Farmers' Market a fresh hit in Pokhara

Text by Elena Moody

Pokhara's First Farmers’ Market
The popularity of local farmers’ markets continues to rise worldwide and Pokhara has joined the trend. Dorje's Farmers’ Market reopens on September 28, 2019 much to the delight of locals. The market will pop up behind Dorje's Bar & Grill at Lakeside Centre every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. It will feature everything from premium farm produce, a wide range of cheese, homemade jams and baked goods to artisans selling art and craft, collectables and other goodies.
You will find great gift ideas like the beautifully crafted 100% natural soaps handmade by the beautiful Srijana Dhakal. Her exquisite soaps leave your skin feeling soft and are composed of organic coconut and olive oils, scented with lavender and palmarosa essential oils. Fishtail Organics have a wide range of health-food products and stallholders have great knowledge to share. You will also find food and drink operators and can grab a bite to eat with a freshly squeezed juice or kombucha while you shop. Be sure to try a fresh wheatgrass juice, prepared for you on the spot from freshly sprouted leaves by the lovely Bhagwati, and an excellent source of many different vitamins and minerals. Mahdev from Organic Bakery always has freshly baked bread and delicious treats on offer. Rasilo's healthy products are all amazing and the homemade peanut butter is a particularly popular local favorite. The team from Newari Bhoj offer a choice of delicious yomari, choila, selroti, and juju dhau which you can enjoy on the adjacent grassy lawn. It is a great space and community for parents with small children to meet. “It really is a great community builder and the kids love it,” shares Sara, a regular customer.
The Vision
Dorje's Farmers’ Market is the first of its kind in Pokhara. The market first opened in April 2018 “to promote local organic produce and gather friends” says the event organizer, Jen Lachlan. When Jen resettled in Pokhara after almost twenty years in Boston, USA, she was looking for a local farmers’ market but found none. She is passionate about supporting local growers and producers and providing access to good quality local food and produce. So Jen decided to start the farmers market “to promote local goods, give individual local farmers a space to sell their products and to meet and socialize with their customers.” As a mother herself, Jen appreciates that the market also gives the children a safe space to meet, play and run around.
Conscious Consumerism
There is a growing demand for sustainable locally grown wholesome produce that also does not harm the environment. Buying more local produce, supporting local businesses and eating locally grown food benefits the consumer, grower and the community.
If you are trying to eat healthier, purchasing fruit and vegetables that are in season maximizes taste and nutrition. When you buy directly from a farmer, you are almost guaranteed real freshness. Locally grown crops are harvested at their peak of ripeness and often picked within 24 hours of your purchase, as opposed to being harvested much earlier to be transported and distributed to your local store. This promotes a safer food supply as the more steps there are between you and the source of your food the greater the chances are for contamination. Seasonal food is also cheaper to produce and better for the environment. When food has to travel great distances to get to your plate, it uses tons of energy which means buying locally grown produce in season results in much lower greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.
Farmers’ markets are not just markets that provide a great community space. They are an effective strategy to provide a direct link between farmers and local business with their customers. They offer an opportunity to provide education on how food is raised and why that matters.
Reduce. Reuse. Refill.
Dorje's Farmers’ Market supports reducing plastic waste, so please remember to bring your own reusable bags. Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution.
Location: Behind Dorje's Bar & Grill, Lakeside Centre. Free entry.
Time: 10 am – 1 pm every Saturday from September 28, 2019.