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50 organic farmers, producers joining Earth Markets

About 50 local organic farmers and producers in Negros Occidental are joining the two Pop-Up “Earth Markets” in Silay City and Bacolod City this month.

The Earth Markets will open at Casa A. Gamboa on 5 Rizal Street, Silay City on March 20 and 21, and the second one at Kadiwa Market at May’s Organic Garden in Barangay Pahanocoy Bacolod City on March 27 and 28, Ramon “Chinchin” Uy Jr., a member of the Slow Food Community of Negros Island, said.

The “Earth Markets” are a project of the Slow Food Community of Negros Island and is one of the highlights of the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto Festival 2020-2021.

The two new Earth Markets opening in Negros Occidental will be in addition to the worldwide Slow Food community.
“Earth Markets” is an international network of markets that work in accordance with the principles of “slow food.”
The Slow Food Community of Negros Island commits to “promoting and preserving the traditional food of Negros Island” and to changing the local food system one step at a time, Uy said.

Doreen “Reena” Gamboa, president of Slow Food Community of Negros Island, said they will showcase local produce and products from organic farmers and fishermen from all over Negros Occidental.

“We are bringing good, clean, and fair shopping opportunities to the local community. The produce are local, fresh and seasonal,” Gamboa added.

Uy said the main focus of the Earth Markets is the small producers and food craftsmen; both markets will have different producers selling a wide range of produce.

For the Silay market, we will have farmers that are primarily from the North, and for Bacolod, it will mostly be farmers from the Central and South of Negros, Uy added.

Each farmer’s specific produce brings something new to the mix of each market, he said.

“They sell only what they produce and they can personally guarantee the quality of their products,” Uy said.
Specifically, there will be products ranging from heirloom rice, shade grown coffee, muscovado sugar, wild honey, dried fish, cacao, mushrooms, vinegar, and more.

“We will also be holding talks as well as cooking demos of recipes from our best-selling ‘Negrense Heritage Cooking’ book, as well as talks about agro-ecological farming, organic farming, sustainable fisheries, and Ark of Taste ingredients like criollo cacao, tinigib corn, batuan, and kadyos beans, and more.”

Gamboa added: “We are also looking to make the Earth Market a regular habit, and furthering collaboration with Slow Food through the Slow Food Travel pilot project here in partnership with the Department of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture.”

“Our goal is to constantly reinvent the island and turn it into a destination for sustainability, a model of biodiversity conservation and a network of Good, Clean and Fair producers, with our dream of someday making it a Slow Food Island,” she said.

Meanwhile, organizers also assure the public that the activities will observe health protocols against COVID-19 such as observing required physical distancing, wearing of face mask and face shield, checking of body temperature, using of contract tracing system, and washing of hands.

Those interested in the Pop-Up Earth Markets may contact Doreen “Reena” Gamboa at (0922) 853 4430 or Ramon “Chinchin” Uy at 0917-300-2446.*

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