11 December 2017
Shopping at farmers markets and buying groceries directly from farmers and suppliers is a great way to learn about the fresh produce and seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available in the Cayman Islands. By supporting local farmers, not only do we reduce our carbon footprint but we are also creating jobs in our community.
Check out one or all of the farmers markets in Grand Cayman and you will be pleasantly surprised to find the variety of produce available and at a very reasonable cost. The weekly market at Camana Bay is a great option as it’s a “one-stop shop” to go to for all things local.
Green Market at Plantation Organic
Farmers Market at the Cricket Grounds
Farmers Market at the Agricultural Grounds
Sustainable dining has become a staple in Grand Cayman’s food scene. The farm-to-table movement combined with popular slogans encouraging people to “shop local,” “buy local” and “support local” have really hit home across the Cayman Islands in the past few years, causing a rise in the quality and quantity of farmers markets in Grand Cayman. Local crops like breadfruit, callaloo, coconut, ackee and basil, along with seasonal specialities of tomato, mango and avocado, have allowed households to fill their home kitchens with more fresh flavours than ever before.
Many eco-friendly Cayman Islands companies, along with organisations such as the local Slow Food group, and Slow Food South Sound, have worked hard to bring the Slow Food movement to the Cayman Islands. Slow Food South Sound is an offshoot of the global, grassroots organisation, founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, help inspire people to think about where their food comes from and consider how food choices affect the local community and the world around us. Annual campaigns and events such as Slow Food Day at Camana Bay help to educate the community on the importance of understanding how and where your food is grown.
Camana Bay’s popular Wednesday Farmers & Artisans Market truly showcases a variety of locally grown and made produce and products. In addition to the locally inspired and made items available in the over 40 shops and restaurants of Camana Bay, the weekly market sees growers and purveyors offering fresh produce, speciality foods, gifts, jewellery, skincare products, crafts, teas, jellies, seasonings and more join the Town Centre.
The Farmers & Artisans Market also provides a hub of entertainment on a Wednesday, with artists creating crafts in real time, cultural demonstrations of thatch weaving, rope making and conch blowing and then live music and performances. The dancing waters of our interactive fountains delight children while adults discover products and experiences found only in Grand Cayman. As nightfall approaches, head to KARoo for Open Canvas, an event where local artists display their talents and work on their latest creations. Art enthusiasts can join the gathering and watch paintings come to life one brushstroke at a time. The easels are set up every night at 7 p.m.; just bring your own art supplies to join in the fun.
A selection of items offering an authentic piece of the Cayman Islands is available in the Camana Bay Town Centre shops. These items were either made in Cayman or were inspired by the country’s natural beauty and storied history.
When it comes time to stop shopping and enjoy a meal, Camana Bay also offers many sustainable dining options. Sustainability is one of the key pillars that Camana Bay was built on, not only in regards to food but also with regards to environmental initiatives including recycling, solar energy, and electric vehicle charging stations, Camana Bay aims to stay on the cutting edge of all things green.
Abacus, which has been a signature restaurant of Camana Bay since 2007, offers a menu featuring ocean-to-table and farm-to-table dishes that change with the season, all created by head chef Will O’Hara. “The ingredients truly make the dish, and with a bounty of goods available right here in Cayman, why would we go elsewhere? We always look for ways to incorporate seasonal ingredients into our everyday menu and look forward to seeing the growth of farming in Cayman as demand increases within our restaurant industry,” O’Hara recently told Skies magazine.
Jessie’s Juice Bar is another local favourite which works closely with local farmers to specifically source many of their ingredients and keep their menu fresh with the latest seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Gelato & Co. always has local fruit sorbettos on their menu, from soursop to guava to mango, depending on what is in season.
For such a small island, the desire for farmers markets, where locally grown and locally made products can be purchased, is ever growing. We encourage you to support this movement and explore the many options for supporting home grown and locally made products that are available on Grand Cayman.
Island tastes and trinkets at the Farmers & Artisans Market:
Tropical delights: The Cayman Islands is blessed with a bounty of local fruits and vegetables. There you’ll find exotic treats like breadfruit and soursop and the ever popular mango; in season from March to September, the mangoes are left on the trees to ripen until they are sugar sweet and juicy.
Sweet refreshments: Enjoy coconut water and jelly straight from the shell or cool off with some refreshing watermelon or sugar cane.
Cayman snacks: At lunchtime eat like a Caymanian and grab a delicious patty, a local favourite filled with either beef, chicken or vegetables — all wrapped up in a curry-seasoned pastry. Calorie-free of course! After all, you’re on vacation.
Traditional crafts: Experience an island tradition and visit Miss Lizzie Powell as she weaves bags made of thatch palm in front of your eyes. Thatch work is an important part of the Cayman Islands’ history; the strong fronds of the Silver Thatch Palm were used for roofs, brooms, ropes and stylish and sturdy handbags. Pick up a bag from Miss Lizzie to carry all of your market essentials.
Unique souvenirs: Treat yourself with handcrafted beauty products, including scrubs and lotions made with coconut oil as well as body polish and soaps with tropical aromas. Satisfy your sweet tooth with jams including sea grape, guava and mango or spice things up with pepper jellies and hot sauces. Update your wardrobe with unique jewellery, including pieces made with the beautiful but venomous lionfish or with Caymanite, a semi-precious stone found only in Cayman.
For more on the Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market, tune in for this quick episode of Cayman Shorts, where we highlight the main benefits of the Market and give you a glimpse of what you can expect.