Annual Farmers and Flea Market, Nashik

by Team Conscious Carma

It was raining “Organic” at the Grape County’s precincts –By Dr. Freeda Maria

There is no greater joy than seeing your hard work, being recognized and the fruits of your labor being appreciated. There is no greater joy for a farmer who has toiled on his fields, fighting the harsh weathers with a grit to see his blooms. There is no greater joy, than to finally see his blooms and produce, laid out for people to buy and consume. The joy gets doubled, when he finds his produce displayed in a place which is frequented by all kinds of people, local and from outside, for its green practices…

A 20-acre property fanning out within the 250-acre sprawling biodiverse rich area. A 2000-acre reserve forestland just a stone’s throw away!

Welcome to the annual Flea and Farmer’s Market conceptualized by Green Spaces’, Grape County Resort, Nashik (https://www.grapecounty.in/). And this is the fourth time in a row for four years that they have hosted the event, in their resort premise. Carefully curated and crafted: for the best producers around this beautiful countryside, come together to showcase their labor of love.

The Valley as we call it, Nasik lies on the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, an ancient volcanic formation. Flowing through these open fertile lands are the Girna and the Godavari rivers. Being a grape country, half of our country’s vineyards and wineries are located here. A whopping 90 percent of all wine produced in our country comes from these Valleys. The strategic location of this place the bounty that is water and fertile land present, farmers have seen some good crops and are constantly thinking of employing good and sustainable practices in farming. They pride themselves of growing organic vegetables with zero use of chemical pesticides and insecticides.

What stands apart with this Farmers market and Flea market is that both have been combined. The flea market which is essentially a large open-air market where goods that are second hand, home-made crafts or merchandise are spread out for sales. Whereas Farmers markets are more retail markets that allows people to sell homegrown fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer to the customer. These markets are not limited to fruits and vegetables and can also have meat, live animals, baked goods, dairy products, poultry, and various other food items.

The Nashik Valley is a Sugarcane, Onions, Grapes and Pomegranate land. Every aim of this Market is to promote the indigenous farmers, who have marginalised lands. The stalls are given free of cost for three days with an aim to add it as an annual activity.

The Concept of having a Framers’ market and Flea market at GC (Grape County) was to give an opportunity to both kinds. The stalls at GC, reflect the sheer variety and innovation in their products and blooms. There even was an organic sugarcane juice maker bidding his business of zero maintenance and pure freshly pressed juice with the work his hands! The Machine runs with no motor or battery, the turning of the two wheels is the magic behind that refreshing glass of pure pleasure!

I chanced upon a brick slab on which few loosely packed products were placed and sitting by it this very elegant and smiling lady… neatly dressed in her traditional attire and going about her day, with her weary eyes looking for customers. Her offer was that of packets of homemade jaggery powder, from sugarcane grown on her fields, ragi powder and chakki (mill stone)pressed green gram, unpolished and broken down and unpolished raw rice.

One individual caught my immediate attention as I walked past, throwing glances at the many counters that had an array of things displayed. Shrushti organics grows its products using “Jeevamruth” to control pests replacing the chemical ones.  This is the traditional Indian  bio pesticide and organic manure that is prepared combining and fermenting cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, pulses flour, soil and water. His specialties include Rice, Sugarcane and Jaggery, processed products like Oils of Mustard, groundnut, sunflower, sesame and Desi Ghee.

A special mention goes out to the counter of Viveda Wellness Village, a unique concept of self-care and healing, this wellness centre has become a place of organic and wellness products. The centre uses traditional knowledge and local ingredients to make products like face packs, healing oils, bathing, and self-care products. (https://vivedawellness.com/). The counter of Grape County had its fruits, juices and other delectables, from farm to the counter, fresh and organic.

Our Flea Market was abuzz with Colours, and with creations from Local Women Entrepreneurs. Paintings, natural stones, Homemade soaps and cosmetics, I was spoilt for choices! Here are some pictures ….

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