Farmers Market, 11:00 AM / Regina Coyula

Photo Katerina Bampaletaki

Among the characteristics that define me as a bad housewife is not knowing how to purchase fresh produce, which, I assure you it is a vital skill because the farmers markets not only sell products that would not pass a health or quality control inspection, but in the majority of cases these controls are only on paper, and you have to be experienced to get good products.

But since he had to go get my medications at the pharmacy and the pharmacy faces the farmers market, my husband, with many explanations, tasked me to buy beans, cucumbers and a bunch of green bananas.

It had been months since I’d been to a farmers market and my first impression was that they were dismantling it. Of eight stands, only two were open and they were offering undersized purple onions at six pesos, (cheap compared to the four pesos for a pound of cucumbers or the green beans at six). On the floor in there plastic where they display the merchandise, there was a stalk of bananas that no one would buy. So what happened here, I asked one of the stall keepers. The rains was his laconic reply.

Just a hundred yards away at the door of the bakery, were two construction trucks with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and beans. All clean, fresh and packaged. Two entrepreneurs to whom the rain was not an obstacle. These days it has rained, but it rained as it can rain at any tropical country. We haven’t faced a cyclone and the rains haven’t been torrential. Nothing logical can explain the lack of merchandise at the farmers markets and the variety available on the trucks. Ok, yes, but the explanation defies logic.

October 28 2011