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HOME > TAICHUNG > ARTICLES

COMPASS MAGAZINE > April 2017
 

Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets

By Chloe Huang
Translated by Anna Yang
Photos by Michael van Rensburg

The popularization of healthy living concepts, organic products and related trends means that local residents' food shopping habits have also started to change. Shops focusing on selling local produce and food products and restaurants that highlight dishes made with organic ingredients are also increasing.

As the organizers of the local organic Hope Market note, the best way for consumers to source safe, wholesome organic products is to establish good relationships with local farmers and suppliers. For example, while it may normally be difficult to determine the freshness, or cultivation environment and process, for an orange, vendors at any farmers' market are happy to provide such detailed information. Added benefits include the elimination of unnecessary, wasteful product transportation and packaging, and provision of direct profits and benefits to farmers--all good for society, the Earth and our food providers.

Here in Taichung, most farmers' markets take place on weekends, when you can enjoy a hunt for natural treasures under Taichung's often-sunny conditions. Below is a guide to some market options, preceded with some shopping tips.

1. Bring your own shopping bag: Being eco-friendly means taking responsibility for avoiding unnecessary wrapping and packaging when making purchases. In fact, most farmers' market vendors don't provide plastic bags.

2. Bring your own eating and dining utensils: As some vendors sell hot foods and beverages, bringing your own utensils is recommended if you wish to dine out.

3. Be curious: If you don't know what to buy, try visiting a farmers' market and learning more! All farmers are passionate about their products and happy to share their knowledge about the food-growing process and perhaps some secret cooking recipes with their customers.

The three Taichung farmers' markets noted here follow the same concepts of promoting all-natural food ingredients and a passion for the natural. To learn more, be sure and check them out in person!


Hope Market

6-6, XiPing South Lane, Xitun Dist. (Baoyun Buddhist Temple)
Every other Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
For more information, check these websites:
http://www.hopemarket.net/home
https://treehope.net/index.php

This market periodically hosts various organic farming produce suppliers, selling products in a friendly environment that allows vendors and customers to actively interact. This also educates the public about organic food resource and planting methods. Hope Market promotes Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which presents a positive cycle for suppliers and customers and provides active support for local farmers.

The market takes place at Baoyun Buddhist Temple every other Saturday and is surrounded by a green setting that includes a bridge and pond. Besides seasonal fruit and vegetables there are a number of other items such as handicrafts, soaps, pour-over coffee and organic cotton clothing for sale. Vendors selling radish cakes, rice cooked and served in bamboo tubes, soy drinks and tofu are also on hand in a rest area for shoppers who get hungry, and some live music and pleasant breezes complete a picnic-like ambiance. Organizers also host fun activities designed to enhance visitor interaction with the farmers.

Since its founding a decade ago, Hope Market has attracted many visitors and supporters. For example, Tree Hope Eco Hub was created in 2015 as a special shared farming space to promote better lifestyles for those wanting to participate in organic farming. The Eco Hub also promotes a variety of DIY classes for handmade tofu and yeast dishes, fruit jams, and nostalgic handicrafts, plus some cooking and farming seminars.

Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets


NCHU Organic Farmers Market

Area behind Chung Hsing University's Hui-Sun Auditorium
8 am-12 pm / Every Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 noon
For more information, visit
http://www.organicnchu.twmail.org/index.php

Things are always lively each Saturday in this corner of National Chung Hsing University, where loyal customers come early to enjoy a mix of local cultural and leisure attractions at the NCHU Organic Farmers Market. This pleasant university campus is known for its agricultural-related studies and has earned the moniker of "organic agricultural school". Numerous shoppers have been visiting this market since 2007, forging strong relationships with produce suppliers. Many also linger after making purchases to stroll around campus and get some exercise.
This well-managed market offers vegetables, fruit, rice, eggs, processed bean products, tea leaves, and textile products. One key feature here is the fact that farmers deliver fresh products to the market vendors after an inspection and verification process to ensure quality and customer satisfaction. The market also highlights various traditional Taiwanese festivals with special events, such as a lunar new year greeting event, and Lantern Festival riddle-guessing and lion dance performance. NCHU Organic Farmers Market also benefits orphaned children by collecting shopping receipts and used clothing, allowing visitors to show their support every time they shop.

Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets

Park Lane by Splendor Farmers Market

1049, JianXing Rd, West Dist. (in front of Park Lane by Splendor main entrance)
Hours: very Saturday and Sunday, 2-8 p.m.

This miniature holiday farmers' market takes place in front of the popular Park Lane by Splendor mall on Taiwan Boulevard which means that it also attracts foreign visitors from the surrounding hotel and shopping district. The market promotes Taiwanese agricultural items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, sweet potatoes grilled with honey, wooden plant pots, orchids, and edible succulent plants (i.e. aloe vera).The main concept here is to combine fashion, cultural creative and agricultural products, as all market vendor showcase their wares with delicate wooden containers to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Shoppers and passers-by can chat with farmers after enjoying a coffee or tea in one of the swanky nearby cafes.

Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets Healthy shopping at Taichung's Farmers' Markets

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