Fridays will never be the same!” was the header on an email I received last night from Slow Food Dubai and I agree !!

I and many other foodies have been counting down to today for a while because this morning was the first of The Farmers Market On The Terrace (#TFMOTT) which is hosted at Emirates Towers and runs from now until May next year. As the produce is grown locally and organically,  TFMOTT doesn’t and can’t operate all year around as the crops are grown seasonally here in the UAE – and it couldn’t operate earlier in the month as the crops weren’t ready to be harvested, and as we all know by now, and my mum has always said “Good things are worth waiting for”  

I remember as a kid getting really excited waiting for the start of the season for some of my favourite veggies, new Jersey potatoes in spring, served with nothing more than a liberal dollop of butter, a hearty sprinkling of salt and fresh ground pepper and savoured for a short period of time, sometimes only weeks, until next years crop. The same was true of green beans eaten fresh from the garden, strawberries picked from hanging baskets next to the kitchen door and brussel sprouts only eaten fresh, never of the frozen kind, and always after the first frost and more often than not the first ones we ate were with Christmas lunch.  Simple good food bringing with it simple pleasures and memories which have remained with me.

And so these childhood memories are the ones that linger with me now and get me excited about Friday mornings. From today until May The Farmers Market On The Terrace will be taking place every Friday morning giving UAE Residents, visitors and chefs etc a chance to visit the only true Farmers Market in Dubai and to indulge in one of my favourite Friday treats, the others including the odd spectacular Friday brunch, a trip to the beach or a lazy coffee shop hangout :

My top ten reasons for coming to visit :

  • An opportunity to buy #LocallyGrown #Organic #InSeason #Fresh vegetables and fruit at #GreatPrices
  • A chance to meet the farmers who grow the produce that they proudly have to sell at their stalls and to quiz them about what produce will be available next week – I’m always doing this, forever in the search for the first of the crop !
  • meet and buy from selected artisans – products such as Balqees Raw Honey – need I say more ! Baker & Spice famous for their organic produce, Boon Coffee for Ethiopian Coffee, Coffee Planet to name a few
  • Come and meet members from Slow Food Dubai and take part in their monthly plant exchange
  • Support #UAEFarmers by buying local produce which tastes great
  • Watch Cooking Demonstrations from the culinary teams showing us what we can cook with the produce
  • Bring the kids and let them learn about where their food comes from
  • Feed your soul (or frankly just munch) with #Organic breakfast items from Baker & Spice, quench your thirst with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice or coconut juice straight from the coconut.
  • Feel the buzz and indulge in coffee from local roastery Coffee Planet and Boon Coffee.
  • #BeSocial – this is a place for meeting and making new friends all united with a passion for real food organic healthy food, at great prices – it’s all about #GrowingAndGatheringUAE and if you are lucky you might spot a celebrity chef or two as they are often there !

And here are a few tips from me :

  • The farmers provide plastic bags when you buy your produce, but I feel it’s always nicer to bring my own reusable ones
  • Bring cash as only a few traders accept cards
  • If you are planning on going somewhere after the market then think about bringing a cool box so you can store your fresh veggies in a cooler until you get home
  • Bring a shopping list by all means, but be prepared to be flexible as to what you buy – sometimes items aren’t in season, or more often than not you will spot something new or different to try and your shopping list will change or grow !
  • Come early if you can, that’s when you have the largest amount of items to select from, popular items can and do sell out from time to time – “It’s the early bird that catches the worm” as my mum would say !
  • Be prepared to take your time shopping – selecting produce, sampling produce and chatting with the Farmers and your new found foodie friends takes time, as does enjoying an al fresco breakfast or watching a cooking demo
  • Have fun and don’t forget to tell your friends about #TheFarmersMarketOnTheTerrace (#TFMOTT) – the team are active on Social Media so please help spread the word and let more people know about the awesomeness that’s happening in their own backyard every Friday #GrowingAndGatheringUAE
  • Come back again and experience the market as the seasonal produce changes

So there you have it – my agenda for the next six months (or until the crops run out) – this #Foodie has her #Fridays sorted out as I’ll be at The Farmers Market On The Terrace – for some #FoodieFridays –  I hope to see you there !

Want to read more about the Farmers Market on The Terrace from other passionate foodies? Here are links to other people who have written about the Farmers Market on The Terrace.  Enjoy x

UPDATE : May 2016 –  In late 2015 the Farmers Market on The Terrace got a new home, it’s now located in Business Bay.  The last day of the season was last week, watch out for updates for their opening date later this year.

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