The Molo Earth Market is the first of its kind in Kenya. The Slow Food Central Rift Convivium hosts the market.
Molo is a large town in Nakuru County with a population of 107,806 (2009 census). The area is particularly suited for agricultural activity with a prevalence of mixed farming (with both animal and crop production). The main livestock reared include cattle, poultry, sheep and goats. Dairy industry is the leading livestock enterprise while maize, beans, Irish potato and wheat, fruits vegetables and flowers are the most cultivated crops.
The city of Molo was chosen to host the Earth Market due to its centrality in relation to Slow Food activities in Nakuru County. Molo is also the birthplace of the local convivium. In addition, communities in the area have been very active in promoting the Slow Food philosophy through nominating products to the Ark of Taste, establishing Slow Food gardens (such as, for example, the one hosted at the Baraka Agricultural school), and participating in the Cooks’Alliance and Slow Food Presidia projects.
The decision to start an Earth Market is based on the need to revive local food and traditions, bring food producers and consumers together, and make high-quality fresh products available. The project aims to strengthen the local economy, since market access remains one of the biggest challenges facing small-scale farmers in Molo and throughout the whole country.
The market involves many different producers from more than 30 Slow Food communities, including the Ogiek, Karirikania, Lare, Kihoto, and Kangawa communities, the Herbs Growers group (Gilgil community), an organic pesticide producer (Salome Njeri), organic juice makers (Kenyatta community), traditional seeds savers (Makongo community), the Network for Eco-farming in Africa (NECOFA), and the Baraka Agricultural college.
The communities bring a rich selection of products to the Earth Market, including many Slow Food Presidia products such as the Lare Pumpkin, Molo Mushunu Chicken, Ogiek Honey, and Mau Forest Dried Nettle. It will also be possible to purchase local honey, vegetables such as organic kale and strawberries, medicinal herbs (moringa, neem, pepino melons, mint, rosemary, and different herbal teas, among other products), and plants like nettles that are useful for agricultural and ecological practices.
Where: Molo Railway ground, close to the Molo Post Office, Molo Sub-County
When: The market will be held every 2nd and the 4th Saturday of the month, from 9:00 a.m..