All the organics

Ayilah Chaudhary checks out the 2019 edition of Torba Farmers Market

All the organics
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torba farmers market, a collaboration between Qatar Foundation and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, is back for a new season and it’s pretty popular from what we see. The market is known for its organically grown produce and food and beverages from local businesses and small vendors, in the fresh air of Education City’s Ceremonial Court.

WHAT'S NEW
We were huge fans of last year’s edition but this year, Torba Farmers Market has mixed things up quite a bit. The market is eco-friendly and encourages consumers to bring their own bags and water bottles to refill to limit plastic waste, a commendable attempt towards sustainability.

This year, apart from the regular vendors selling fresh, local-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, a new array of vendors and small businesses have been introduced including coffee shops. Crowd favourites like The Pie Lady and December Café are present, too. The Pie Lady is a massive hit as always and its fudge and pumpkin pies are some of the tastiest we’ve had in town. There’s more than just pies here, try the signature slow-cooked beef burgers and the novajo tacos. We may have spend over QR100 just for this, but it’s worth it.

The majority of vendors use organic or raw ingredients, with vegan alternatives at every corner. It’s not only edibles this time around. Goods and services have expanded to vendors who sell products for skincare, clothing, household and stationery. There’s a small nail salon, too. We are proponents of veganism and we would usually never shy away from vegan or organic sweet treats. Hence, it’s no surprise we’re browsing through the nooks and crannies of this market, searching for the best vegan desserts. We discover that nearly the entire market is a guilt-free kitchen and almost everything we try is organic, vegan or sugar-free.

THE OTHER SIDE
Fresh air, organic produce, family-friendly environment and guilt-free desserts sound too good to be true. But be aware, you won’t even notice how fast your wallet empties. The most basic beverage costs you around QR25 on an average and many of the beverages taste similar to what you find outside. If you’re looking for something more peculiar or unique, try brands like RawMe and Rawfinery. The Spanish latte from Vein Coffee tastes exactly like every other Spanish latte out there, the only difference is you get to have this one in the open-air as you browse around your favourite stalls. Most of the kiosks don’t accept cards, so prepare to take heaps of cash with you. RawMe is one of the few vendors that has a card machine. And if you’re stopping by, try the cocoa love and acai smoothie from there. We only wish there were sample-sized products, priced accordingly, so we could try more, since that’s one of the sole purposes of being at a market like this.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The good news is that the taste won’t disappoint, and neither will the ambience. Torba’s set-up of shaded tents and relaxed music makes it a fun outdoor activity for weekends, especially when the weather is perfect. You’ll see lots of children playing, this year’s market has also introduced Torba Junior for children who are budding entrepreneurs. With their own stalls, little kids sell lemonade, donuts and rice crispy treats. You can take your puppies along with you for a fun stroll and some playtime. The artisan dog treats booth (yes, really) might be a good reward after all that exercise.

If you’re a Torba veteran like us, you’ll notice the new benches and tables. These have been designed by students at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. The wooden tables now have geometric tribal patterns, following a small play area for children.
Overall, there’s plenty of fun to be had for the entire family in fresh air with fantastic vibes. If you haven’t been yet, we suggest heading there this weekend.
Free. Open to public. Until April. Open Fri 7.30am-11.30am, 12.30pm-5pm; Sat 8am-6pm. Ceremonial Court, Education City, farmersmarket.qa.

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