The farmers’ market established by Slow Food Riga in Latvia’s capital will soon become an Earth Market, joining the growing network of markets run according to Slow Food’s philosophy by following a set of principles that guarantee the availability of good, clean and fair food and support a short production chain.
Launched in 2006, the Bazars Berga Bazara farmers’ market quickly became a popular attraction, with more than 50 produce stalls set up along a pedestrian passageway that winds through the historical centre. The quality products are sold directly to local residents by small-scale producers, including several Terra Madre food communities, at fair prices and with guaranteed environmentally sustainable production methods.
Local specialties available in the market place include rhubarb juice and jams made from sea-buckthorn, an acidic wild berry long used throughout the Baltic, as well as artisan cheeses and beers and a wide variety of seasonal fresh produce.
And in a country where it is practically impossible to find eggs that are not from industrial farms, Meki’s egg stall is considered by locals to be a small miracle. This elderly lady has become a symbol of the market, selling eggs from her own hens and geese, which she raises free range outdoors and calls by name.
The Bazars Berga Bazara paints a rich picture of the gastronomic production of this small country, straddled between modernity and rural traditions, providing an important link for the largely cosmopolitan population to their roots.
Earth Markets are farmers’ markets that have been established according to guidelines that follow the Slow Food philosophy. These community-run markets become important social meeting points, where local producers offer healthy, quality food directly to consumers at fair prices and guarantee environmentally sustainable methods. In addition, they are focused on preserving the local food culture and biodiversity of edible plants and breeding.
For more information on the Bazars Berga Bazara:
Dace Tomsone, Slow Food Riga: [email protected]
Michele Rumiz, Slow Food International: [email protected]