Updated June 29 2015: Smelling the delicious aroma of a freshly picked green pepper, sampling a plum tomato that only a few hours ago was on the vine, swapping food tips with other shoppers (what do you do with kohlrabi?), tasting yet another spoonful of amazing raw honey from Yemen, sitting on a rustic bench eating a homemade chicken sausage and egg roll washed down with freshly pressed pomegranate juice, swapping foodie gossip under the palms trees….
My favourite start to the weekend, every single Friday, is the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace (which was next to Emirates Towers but moving to a new venue next season) where I do my weekly shop for organic, local veg direct from the farmers and much more besides. But you knew that didn’t you. The hotter weather is creeping up, the market has ended for the season and I’m dreading being catapulted back into the dispiriting aisles of the supermarkets contemplating limp, tasteless veg, picked weeks ago and flown in from miles away. But luckily there are some alternatives which may keep us going until the most fallow months; tomatoes and potatoes plus free range eggs from local farms are available in abundance right now which is why I have indexed them for the price comparison. Here’s my view about what’s available….
The Farm House – Al Manzil Souk
Ripe – Umm Suqeim
Local & imported fruit and veg
Other places to buy local, organic veg
Al Shuwib organic farms – you can phone your order direct to this farm (they attend the Farmers’ Market when in season) and they will deliver. 03 732 4114 Facebook
Bio Organic – an attractive new store in Tecom which offers an alternative to OF&C. Local, organic produce is
stocked but this is not their core business and most is shipped in from Europe and beyond. Bioorganicstore.com
Blue planet, green people – the Jumeirah Lakes Towers location means I have never visited this shop although I know they have been selling local, organic veg for a few years and ran a market at one point. You can order from their website and they provide veg boxes too. blueplanetgreenpeople.com
Go Organic me – They have been around for a while but recently launched a new website and online ordering. They work with local farms and supply veg boxes of different types including a weekly juicing box. They mix local and imported but all produce is organic. Founder Meenaxy Vashishtha is driven by personal conviction about organic produce. goorganic.me
Nature’s Chalet – A new shop in Motor City which, from their Facebook page. appears to stock some organic, local veg.
Organic Foods and Cafe – the pioneer and first major supplier of organic foods in Dubai which now has three branches here plus you can order online. It does a thriving business but owner Nils Accad came out quite vociferously in the media against local, organic veg. However, now some local, organic vegetables are now stocked – probably due to customer demand. organicfoodsandcafe.com
The Hundred Wellness Centre – On Saturdays between 11am – 3pm, organic farm Integrated Green Resources (IGR) holds a pop up here. See their Facebook page for more details.
Union Coop also stocks an increasing range of local organic produce. It’s best to get there early in the morning.
Do you shop with the seasons? Are you missing the Farmers’ Market? Have I missed anyone off this list? What do you do when the growing season comes to an end?