A healthy diet requirement for a person is 4-5 helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables. But do we take into account all the chemicals, fertilisers, preservatives etc. that we ingest along with it, which negates a good part of the benefits that we actually derive from them?
When we go shopping, we often reach out for the shiny red apple or baigan because they look good, little realising that the shininess often comes from being polished with wax or something else to make it look fresh. Unfortunately, the options that we get are the ‘organic’ varieties in supermarkets, for which we pay twice the price and may not be 100% genuinely organic. This is because the term organic is fairly loosely defined and there is no approved certification that could ensure this. The APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) regulates only food stuff that is exported. So the only way to ensure that it is 100% genuine is to go to the farms and buy from there. Or, get farm to come to you!
Welcome to the Farmers Market, held every Sunday at Sushant Lok, near Paras Hospital.
Organized by the Sushant Lok RWA at their community centre, the farmers market brings together about a dozen farmers from nearby areas like Sohna, Damdama and Faridabad, who display and sell lab-tested organic produce, fresh from their farms.
A wonderful variety of fresh greens, vegetables and fruits directly from the farms are made available here. Just one look at them and their freshness and genuineness is evident. The greens are crisp with no additional weeds to bulk up their weight, the potatoes and onions fresh muddy; the apples, grapes, papaya and chikoos unpolished. And the best part is, they are the price or even cheaper.
Contrary to popular belief, costs are actually lower in organic farming. Farmers use manure, neem oil and earthworms to increase soil fertility, making it cost effective and safe. And at the weekly market, it is a direct sale between the farmer owners and consumers, taking the middle-men or resellers out of the equation.
This Sunday market is a more than just a ‘sabzi mandi.’ It’s a place where real’ farmers, organic experts, gardening experts, health and fitness enthusiasts, environmentalists, and consumers come together. Fresh bakery items made with organic ingredients, home-made organic jams and pickles, herbal plants are also available.
And that’s not all. Set in the lawns (at least in winters) of the community centre, one can sit around and enjoy freshly made quinoa upma or organic rava idlis with other other ‘organic’ enthusiasts and friends. So you know where to go this Sunday.