Out in Bahrain: Budaiya Farmers’ Market

Budaiya Farmers' Market

It turns out, we’re farmers market people.

Every year, from December to June, there’s Budaiya Farmers’ Market. Taking place in, funnily enough, Budaiya, just off Budaiya Highway. Every Saturday morning between 8am and 12pm, you can get farm fresh stuff from Bahraini farmers.

We’ve never been able to go. A) Because it only just turned December last month. B) OH (Let me just start calling him A from now on, huh?) works until 2am, so getting up at 7:30am to get to the farmers market for 8am isn’t exactly appealing. At some point, we felt, it’s our duty. After all, we’re always complaining that there’s never anything to do in Bahrain. There is, we’re just not up early enough for it.

That changed that this last weekend. Made the effort. Got up early. In the car and on the road to Budaiya. (Which really isn’t all that far away – 20 minutes or so!)

Finding Budaiya Farmers’ Market was pretty easy. I couldn’t find an address as such on the Internet, but using my not-so great skills at comparing the shit Bing Map on their Facebook page to Google Maps, counting some roundabouts, we got there. There’s one sign-post off Budaiya Highway to get you to the actual farmers’ market, which is set in Bahrain’s Botanical Gardens.

Food tents at Budaiya Famers' Market
Food tents at Budaiya Famers’ Market – busy, busy, busy. Though the food was fairly average.

As it was so incredibly early, breakfast was the priority. There are some stalls serving Arabic breakfast goodies – egg & tomato, falafel sandwiches, dhaal, that sort of thing. Can’t say I was too impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it hit the hunger spot. Just for what we paid for it, you can definitely get better breakfasts in Bahrain. Between four of us, think it came to about 6BHD. Though, we may have bought a little too much food.

With full bellys, we headed to the farmers’ market. It was rammed. Reminded me of the markets I’m so used to in Portugal. Well, Portugal waaay back when. Not so much now.

What was in Budaiya Farmers’ Market?

Budaiya Famers' Market

All sorts of vegetables, and all grown locally. Tonnes of different sorts of greens, carrots, cauliflowers, broccoli, herbs, tomatoes – so many vegetables! And they all looked really good. Sure, we got to the market a few hours past eight, about 12pm, but there was still plenty available.

Budaiya Farmers' Market
Cauliflower and broccoli with the stems all intact. They were huge! So obviously we had to get some.

After walking up and down the market stalls, seeing what was on offer, the mental list was prepared. Back into the gauntlet we went picking up aubergines, carrots, chillies, beetroot and the one thing we were desperately after – beet greens!

Budaiya Farmers' Market
I have never seen such amazing looking tomatoes once, that don’t cost the Earth, in the supermarkets here.

Aside from vegetables there are stalls selling indoor & outdoor plants and some artsy trinket-y sort of things. I do want some plants – desperately want some green for inside the house. But that can wait for another trip to the market.

I was really surprised I didn’t see any fruit for sale at the market. None. Well, aside from some dried dates. No fresh fruit. Which made me a little sad as I do really like my fresh fruit!

Budaiya Farmers' Market

It was definitely worth the early start. We don’t see enough mornings here in Bahrain. The weather was perfect – lovely and warm & sunny. The best thing was seeing local produce on sale. And being able to get said local produce.

Budaiya Farmers' Market
A, ever so happy with his haul of beet greens.

Can definitely see us dragging ourselves out of our comfy beds at early o’clock again to head to Budaiya Farmers’ Market. Just not the next weekend. Or the weekend after. Maybe the one after?