First-time at Negros Farmers Weekend Market
Since I moved back to my hometown, I have passed by in front of this property only a few times as our place is at the other side of the city. But I must admit that it has always piqued my interest. The words “Negros Farmers Weekend Market” mark the entrance of this place, located along Magsaysay Avenue, near Luxur Place and the police station.
Fate has played an interesting twist because during my trip to New Zealand last June, I joined a tour to Hobbiton where I crossed paths with Ruby Cruz, who, as we were chatting, turns out that we went to the same alma mater (University of the Philippines, Diliman) and from the same city (Bacolod). After our tour, I went back to Auckland with my companions while Ruby and her family proceeded to Rotorua. We bade goodbye and promised to meet up by the time we go home.
Fast forward to July 2016, a month after that trip. Ruby and I got in touch with each other and she invited me to visit the Negros Farmers Weekend Market, which has been her “baby” ever since she started with this project about three years ago. It features various Negrense products which you can buy straight from the farmers themselves. I excitedly went and arrived there at around 11:00am on a Saturday.
What I like about the market is that there are lots of open spaces and there are different zones in this market community. Ruby toured me around the various zones and introduced me to the stall owners and vendors.
Fresh Products Area
I was surprised to find a good diversity of products. There were meat, fresh fishes, homemade cheese, dried goods, vegetables, rice, medicinal products, live plants, and a lot more. Even the vegetables, there are many to choose from. I spotted a vertical garden – with steel frame where you can hang some pots. I’ve always wanted one so I immediately purchased the frame that goes with 16 pots (and I got a free plant, too!)
Fresh fruits, products made from such ingredients, jams, teas, and other items can be found in this part of the market. What caught my fancy was the stall selling Japanese tea pots and tea sets. They even have bags and other porcelain wares. They feature all items that are shipped from Japan and they are quite nice especially if you have a restaurant as the wares are also attractive as well as durable.
Food Court and Dining Area
I think I most enjoyed this area. Ruby had me try the Bugnay Juice and it was yummy. The juice stand was put up to patronize the fresh fruits at the retail area, which are then juiced. The food sold in the stalls are delectable. If you are a vegetarian, there’s a stall for you there. I tried the paella in one of the stores and it was really filling! And while we were enjoying our meal, we were serenaded by volunteer artists, the Acoustic Sonata, wherein Ruby introduced me to its members. And, yes, you can also donate to the artists, just like how it is in New York. 🙂
Near the dining area, there were other food items from Sant Jordi and OISCA. We got cakes from Alessandra’s and they were truly delectable. There’s really plenty to choose from when you are at Negros Farmers Weekend Market.
They also have an open space in the middle which people can use for free concerts and such. Negros Farmers Weekend Market is happy to welcome such free events (also without charge) for the benefit of the community.
I learned one important lesson during my visit. I should have arrived earlier to see more products. The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. I’d definitely be back some other weekend to check out more goods in this market.
For more info about the Negros Farmers Weekend Market, visit their site at http://negrosmarket.com/.