, Organic Land, Organic Oasis, BTC, Integrated Green Resources Abu Dhabi & Dubai. Down to Earth Organic Foods showcases pulses, rice, herbs and spices as well as teas while Coffee Planet brews locally roasted organic coffee.

Sheikha A. Al Muhairy of Organic Oasis

Drina Cabral, photographer and author of blog Eaternal Zest

Dima Sharif is a Dubai-based Food Artisan & Author of multi award-winning cookbook ‘Plated Heirlooms

The Farmers Market on The Terrace – how did it all start?

Baker & Spice Dubai became aware of the local farming community in 2009 and began using this fantastic produce in their kitchens. When discussing their discoveries with their customers they were greeted with astonishment and disbelief, and people wanted access to the same produce. Out of this The Farmers’ Market on the Terrace idea was born. Since then, the discussion about locally grown food has spread. Baker & Spice Dubai is proud to have contributed to the change in people’s perceptions, and has watched with delight other initiatives follow in their footsteps. The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace continues to create a new standard for legitimate, certified, locally grown, organic, fresh, authentic, sustainable, ethical produce. It remains true to basic principles and is a farmers’ market in the correct sense of the word and still the only one in the UAE. It is a market by the farmers, of the farmers and for the farmers. All generated income goes to the farmers directly.

The Farmers' Market on the Terrace in Jumeirah Emirates Towers

The Farmers' Market on the Terrace in Jumeirah Emirates Towers

The Farmers' Market on the Terrace in Jumeirah Emirates Towers

DSC_7602      The Farmer’s Market on the Terrace Dubai

What you can do here apart from remembering the above hashtags? You can buy organic produce including vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, jams, bread, cakes, beans, pulses, spices and rice. Baker & Spice Dubai displays fresh homemade breads, cakes, jams, curds, freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices, compotes and chutneys. Prachi (Orange Kitchens) writes beautifully in her article what the farmers’ market gives our children. It’s definitely time to rewind the clock and go back to the basics – for adults and children alike!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Baker & Spice for the breakfast gathering. However I had been a supporter of the initiative for a long time, even featured TFMOTT in my Hidden Gems section of Property Weekly in Gulf News and also in the December issue of FoodeMag. Please note that this isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links in this post. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. Hope you join me on my daily food and travel journey on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. xx

HELPFUL LINKS
The Farmers Market on the Terrace
Baker & Spice
Down to Earth Dubai

OTHER READS
A Reason to Rise Early Every Friday – The Farmer’s Market on the Terrace! {Memoirs of a Taste Bud}
The Farmers' Market and what it gives our children {Orange Kitchens}
#TFMOTT The Farmer’s Market on The Terrace {Coffee Cakes And Running}
The Farmer's Market on the Terrace in Dubai {Kitchen in the Sand}
My kind of shopping – organic, local farmers market in Dubai {My Custard Pie}
Local {Noni's Place}
My Fruitful trip of Friday Local Market {Ritu's Fuss free Cooking}
The Farmers Market at Dubai {Naked Plate Blog}
Farmer’s Market Fun with Kids {Cuddles & Crumbs}
The Farmer’s Market – a Friday Foodie Romance {Food Kissed}

31 Comments on “Farmers Market On The Terrace | Breakfast Picnic and Knowing Your Local Farmers

    • So cute… you know what this is going to help me garner support for my suggestion – they must organise something for the kids. Thanks for hopping in:)

  1. I was so sad to miss this Ishita. Agree with GA on the photo 🙂 Thanks for the vivid reminder.

    • Another support for the tiny tots… at the risk of being spanked at, I did suggest that there should be something for the kids – cooking/baking – otherwise on a Friday morning, not every parent can leave their kids back at home. Good to see many more farmers:)

  2. I love this post and agree with you on everything… except your lobbying for something to occupy children. This assumes it’s a market destination for entertainment. It’s about shopping for the best food you can buy. There is not entertainment when you go to the supermarket yet I see many children in tow being dragged round the aisles – some parents get them involved so they know how much things are and are part of the shopping process. There is so much to involve them in at the market – things to taste, smell, sample. It means that children get to know about where food comes from – they are involved. It pays dividends eventually and gives them skills to feed themselves (which some people now lack). Gorgeous gorgeous pics – and I’ve a feeling we’ll have to agree to disagree 🙂

    • Thank you… of course – we have to be honest to tell each other what we feel. I am not exactly looking at this destination for entertainment. Exactly, the point I was discussing with S – supermarkets are in a confined area, it is very different to this. I would be looking at engaging the children in a manner that would be different – baking, cooking etc. Have you realised that your hands are becoming my most-frequently photographed *from the top food shots*? So even if we agree to disagree, we are stuck with each other!

      • I do agree about getting children involved in cooking and food prep. Its essential. Mine were making scrambled egg ( heavily supervised) and rolling meatballs from the age if 2. 😊 at this rate I’ll have to start having a manicures!

  3. So bad I missed this one! But I am looking forward to another few months of shopping off the Farmers Terrace for my local produce. Great article and good insight into why people should be supporting this cause. Gorgeous pics!

    • Thank you Tasneem for the warm feedback… well, so it’s just the beginning of the season. Debbie and Sally have written posts on Farmers Market that should give you more insight as well. See you around 🙂

  4. Oh hi there little B! Great post Ishita. 🙂

  5. Great Write up and mind blowing pics…

  6. Pingback: The Farmers' Market at Dubai - nakedplateblog.com nakedplateblog.com

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