My name is Kathy Voyles and I am passionate about food – honest, local organic food if I can get it. I grew up in the green grasslands of the Waikato, in New Zealand, in prime dairy farming territory where we had a large veggie garden, seemingly acres of fruit trees and loads of creatures hanging about from peacocks to muscovy ducks, bantams, goats and our arch enemies, the prize rose eating ‘possums’. Since then I’ve come a long way via various countries to somehow end up in the international city of The Hague. I can tell you I like it better each day, especially on such golden autumn day as this one is. I am also a most avid food forager, seeking the best of what this city has to offer and sharing that knowledge with others.
Since living here I have also become a bit of an urban activist, encouraging kids to look upon their city spaces, green and otherwise, as an environment for all to share and to enjoy. I also encourage all I meet to grow edible plants and flowers in their garden (should they be lucky enough to have one) or on a balconey or even just a few herbs on a kitchen window. Then I tell everyone I meet, know, email or exchange even a few words with to visit the wonderful farmers market in The Hague. This is my idea of heaven on a Wednesday. I head out early, trundling a hip green shopping trolley already in a foodie flutter of anticipation. There is disappointment if a favourite stand is vacant. I head straight for the far right corner where conference pears are at their autumn best and the flowers are glowing with purple flame. Then I pick up some crusty bread baked by Menno and discuss the merits of spelt flour. After that it’s over to the wise women of the wild mushroom stand. Their knowledge of preparing fungi is legend. We contemplate how best to serve the autumn truffle that nestles on the white rice and I cannot resist the large beige portabellos which are destined to be served with lashings of rosemary basalmico and soft goats cheese that evening.
I purchase my olive oil, red rice, cranberries and nuts from the friendly ladies in the middle, buy my cheese, milk and eggs from the laughing cheese chap and finish with the always calm and kind marketeers at the far left opposite. My trolley brimeth over with a rainbow of fresh herbs, vegetables and gorgeous produce from simply the most friendly, laid-back market in this town. It’s open from 9 until 5ish every Wednesday close by to the entrance of the Binnenhof opposite the Novohotel entrance to the Passsage. I will be the one in the hat, but not in my full Green Witch regalia which is mainly used for story-telling these days. Do come over and say hello. I would be delighted to share my food foraging knowledge with you.