I’ve been going to the Sunday vegetable market in Wellington ever since I first came to Wellington to study, some 8 years ago. Mr Dreamy and I love vegetables and fruit. We have a massive fruit bowl, and if we got to design the ideal refrigerator, it would be 50% vegetable bins.
My vege buying habits are just as extravagant, but my market going has changed a little since 8 years ago. I’ve moved from the Aro Valley market which was near the university housing, to the waterfront market, which is more convenient to where we live now.
Also, it has way better views.
The market has changed a little too. When I first shopped there, it was a mad dash for cheap vegetables: long lines at every stall, all the veges sold by bulk resellers, and no time for chatting and visiting.
The market has slowed down a little since then, has diversified, and gentrified.
Now you can sit in the sun and eat a breakfast bought at the market, or stop for a chat with the organic apple growers who have their own stall. People bring their kids and dogs, and you are guaranteed to run into a few friends.
You can buy Thai herbs from the ladies who grow them in their own backyard, Brazilian food from a vendors cart, and rewena paraoa (local bread made with potato and air-gathered yeast).
You can also do almost all your shopping at the market: from venison salami, to local cheeses, to fresh breads, and of course the vegetables and fruit.
The vegetables and fruit are the one thing that really hasn’t changed. The market is still by far the cheapest place to buy the widest array of vegetables, from parsnips to pak choi, carrots to kai choi, and the freshest fruit.
This time a year I sometimes miss the market. The weather today is abysmal: freezing cold and pouring rain, with a blowing southerly wind coming straight off Antarctica. The last thing I want to do is go out and pick out wet veges with numb fingers.
I think I’ll stay in and enjoy images of the bounty at last summers farmers market, when bell peppers were under $7 a kilo (this week they are $27!), tomatoes were a rich red, and peaches and cherries were abundant.
Oh summer. We miss you! Come back!