1. Weekend picnics @ Sunder Nursery
The famed market at Sunder Nursery in Delhi resumed operations last month. While sampling edibles is on hold for now and stalls have been halved to ensure social distancing, the heritage park right next to Humayun’s Tomb is abuzz with eager shoppers. Organic produce, groceries, textiles and live food counters – think alcohol-free beverages with hibiscus, rose and eucalyptus – abound at this refreshing market organised by Meenu Nageshwaran of The Earth Collective. “Tables are placed six feet apart, sanitisers placed around the venue and there are designated hand wash areas,” she says, adding how they had close to 1,000 visitors on day one. From 8 am to 1 pm.
2. Craft Council online
While on-ground events like the Crafts Bazaar and natural dye exhibition are off the cards this year, Crafts Council of India is finally going online. “The pandemic has thrown open the doors for virtual platforms and kamalabycci.com will be launched in the coming weeks,” says Jayasri Samyukta, Joint Secretary. The site will feature some of their curated textiles and knick-knacks. We heard about a range of aranmula kannadi (hand mirrors) and can’t wait. Meanwhile, their Chennai crafts store, Kamala, will reopen on Oct 19. 9840700445
3. Open air markets @ Dastkar
In the news for their online store, handsondastkar.com and craft bazaar, Nature 2020, Dastkar has its hands full. The focus, says founder Laila Tyabji, was on those who had built up stock over the last six months and urgently required sales opportunities. “We will see a rebound from malls to melas. Not just because it’s safer shopping in open air venues, but people have started valuing handmade and indigenous products in these months of introspection,” adds Tyabji. Dastkar.org
4. Sunday Sante’s comeback
Founders of the famed flea market hope to be back in action by December. “We are looking at physical events in a few cities in December. People are looking forward to outdoor events, especially since they’ve been spending time indoors for the last few months,” says Bengaluru-based Harish Rao of Sunday Soul Sante. An online store is also coming up. sundaysoulsante.com
5. Virtual sessions by Karen Anand
The open-air whole foods market featuring fresh fruit, honey, organic produce and more is also expected to resume in January. January 2021. At the moment, founder Karen Anand is busy promoting vendors via Instagram live sessions on @marketsbykarenanand and is also looking at opening an e-commerce store. “We are now restarting distribution through select stores only,” says Anand, adding how the staff has been roped in for Ks Kitchen – her brand of gourmet sauces, conserves and dressings. karensfarmersmarkets.in
6. Mumbai’s favourite
Mumbai’s go-to offline organic market – The Farmers’ Market – opened in August with a dozen sellers and “farmers and vendors were excited to resume operations”, says founder Kavita Mukhi. Visitors have been stocking up on organic seed bars, plump eggplants and even cafe specials like guilt-free cakes. Mukhi has started offering curbside delivery and Whatsapp bookings. “Visitors have grown by 50% since then but is still a far cry from pre-Covid days,” she admits. Every Sunday at Bandra Hindu Association, Mumbai. farmersmarket.co.in
7. Return to Mapusa
Known for Goan delicacies like string chouriço, cashew and fenny, Goa’s vibrant Mapusa market is back in action, with Friday being the best time to visit. Head here for everything from cold-pressed coconut oil to marinated pork sausages and pickles. Later this season, hand sewn caps and scarves will be added to the list. Open seven days a week.