There are no shortages of ‘Farmer Market’s these days. Hell it would be difficult to swing your hand-stitched Isikhwama bag and not hit a hipster drinking some kind of organic smoothy or artisanal coffee on a Saturday morning and not be in one. All the wine estates have one. Every neighbourhood has one. However, our #WildBunch have been threatening to visit the latest one added to our weekend’s outta town ‘must do’ list. While it may be late to the wine estate farmer market … uhm … market, Spier’s Werf Market is complete with lots of artisanal everything and is “hosted” under ancient oaks on Spier’s newly-restored historic farmyard every Saturday.
In part, the brainchild of the über-Foodie and ultimate aesthetic, Hannerie Visser (of Studio HV fame) who completely gets what a food market is about. Subscribing to a very determined vision developed from an early age that in order to be happy, a person’s stomach and soul needs to be satisfied by food and beauty. The Spier Secret Festival can be considered the inspiration behind the Werf Market, and delivers the true authenticity of what a pastoral farmer’s market should be about. Hunter boots, Burberry scarves and Range Rover’s aside, if phrases like ‘organic’, ‘local’, ‘seasonal’ and ‘homemade’ tickle your fancy, you’ve probably tried your hand at some form of urban farming. You ambitiously planted herbs and dutifully watered them while dreaming of fresh homegrown salads, jars of pesto and giving bunches to friends. Instead, your efforts often yield just enough to garnish. You’ve probably wanted to ferment things, make your own compost, even try your hand at beekeeping, but got a few funny looks when asking for a yeast starter kit or a worm farm at the shop.
So while Jamie Oliver potter’s away in his own pastoral garden along with Charles and Camilla, the clever folks at Spier have selected ethical producers who offer all you need to be that Gourmand Kitchen Diva– from equipment to practical advice – to ensure a bountiful harvest at home as Cape Town enters the entertainment season filled with picnics and pool parties galore. There’s plenty on offer for your pantry too: from organic seasonal vegetables and grass-fed beef to sulphite-free bacon and truly free-range eggs. And, if you get peckish while you shop up a storm, you can snack on a selection of artisanal cheese and freshly baked pastries, washed down with a glass of Spier wine or a locally crafted gin cocktail.
As I always tell clients, to stay relevant or ahead of the consumer curve is to be constantly innovating and Spier have in spades (see what I did there? I used a pun to make a point!) the Werf Market is a family-friendly gathering where ugly fruit is beautiful, worms stay in hotels and people earnestly swap seeds and share food. That said, if you’re more into sipping wine like most of the #WildBunch are on a grass bank under a tree, that works too. The Werk Market also runs a series of weekly workshops which include boerewors making with Farmer Angus, Kombucha making with Theonista’s Meghan Werner, a seedling propagation workshop by Farmer Neil and cooking with market produce with Spier Eight’s Chef Charl. For a reasonable R250 per/workshop you can fulfill your own dreams of culinary genius but it should be noted that only 25 tickets are available per weekend so book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Highlights of the Werf Market are delights and treats by Farmer Angus (truly free-range eggs and grass-fed meats); Cove Cold Brew (Nitro coffee); Frantastic (Roosterkoeke); Hoghouse (Meat and freshly baked breads; and Tuist Craft Ice Cream | Homemade organic ice cream.
Follow the Spier Werf Market on Twitter: #SpierWerfMarket or Instagram: @spierwerfmarket or Hannerie: @Studio_HV