The farmers’ market in Plovdiv is a city event that took place for the first time almost seven years ago. The idea of the organizer Gergana Kabaivanova is to meet local producers of clean food directly with consumers and was conceived at a time when she herself was looking for alternatives for quality products for her family.
The beginning isn’t easy and the event started with 4 producers in the then Galleria Mall. The format resembled a food cooperative through which the exchange took place in private spaces and not at all in the scale reached by the market today. The fact that the visitors had to be educated about the importance of clean and quality food products was also a challenge.
Today the event is very different and many people, especially young and active families with children, perceive it as the place where you can get fresh bio fruits and vegetables, farm cheese and yellow cheese, sourdough bread, homemade jams and lyutenitsa, tea and spices, homemade cookies and vegan food. The organizing team currently has two technologists who strictly monitor the quality and safety of the food offered. They are specially trained in the matter of micro-producing, help with presenting and defending the idea before the Food Agency and facilitate the whole process of product registration.
Among the producers who have already increased their number almost four times, you can find both familiar faces and brand new farms. One of the last to join were: Iter-Co bee farm, Stroevo dairy farm, Grape Hills winery and the farmer Darina Terzieva.
Iter-Co created their beehive in 2016 in an ecologically clean area rich in nectariferous plants and herbs. Adhering to the millennial tradition, while at the same time taking into account modern trends, they manage to develop mobile beekeeping. This allows the selection and supply of monoflorous honey – from rapeseed, acacia, lime, and polyflorous - herbal (thyme, lemon balm, cotton thistle, Jerusalem thorn, sunflower, etc.). Their honey is entirely natural, and every time they spend some time to talk with the customers about its beneficial effects on the human body and help with their choice. In addition to their honey, you can find many more varieties of bee products.
Fans of real dairy products undoubtedly know about Stroevo farmer’s dairy and their products. Their small family farm makes the dairy products of the Keffa brand from high-quality milk obtained from 470 sheep of the Lacaune breed. They also offer dairy products mixed with cow's milk, which they supply from other small local farms. The production is entirely in traditional technology, without adding preservatives, enhancers and dry milk.
Local brands also enjoy great support and popularity. The Sadovo peanut has proven its taste and aroma. It was applied for a product with a protected geographical indication and is sought worldwide because it doesn’t contain aflatoxins - one of the biggest problems with imported peanuts from countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. On the farmers’ market, it is offered by farmer Darina Terzieva.
And for the final, we leave the Bulgarian wine production, represented by Grape Hill winery, whose vineyards are located in the Thracian valley on the southern side of the hill. White and red grape varieties are grown in the area, but red wines greatly dominate greatly both in quantity and in virtue. The climatic conditions of the area, protected by strong northerly winds, favor rich, dense, memorable red wines of the Rubin, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Mavrud varieties. The wines produced from these varieties are characterized by intensive coloring, high density, saturated aroma with warm, southern character and considerable potential for long-lasting aging in oak barrels.
The Farmers’ Market has returned to its original location in the now renovated Plovdiv Plaza Mall and it will be held every Sunday from 16 June on level 1 in the central atrium from 10 am to 2 pm. In September there will be an opening ceremony with all the participants. For the summer season, Bunardzhika will again welcome the producers, albeit in a smaller number, every Wednesday from 4 pm to 8 pm.