San Antonio Green Market – Redefining the Saturday Morning Trip to the Market
Garden, grown, and goodness. …the sybaritic peace of the village green, the voluptuous beauty of the hazy sunlight in misty green leaves, the sultry rhythms of plowing and planting in the tropical heat and animals ranging free rustling and scurrying through the bush. The pleasures of discerning taste buds savoring vegetables and herbs recently harvested from fertile soil; the delight of pungent passion fruit on the palate
I am not a morning person so the thought of getting up before 7 a.m. on a Saturday is not a pleasant one. However, after my trip to San Antonio Green Market last Saturday I might (maybe) change my mind about it. I mean I’ll have to get up early if I want to go back to Green Market and I want to!
The San Antonio Green Market is open every Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located on Saddle Road in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley. If you are coming from Maraval, it is on your left immediately after Cutucupano Road. It is a sharp turn to access the parking so take it slow. If you reach the Gas Station you have passed it!
It was established in November 2012 on lands designated for the project by Wendell Mottley and Vicki Assevero. Lovely as it is, it has a very serious purpose. It is an experiment in a community based farmers market. Its Facebook and web site indicates that it seeks to build community “linking producers of healthy food with eco-conscious consumers while preserving the natural beauty of the Santa Cruz Valley”. San Antonio Green Market intends “to develop relationships between producers and consumers around healthy garden grown vegetables and delicious home foods.”
Green Market offers a mix of fresh produce, crafts and foods. Designed by architect Michael Lee Poy it is well planned (see diagram). There are parking attendants to control cars and other vehicles. Produce and vegetables are located in sheds adjacent to the parking. I assume for ease of delivery.
The food and craft area is fenced and located on the eastern side. Laid out beautifully with meandering pathways and lots of foliage. It’s all a mix of natural woods, stone and vegetation. It is extremely well organized. All vendors and organizers wear Green Market jerseys so that they are easily identifiable. Very professional.
We arrived at about 7.30 a.m. and the parking lot was already full. We were lucky in that someone had just left and we got an easy spot. We browsed among the fresh produce and ended up with citrus, cassava and some mixed greens. Tasted some freshly squeezed cane juice with a dash of cinnamon – the cinnamon is the thing apparently!
We walked around a bit in the craft and food area. Admired some citronella candles, bought some refrigerator handle covers from J’s Original and looked at Elizabeth Pohlman’s beautiful glass mosaics. I really want one of those hummingbirds. Oh, I cannot forget to mention Pauline and Rebecca’s unusual jewellery – going back for that too!
Then we ate. Had to, we were surrounded by delicious smells. A cup of coffee, a couple of beef and chicken arepas, cocoa tea and a bake with carailli later we were good to go. We ate in the Food Court area but at that point it was getting very crowded and seating is limited. We met many friends and caught up on lots of peoples business. I think this is part of the charm of Green Market. It is a social event. They have redefined the Saturday morning trip to the market.
Before leaving, we chatted with one of the organizers Michael Chan Tack. It became obvious that Green Market is an on-going experiment. He mentioned plans for clearing of the underbrush to make available more relaxation space. There was also the possibility of chefs conducting workshops at the market utilising onsite produce.
We totally enjoyed our experience. Loved the size and layout of the area. It is not too big or overpowering. You leave relaxed. Highly recommended.
Telephone: San Antonio Green Market Administration (868) 221-9116 or Viki Assevero (868) 740-8571