Marché du Mois: Marché Joinville

Locally grown apples at Marché Joinville, 75019 If you follow rue Riquet, home to a selection of go-to spots in in Paris' latest up-and-coming neighborhood, you'll end up in the 19th arrondissement at the Bassin de la Villette. It's on this embankment that you will find, every Thursday and Sunday morning, Marché Joinville.

I visited the market on a recent rainy day, one of the most solidly down-pouring days that we've had this season. I Dodged umbrellas and the elderly, who often walk into you or cut in line while shopping- especially when dry spots under the market awnings are at a premium.

A rainy day at Marché Joinville

As usual, my quest was to find a local farmer. After a few rounds up and down the market I feared I had made the rain soaked bike ride to the market for nothing. Fruits and vegetables from Morocco and Spain filled the market stands and cardboard boxes and out-of-season produce were aplenty.

Signs of the disappearance of farmers from Paris markets were at every turn, until I stumbled upon a stand that gave me hope even when spotted from yards away. I approached the earth-covered piles of apples, celery root, carrots, potatoes, and beets, quickly confirming that I had found an Ile-de-France farmer!

Ile-de-France grown produce

The Cattiaux family has a farm in Le Plessis-Bouchard in the Val d'Oise department located just north of Paris. The farm is less than 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) from the city, and a wide range of seasonal vegetables are grown on site and brought directly to the market.

I stocked up on apples, beets, radicchio, and broccoli all for under 6 euro. See- fresh food can be affordable, too!

place de joinville

Marché Joinville 

Place de Joinville, 75019

m° Crimée (line 7)

Open Thursday and Sunday 7-14h30

Marché du Mois: Marché Bio du Centquatre

Organic vegetables waiting to be taken home in a panier from Marché bio Centquatre The city of Paris sponsors three all-organic markets; Marché bis des Batignolles, Marché Raspail, and Marché bio Brancusi. For such a large city and such a growing demand, there is a limited choice of markets offering exclusively organic, and mostly local, produce.

This blog is dedicated to scouting out the local farmers that can be found amongst the industrial produce and imported goods at the city's open-air markets. I delight in finding market stands that are operated by Ile-de-France farmers at neighborhood marchés such as Marché Ornano or Marché Cours de Vincennes, but it's also nice to visit a market where you know that all the products on sale come directly from the producer.

Crowds of locals and locavores flock to the organic market

That's why I was eager to check out the Centquatre's weekly Marché Bio. Every Saturday, this community center welcomes farmers, cheese makers, and other artisans to set up shop at their immense space in the 19th arrondissement.

The Halle Aubervilliers, where the weekly market takes place, is welcoming and decked out with scattered chairs and seating options, a bookshelf-lined trailer loaded with a selection of books you can borrow or trade for, and a pizza truck complete with a wood burning stove.

chairs

The organic market animates the space even further, drawing crowds made up of couples, families and locals. When I visited in late August, I had the option of fresh fruits and vegetables from  La Ferme de Marconville, artisanal cheese from the Fromagerie Jean-Marie Beaudoin, and charcuterie from La Ferme de Mesenguy.

All the products came from the Picardie region in France (a little over an hour North of Paris), which guaranteed their freshness and terroir.

La Ferme de Marconville sign

When purchasing your farm-fresh fruit and veggies, you have the choice of selecting your products à la carte by opting for the vente au détail or you can pick up one of two sizes of paniers- a large for 16 euro or the smaller version for 8 euro.

On the day of my visit, a large panier was made up of 9 different veggies (including 1 eggplant, 2 cucumbers, 1 kilo zucchini and two heads of lettuce). The small panier, which I ended up taking home, had 500 grams of zucchini, 1 kilo tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 1 bell pepper, 1 head of lettuce, and 500 grams of potatoes. All in all a great starter kit for a farm to table ratatouille !

cucumbers

You can also add to your vegetable basket if you something catches your eye, which is what I did the minute I saw that lemon cucumbers were an option.

If you can't make it to the market on Saturday, you can visit L'épicerie du 104 which specializes in natural and organic products. The small store is open from Wednesday to Sunday, starting at noon. 

Cheese from Fromagerie Jean-Marie Beaudoin

Marché Bio du Centquatre

5 rue Curial, 75019

Halle Aubervilliers

m° Riquet (line 7)

Open Saturday 11-14h

Marché du Mois: Marché Place des Fêtes

Guy Barrais' stand at Marché Place des Fêtes Paris has taught me that venturing out of my neighborhood can often lead to intriguing discoveries and welcome surprises. The same holds true when traveling from market to market.

In the quest to find locally grown produce I have encountered a friendly gentleman selling homemade Polish specialties at Marché Père-Lachaise, the chaotic and exciting ambience of Marché Belleville, and delicious Portuguese pastries at Marché couvert St. Martin

Discovering the varying elements that make each market unique is part of the fun of my market adventures, but finding fresh vegetables from the Ile-de-France region remains the Holy Grail of my quest.

Patrick Messant

I never know when I will find the next local producer and that is what motivates me to tour markets both near and far, filling up my shopping bag along the way.

A need for a change in scenery during a bitter bout with the winter blues brought me to the Marché Place des Fêtes on a frosty February day. Exiting the metro of the same name I was happy to find myself plunged into the middle of the market, where seasonal vegetables were immediately in sight.

Barrais tubers

Not surprising, but always encouraging to see, the two stands operated by local producers were circled by steadily long lines of shoppers with discriminating tastes. Behind me in line at Guy Barrais' stand, an on-duty police office spoke with an equally on-duty mother of two, "I don't care if it's not bio," he explained to her "here the vegetables are always good." The mother agreed while herding a toddler back in line, and the police officer greeted the vendor and exchanged their weekly updates before ordering the makings of a pot-au-feu.

Guy Barrais' farm is located in the Seine-et-Marne, not far from Fontainebleau which is just south of Paris. The stand is staffed with friendly vendors and stocked with seasonal treats such as endives, pears, apples, swiss chard, cauliflowerand leeks.

Fans of seasonal and local produce gather at Patrick Messant's stand

Marché Place des Fêtes is also home to Patrick Messant whose farm is located an hour east of Paris. Visit this stand early if you want the best selection of his homegrown spinachrutabaga, lettuce, onions, and beets

Two organic vendors are in attendance at Marché Place des Fêtes selling certified organic foods if you're seeking something out-of-season or from a far-off land.

Marché Place des Fêtes also has two organic vegetable vendors

Marché Place des Fêtes

Place des Fêtes, 75019

m° Place des Fêtes (line 7bis, 11)

Open Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 7h-14h30