Januari 5, 2022
Dakika 2. Soma

Delicious Picnic on the farm

From chapati kwa ugali wa muhogo - tasting Sunday’s best in the shamba

As pure as it gets, Sunday brunches at Msonge Farm are at once social highlights and a divine treat of eco-traditional food.

Is it the delicious badia kat lesi (lentil balls) as it is spelled-out on the wall menu, or is it the nice gentleman next to me chatting me up about farming in Zanzibar? Is it the golden glow of ladies resting on the lawn as the afternoon progresses, or the energetic Zanzibar minister of investment and his family freely mingling with the crowd? Or is it simply the Renoir-like feeling of a totally relaxed picnic in the park as it played out „sur l’herbe“ somewhere in France in the 19th century? Whatever the secret oft the farm-to-table luncheons at the Msonge Farm in Zanzibar, the get-togethers every second Sunday are becoming increasingly popular.

„There’s just no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon“, comments Nia, a regular young American visitor. People from everywhere come to sample dozens of elaborate traditional farm dishes made of organically grown produce, some of which, like makopa (fermented cassava) many visitors may have never even heard of. Tourists, expats and a good number of local residents mingle on a typical farm-to-table event, around 25-30 people. Girls in their best pink or red Sunday ribbon dresses were toiling around; grown-ups sat on mkeka straw mats, their food leisurely placed on pallets in front of them. 

100 per cent organic and fresh

The inventor of the rural pop-up restaurant is Dr. Mwatima Juma, the owner of the 15-acre family farm in Shakani, a professional agronomist and head of the Practical Permaculture Institute of Zanzibar (PPIZ). She is known for tirelessly advocating for Zanzibar to become “a 100 per cent organic island”. Today however, the agile 64-year-old, known as “Mama Pakacha” in reference to her island-wide green delivery service, leans against the outdoor buffet and simply says: “I’m your head mistress”. While she explains seasonal and regional appetizers, entrees and desserts served in clay pots and on banana leafs, visitors count as many as twenty mouth-watering different dishes from green leafy chaya veggies to beans, from fried fish to farm chicken curry prepared by chief cook Nachum Makame and her team. And while everybody is happily munching shelisheli, falafel and breadfruit, violin player Buja Ali in a bright-yellow suit intonates taarab tunes under a mango tree. And that Zanzibar’s Minister for Labour, Economy and Investment, Mudrik R. Soraga, and his family have joined the event is no coincidence. The son of Dr. Mwatima is simply coming home for mum’s Sunday lunch.

A. Tapper

Farm-to-table

Every second Sunday, starting around 1 pm.

Rich lunch buffet, coffee and juices on the farm grounds,

TZS 25,000 p.p.  children up to 9 yrs free

Information & bookings: +255 754 536 630

Shiriki hii

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