The monthly Farmers’ Market took place in Lilongwe last Saturday. Held at the leafy and vast grounds of the Sanctuary Lodge, the market featured a variety local produce and goods, including home-made cheese, knit-wear, fish, and a array of knick-knacks made from chitenje, the local name for the fabric used by Malawian women as wrap-around skirts.
One of my favourite products on offer was jars of garden fresh tomatoes by the women’s collective Kwithu Kitchen based in Mzuzu. Founded in 2004, the collective uses revenue from product sales to provide children with hot meals, early childhood education, and after school tutoring. They’ve recently had problems getting their product delivered to Lilongwe, so I was very happy to scoop up a couple of jars of their delicious tomatoes.
I was also impressed by the beautiful trinkets and home ware made from beads showcased by the Lilongwe-based Streetwise Project, and the colourful jars handmade by a local woman. Having fallen for baobab (an up-and-coming superfood I’m sure) since moving to Malawi, I also picked up a jar of baobab jam made by the Ngolowindo Cooperative in Salima. Other stalls at the market featured produce from Kusamala (who also deliver my weekly veggie box), the Cheese Company, and The Pantree, which does a variety of delicious chutneys and jams. And that’s just to name a few.
To be fair, the Farmers’ market is largely an expat affair, but it does give additional opportunities to social enterprises like Kwithu Kitchen to showcase their product and add to the growing group of aficionados. So head to the next one.