I have had the most enjoyable visit to Holders Farmers Market which is held every Sunday from 9am to 2pm in the grounds of the lovely Holders House (home to the Kidd family) which overlooks the beautiful polo field at Holders Hill, St James.
Karen from Paradise Rentals informed me that this was setup a few years ago to help local organic farmers sell their produce. Due to the fact that Barbados has to import so much it was becoming more and more difficult for the local people to compete. Also there is a definite requirement for locally produced, organic foods, grown and tended by knowledgeable people who care about their produce.
Jack Kidd the organizer of the market says “We are taking the first step to hopefully start increasing the supply and demand for locally grown organic foods. Barbados has the land and the climate to grow organic produce, by increasing the demand for locally organically grown produce, we are hoping to encourage more Barbadians to see the value and future of farming, in turn creating more jobs and building a sustainable farming industry.”
I loved this farmers market and was very impressed with the quality and variety of organic and fresh products. We bought quite a bit to take back to our villa and cook. My friend and I arrived feeling a bit peckish and followed our noses until we found the area which had a selection of beautiful freshly prepared foods, ready to eat. We wandered around and finally settled on a stall that sold Roti’s (which are Bajan wraps with a tasty curry type filling inside).
The lady’s name was Nadia and I have to say her Roti’s were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. We both settled on the vegetable option but could have chosen from Beef, Chicken, Tuna, Salt Fish as well. As they were so very good, and the best that I have ever tasted during my last three visits to the island, I took her card so that we could order in advance.
After savouring the satisfying effect of our Roti we decided to purchase some coconut water which was being processed by two men on the stall next door to Nadia’s. One was busy attacking the coconut with a machete to release the water while the other was busy tipping it into clean bottles. The water was really refreshing and we sat there with a litre bottle each and a straw and merrily sipped away while enjoying the view of the polo field and the sound of the entertainment singing and playing his guitar in the background.
After this we walked up towards the entrance to Holders House and visited a stall run by Derek Went, a very knowledgeable gentleman who specialises in fresh aromatic spice blends, herbs, komboucha probiotics, kefir, vinegars, health foods and a selection of skin products. He described himself as a designer working on the creation of Healthy Lifestyle Support Systems to assist in providing practical methods of attaining wellness on every level. He also makes smoothies of your choice while you wait. He was really informative and didn’t rush us when we were enquiring about what each of his potions were for. Both my friend and I made purchases of Komboucha, a variety of herbs for cooking, tasty coconut chips and very scrumptious granola mix.
As we wandered leisurely around we also saw stalls that sold farm produce, beverages, plants, flowers, arts, crafts, jewellery, fashion, and a stall that sold homemade pet food.
When we got home I did some online research and I found the following about the ethos and aims of the market:
Holders Farmers’ Market believes that organic farming offers a long-term solution to Barbados’ food insecurity. By supporting this market and in turn local farmers there are other benefits for the wider economy:
- More of everyone’s hard earned money will stay on the island helping our economy grow.
- More people will be employed in this sector helping to reduce un-employment.
- Shorter distances from farm to table will reduce transport costs lowering our food carbon foot print.
I can thoroughly recommend including a trip to Holders Farmers Market in your holiday itinerary; to purchase interesting supplies, ingredients, gifts and keepsakes or just simply to relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy some great food.
View their website for more information:
Written by Clare T.