Sunday, 7 October 2012

Saturday Morning Autumn Market in Solothurn, Switzerland

Kathi and Marianne

I am not really a market person, too many people and too much noise, but I do enjoy visiting our local market town of Solothurn in Autumn on Saturday morning. I had wanted to go since the beginning of October, but the weather was not so friendly, too much rain. Now the sun was even peeping through so I decided now or never. It is a colourful market, full of the products of the surrounding farmlands and a wonderful reward for my camera. I left home with the local train and five minutes later I was ready for action. 

The stalls on the market are usually in the same place and you get to know where everything is. The reason for this photo is because the two ladies are friends of mine. The lady on the left is the boss. She has a farm and most of the products she sells are from the farm. She was also the president of our village first aid group, of which I was a member for some years. There is not very much she does not know about helping if there is an accident. She is also a member of the cathedral choir. Her pumpkin soup is famous amongst members of the first aid group, as she always supplies a home made soup for our annual Christmas get together. Of course the pumpkins were a product of her farm. On the right is one of her daughters who is a fereral policewoman when not busy serving on the market. This daughter is also one of my neighbours and I know her very well. It is usually a family business on Saturday morning and her son or daughters are usually assisting.

As I was walking past the stall I asked if a photo would be OK and she said yes, but just take an action photo, nothing posed, so I did. The stall holders are always to be found in the same place, it is all organised with council permission. There is a lot of work involved on having a stall on the market place. Most Friday evenings and through the night the fruit and vegetables to be sold are prepared, as well as making sure that the hens have produced enough eggs I suppose and early on Saturday morning the complete stall is loaded into their vans and taken to Solothurn, where it is built up and ready for customers. The market is probably from about 7-8 in the morning until lunchtime. At lunchtime everything has to be removed and put into storage for another week. Some of the stallholders are also on the Wednesday morning market as well. At lunchtime the street cleaners come into action and by the afternoon there is no trace left of the market.

The market is guided by the season, which is one of the reasons I like the Autumn market so much, because of the colourful show of Winter vegetables. My personal favourites are the marrows, squash, courgettes or whatever you call them.

More marrows

Of course there is also a stall specialising in different types of mushroom. These are call bolets in English it seems.


A market would not be a market without flowers, and at this time of the year heather is quite in season. I usually plant some in the garden, which stays through the Winter for a colourful show until Spring.


It is also custom to have roasted chestnuts in Autumn. We do have a kiosk in Solothurn. Year after year the same family come to Solothurn in Winter from the Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland and stay, selling the chestnuts, which are actually a special sort known as "Marroni" to the Swiss and are not the same sort you see on the horse chestnut trees that grow in the local woods. Those are for animal consumption. I found some on the market. They are encased in a prickly coat, and are the only ones edible for humans.


After an hour I decided it was time to go home. I had a dinner to cook, although there was no rush. I walked home as I just missed the train and decided a half hour walk would not be too exhausting. 

I took a lot of photos, but it was worth it. Did I say sunflowers are quite in at the moment, so here is a photo of what the market had to offer.



  1. Thank you for the tour of your local market. I really enjoyed it. Love the photos of the pumpkins & squash, and also the chestnuts.

  2. I enjoyed your post here Pat and learnt a lot about your markets. Different produce to what we have here now at our weekly market but run along similar lines.
    Love your photos.
    I have never eaten any mushrooms like that.
    Also I have never had roasted chestnuts.
    I think the action shot of the ladies is great. What interesting and busy women they are too.

  3. Beautiful photos. I love the one of the squashes. never seen those mushrooms over here nor have I heard the word bolet.

    Your market looks great. I quite like markets.

  4. Fantastic post Pat. I never go to the only market i know of around here simply because of the parking problem. It is quite a distance from where I live.

  5. Wow Pat thats an awesome post I really want to be there!!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your market. I love to visit them when traveling. Autumn is do beautiful :) gm :)

  7. A wonderful tour of your Saturday market. Loved it. Thank you for taking us with you.