A chic affair. For the first timer its perhaps easy to dismiss Karachi Farmers’ Market as yet another elitist phenomenon but only when you start visiting the market regularly that you understand that it is one serious business. At nine o clock on every Sunday, when most of the Karachi is still in slumber, You will find Organizers and participants at Farmers’ Market ready with their stalls to cater to the people concerned with what makes it to their dinning table.
The Market is aesthetically pleasing. The central courtyard at Haque’s Academy in Defence, where the market takes place is an ideal setting. There is greenery and perfect morning light which filters through the sunroof. There you will find 20 odd stalls selling anything from fresh milk, vegetables, seeds, oil to granola bars. Is it inclusive? Yes very much so. The moment you arrive at Farmers Market, you will be greeted by one of the organizers, who will quickly note down your contact, to make sure that you remain updated about schedule and upcoming events, encouraging more participation and engagement in their communication. Perhaps the only two things that makes the market a bit exclusive are prices and the location. Unlike other farmers’ markets around the globe, most of the participants here perhaps wont qualify as your everyday farmer. However with commendable spirit they have kept Farmers Market alive by making sure that they feed it regularly but in this effort, price has escalated far beyond reach of an average Karachi Walla. The location is another deterrent as people find it out of the way, deep into newly developed part of Defence. Compared to Haque’s academy, the current location, Lyceum, the former location, was much easily accessible.
While you will find a lot of stuff to take home, there is a stall serving breakfast with chai, lassi and paratha. Just like rest of the farmers’ market around the globe, it comes with a package. While craftsmen still have not found their way to the market, musicians and booksellers have so. On a regular day you will find a large bookstall near the entrance selling second hand and often pirated books (with a bit of premium). Inside the courtyard you will find few musicians playing various instruments.
Karachi Farmers’ Market has added an important public space to the landscape of Karachi where there was a dearth of quality ones. But more importantly they have provided a platform through which a lot of novice home gardeners can learn and grow and in turn help others to learn.