While the Batticaloa market is in no short supply of produce, there's a new market in town that's looking to inspire sustainable living through the introduction of organic, eco-friendly produce.
With over 40 vendors from Batticaloa and rural areas such as Karadiyanaru, Vakarai and Kadaraveli, the market has been growing slowly over the past year.
Initiated by a slew of NGOs, the Bridge Market is a collective that brings together small scale producers of agro and non-agro products in the Eastern province to create marketing opportunities for the village communities in Batticaloa.
Every Saturday, vendors set up shop and sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables rice and grains, farm products, curd and treacle to traditional handicrafts made of coconut shells and basket weave. They also promote eco-friendly bags, though some of the vendors seem to be using the regular sili sili bags.
Still in its infancy, there's still only a handful of vendors currently operating, but there were quite a few people gathered there when we visited. Prices are higher than the regular market, but that's to be expected.
Ginger & Honey Man
We browsed around and found a friendly old man selling ginger and honey in jars. Cut into jigsaw shapes, this ginger and honey concotion is meant to get your appetite going.
We might have just had the munchies and discovered a particularly trippy sweet and spicy treat. At Rs 450, it was hella worth it and I'd buy it again if I find it in Colombo.
If you ever find yourself spending a weekend in Batticaloa, do check out the market. We're hoping the Bridge Market keeps at it and grows bigger with time. There isn't much to do apart from shop for groceries, though, so, it's not really a great place to hang out (unlike Colombo's Good Market).