Spicy, For All The Right Reasons - Organic chillies at the Fresh Produce Market. Photo: Aurelia Mouton.

Hot and High at the Chilli and Cannabis Weekend

BY AURELIA MOUTON

Spice lovers and cannabis connoisseurs alike, take note: Chilli and Cannabis Weekend at Greendrop Farm was the perfect place to be.  

Hosting the Stellenbosch Fresh Produce Market every Saturday, Greendrop Farm decided to up the ante and invite small-scale farmers to a meet-and-greet of a different variety. A cannabis conference! This event served as an opportunity for small-scale farmers to learn about the latest technology, research and legislation related to and necessary for the emerging commercial cannabis market in South Africa. 

Farmers were not only able to sell their organically grown chillies but also received an opportunity to get acquainted with homegrown cannabis. Whilst browsing the vegetables and herbs, Jaco Visser, owner of Greendrop Farm, invited market-goers to join in on the learning experience. 

“It’s for everyone, not just farmers. Young people can learn about small-scale farming too. It’s not just about cannabis, but the skills they can gain from the experience,” said Visser. 

Cannabis growing expert and enthusiast, Jannik Joubert said, “It’s a good opportunity to equip yourself for the emerging cannabis market. It’s about quality and opportunity. When the legislation eventually catches up, you’d be prepared to make the most of the opportunities it offers.”

The Cape Town Cannabis Collective, a close collaborator with Greendrop, functions as a tight-knit circle of professionals who seek to establish a positive cannabis culture in the Winelands and surrounds, focusing on educating communities on the economic benefits of mainstream cannabis production and sales, and destigmatising the industry. 

Greendrop Farm has been in operation for a little more than a year and functions as a farming community, with many farmers collaborating to create a family atmosphere and supportive system. The markets at Greendrop Farms often boast different themes, the next being Jam and Rusk Day.

“Our goal is to have our products be fresher and 40% cheaper than what you would find in conventional supermarkets. We are focused on sustainable, ethical farming, using our hydroponic systems. Our produce doesn’t lose flavour or colour. It’s healthier and fresher!” said Lindie Viljoen, operations manager at Greendrop Farm. 

“After losing our income due to the pandemic, this has been a great opportunity to get back into business and expand,” said Naushad Khan, owner of the House of K, a private kitchen business. Khan, the former editor of the newspaper, The Next 48hOURS, now sells his specialty curries and Durban-style Indian food at the market with his wife.

The Stellenbosch Fresh Produce Market takes place at Greendrop Farm every Saturday, from 08:00 to 15:00 and Sunday 09:00 until 15:00. Fresh produce, coffee and many other specialty delicacies are available at the market. 

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