Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Salad Hunter: Geneva's Secret Market

The Salad Hunter:
Geneva's Secret Market

Everyone who lives, has lived and will live in Geneva learns pretty fast how expensive it is to eat here. Another well-known Genevarism is that this city often shares its secrets by word of mouth, so here's one before a summer of salad munching starts. 

I received a tip off from a Geneva salad hunter this week, and was taken by bike to a market of local and cheap vegetables in an unlikely location. Down across the river, far beyond the city centre, there is a caravan of secrets known only to she who bikes and buys local. 

L'Union Maraîchère de Genève can be found on the Rue Blavignac 16 in Carouge. You have to follow the tramlines downtown and wander through the concrete jungle of the M-Park industrial estate until you find a big metal container next to a deserted train carriage. 

 The trains have stopped. No one comes here anymore...

...unless they want to buy cheap and sustainably farmed fruits and vegetables!

Inside, wonders await, including vegetables that are too deliciously huge to be sold in Swiss supermarkets. It is all locally grown, seasonal, and an absolute bargain. You can read a bit about the UMG organisation here.

The market is open from Monday-Saturday. They deliver to your home too. If you're looking for more exotic ingredients, you might need to visit the supermarkets or the weekend markets, as this produce is strictly regional. 

That said, I've recently spied these carob trees growing in the Place du Bourg-de-Four of the Old Town.

You might have seen carob trees growing in warm Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Italy. I remember them growing everywhere in Cyprus, and here they are, in central Europe, in the middle of the Swiss-French Alps, somehow bearing fruit each year. 

Reachable by bike, Tram 12, and foot:

L'Union Maraîchère de Genève
Rue Blavignac 16
1227 Geneva

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to this blog piece, I got it together to go and find this amazing source of local produce. It is gorgeous! Simple, real produce, complete with real fruit & veggie blemishes - wonky three-legged carrots, and father-/mother-/baby bear-/Goldilocks-sized versions of the same red onion. It was dizzyingly cheap, compared to local supermarket prices, as you said and came free of packaging. Thank you, dear resourceful blogger, for sharing this with us all. I am going to print out this blog for the Union Maraichère and take it along next time, as they have a modest collection of 'press coverage' stuck up on the wall behind the till. Hugs and wonky carrots from Geneva.