Monthly eco-market launches!

After the success of the monthly markets that started last year, mostly hosted on the private lands of people interested in promoting the organic movement, a new more permanent eco-market was launched in the village of Alpedrinha on Sunday, February 11th, 10am – 1pm.

The group behind the organisation of the market are newly formed association BioEco. The mission of BioEco is to promote organic agriculture – both production and consumption. The association has several working groups, and the group in charge of the markets is working closely with the village of Alpedrinha.

The location of the market was in the center of the village, next to the Tourism Point – so perfect for people to pass by and check it out. Some of the villagers popped into the market after mass!!!

It was a great success, both in terms of the numbers of vendors and folks who came to buy their local products.

Not only veggies were for sale, also juices, jams, natural cosmetics, herbal teas and soaps, essential oils and much more….

  

 

The markets play an important function, not only economically, but socially too. The animation of music and face-painting on the eve of Carnival brought a real sense of celebration to the gathering.

Eric brought a stall with Mount of Oaks products and really enjoyed the experience and sense of community with the other vendors and chatting in Portuguese, English and German!

One of the broad aims of the monthly markets is to promote the growing of more organic produce in the locality – when farmers see that there is a genuine market for their produce the are more likely to plant!

Linda, who is a member of the association, and passionate seed saver and heritage seed propagator did a great job of sharing seeds from her collection.

BioEco were also promoting an action the following Sunday, sowing seeds on the burnt areas of the mountain – to provide food for the animals. (See the next blog for an update of how that went!)

The NEXT market is Sunday 11th March – if you are anywhere in the region – feel free to pop along from 10am – 1pm. But remember, bring your own shopping bags!

Homegrown Local Markets

The development of a local sustainable economy has been a focus of the Mount of Oaks community since inception. We have the priviledge of living in a area where farmers still farm and produce fruit and vegetables. We have local farmers markets twice a week in Fundao – and there we can buy from a few producers who consciously do not use chemicals to fertilise their crops.

However, we have been meeting with folks interested in promoting the cultivation and consumption of organic produce for a long period of time – and some of the results of these connections can be seen in the projects that have been emerging over the last months.

(photos from Castelo Novo 2.0)

SO far there have been 4 very successful local markets on farms in our area and 3 markets in the historic village of Castelo Novo, just up the road from where we live.

The markets in Castelo Novo are promoted and organised by a local association called ‘Castelo Novo 2.0’ whose aim is to bring life back into the historic village. Ines and Hugo have been working very hard to promote the village and the local economy.

 

Markets Movement springing up from the Land!

Alongside the monthly markets in Castelo Novo we have been involved in promoting the little ‘Land Markets’. These have been happening on the 3rd Saturday every month since the first in April. The main person to thank in this movement is the kind, wise and beautiful Fransisco from the organisation, Ananda Marga.

The markets have been opportunities for real social interaction between the ‘new communities’ and the local Portuguese population. Alongside the selling of fruit, veggies, herbal teas, nuts, fermented drinks there has been a part of promoting well being. Keri comes and sells her chemical-free cosmetics, Laura and Joy have given massage, Kimberly and Dalia have instructed yoga practice.

We have really been enjoying transforming our herbs into beautiful tea mixes, selling our cured olives, tangerine cordial, soaps and other produce! We are learning by doing and coming up with some good recipes.

 

 

The next ‘Land Market’ is here, Mount of Oaks on 19th August, from 9am-12noon.

There will be at least 15 stalls, a kids area and also the opportunity to practice yoga (starts at 9am, bring your own mat and be prepared to leave a donation for laura)

The invite and more info in Portuguese and English about the market can be found here 

Coming next!

In the next blog about the local markets we will share more about the possibility of an association emerging to promote the markets, education and growth of sustainable local farming.

So far 4 different types of markets!

Bi-weekly Farmers Market in Fundao on Mondays and Saturdays

1st Saturday of the month – ‘Eco Mercado’ in the village of Castelo Novo

3rd Saturday of the month – ‘Mercadinho da Terra’ which happen in different farms in the Fundao district.

Quarterly Local Ecomony Fair – using alternative currency in Covilha