Mercat de Forada – Interactive Market of Local Products
By Carmen Loren
At the very heart of Ibiza, between San Rafael and Santa Ines, lies the tiny village of Forada in the area known as Buscstell. It is almost unknown to tourists, but every Saturday one of the most authentic markets on the island takes place there. Its exact location is opposite the bar Can Tixedó at the crossing of the road that connects San Rafael with Santa Inés and the back road from Santa Gertrudis to San Antonio. Every Saturday from 10am to 4pm the local farmers and producers meet to sell the fruits and vegetables that they grow nearby... but that is just the beginning. They are joined by artisans from around the island, along with food stands that offer tasty home made delights like vegan paella, gazpacho, lemonade, delicious sweets, plus Casita Verde’s classic Aloe Vera juice and carob syrup products.
The atmosphere at the market is relaxed and calm, as it is well away from the hustle and bustle of the island’s towns. Here you can connect with a more genuine Ibiza, since everything that is sold on the market has been harvested or produced on the island. The Forada market is a meeting place for island residents, to connect with those who follow a more natural, alternative and conscious way of life. It is also a place for cultural exchanges and the promotion of a Sustainable Rural Economy. The genesis of this “interactive” market goes back three years, and was launched thanks to the initiative from Chris Dews (founder of Casita Verde), together with friends Toni and Andrea from Santa Ines, in cooperation with Juanito from bar Can Tixedó and members of the Cooperativa Integral de Eivissa.
The organizers are proud to say that the Forada Market initiative is the most artisanal and local one on the island, as here you can buy only local products. Every Saturday there are a minimum of 10 stands, among them are ibicenco farmers who every week come to sell their veggies. Many of them still follow the same techniques that their parents and grandparents used and combine it with the knowledge of the 21st century organic standards. You can also find a stand run by the Cooperativa Integral de Eivissa, who prepare a giant vegetarian paella with the ingredients sold by the market farmers. Taking a break from your shopping to sample this delicious paella, that is made with love for only 5€ per plate, is one of the great joys of a day at Forada. It is a good idea to reserve your plate before 13:00 as it sells out very quickly!
There is another food stand at this special market that can make the taste buds of even the most demanding vegetarian sing. It’s called ‘La Madraza’, and they are passionate about creating delicious vegan, raw, organic and conscious food. Here you will find delicacies like scones, biscuits and cakes that are sugar and gluten-free; also natural desserts, lemonade, healthy snacks such as beetroot crackers and even a vegan menu of the day. It is an all-natural gourmet experience that you can wash down with a refreshing glass of Aloe Vera juice from Casita Verde, and complement with a tasty stop at the artisan jam stand from Andrea.
But the Forada Market has much more than just delicious foods. You can also find a large selection of healthcare products like cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, tonics and traditional remedies – all 100% natural and made here on Ibiza. In addition there are all sorts of handicrafts and tools made from recycled materials, biomass products, wood and even second-hand clothes and furniture, as well as a stand that sells and exchanges books during the first Saturday of every month. There are lively world music sessions by ‘El Cubanito’, who regularly entertains the visitors and market stall owners, who are often seen dancing together in the afternoon sunshine.
Another aspect that makes Forada Market a very interesting meeting point, is the information that can be found about the different initiatives that are being developed on the island by humanitarian, environmental and cultural organisations. A good number of these were able to make themselves better known at a special festival that was organised at the market in September. This event was a great success, since many new attendees were able to get to know the market and enjoy the variety of activities that were put on by the organizers from the morning until the night – including live music, performed by local musicians. That day also brought together some of the most interesting alternative initiatives that are happening on the island. Among the various organizations that had the opportunity to explain their projects were ‘Fashion Revolution Ibiza’, ‘Fundación Deixalles’, ‘Banca Ética Fiare’ and ‘Amics de la Terra Ibiza’.
Throughout history, markets have always been a place for the community to meet up, connect and exchange. In the case of Forada, this exchange is not only commercial, but also cultural and human. Those who aim for a different, spiritual and more conscious lifestyle will find a meeting point of kindred spirits here every Saturday. The opportunity exists at a place like Forada, to slowly build the foundation for a community that is governed by alternative principles that are more just, fair and natural than those that presently dominate our society. Supporting a local, sustainable rural economy, respecting nature and encouraging cooperation amongst different people are some of the driving principles behind the Forada market. •