Fourways Farmers Market – Or Not Everything Is As it Seems

A great weekend outing in the city – the Fourways Farmers Market

One would think, an establishment called Fourways Farmers Market would mean that you could purchase freshly harvested farm goods and produce. Well, that is not the case here …

Food stalls at Fourways Farmers Market

The Fourways Farmers Market is a hidden, country-themed gem in the heart of Joburg. It is right next to Monte Casino, where a lot of Joburg’s big events and buzz takes place.
This farmer’s market is nicely tucked away into an area surrounded by tall trees helping to soften the City’s noise and enhance the farm theme. There is ample parking space, sufficient enough to accommodate even a major crowd on Sundays. The entrance is picturesque, framed by more giant trees and a cleverly designed sign. There are security guards at the gate. This is to be expected and appreciated in Johannesburg. The entry fee is a token gesture of R10, which is very acceptable since there is no charge for parking.
A pretty and well-maintained garden path decorated with flowers leads visitors to the market. Further in one finds a gorgeous little garden area with beautiful paths, plants and authentic-looking market-stands.

Fresh vegetable smoothies at Fourways Market

The unexpected turn out

And then comes the unexpected surprise… You suddenly see an awful lot of sitting in the form of hay bales and tree-trunk chairs. That should have been the first clue, that is not at a traditional farmer’s market. Venturing further in reveals charmingly designed market-stands, which once again draws the visitor back to the original idea of buying fresh vegetables for lunch. But despite all efforts, buying some blazing red tomatoes or crunchy green asparagus is not on the cards. A fresh vegetable smoothie is as good as it gets. In fact, one must give up hope after a while, and face reality. This is just not that kind of market. Actually not really a market at all. This place is more like an outdoor food hall with a ‘picnic’ feel to it. The only market goods one can purchase here are hand-crafted knickknacks and only a handful of vendors are selling them. The stalls sell a variety of freshly prepared food, healthy smoothies and plenty of booze!

Sitting area at Fourways Market

Facing the truth

On my way out, driven by desperation to get answers, I asked a lady behind a stand: Why they are they calling it a Farmer’s Market.
She explained to me how she had to change her stock to knickknacks after her first day. And then she added: Oh don’t worry, soon this place is going to get really busy with hungry people, who want to get drunk.
And that right there is the actual truth about the Fourways Farmers Market…
Although this market is not quite what one would assume by the name, it is still an amazing and fun place to visit.

Learn more about the Fourways Farmer’s Market by visiting their website:

Find more things to do near Midrand.

Photo credit: Antal Ujvari