Tag Archives: farmer

Hîncești Farmers Market

Tomatoes are abundant in Moldova right now. So are cucumbers, peppers, grapes, potatoes and many other delicious fruits and vegetables.

On Sunday, Champa and I visited the farmers market in Hîncești, a regional center southwest of Ialoveni. We filled several bags with produce from farmers who gather in the outdoor market three days a week. Our host family invited us to join them on a shopping trip there followed by a visit to the Manuc Bey museum and mansion.

As I wrote recently about my peach pie, one can buy produce from farmers in Ialoveni along the sidewalks, but the Hîncești market offers a wider selection.

IMG_6703

It’s still much smaller, of course, than the central market in the capital, Chișinău, shown above, where vendors gather daily to sell everything from walnuts to watermelons.IMG_6760

In Hîncești, there’s also an indoor pavilion where people sell meats and cheeses. Champa and I bought a big piece of brinza there, similar to Greek feta. It’s in one of the bags she’s holding next to Mihail and Alisa.

Most Moldovan vendors have electronic scales with which they weigh items and calculate prices. They may fill a bag with a bit more than requested, hoping to nudge up the purchase, but they’re ready to trim it back to the specified amount if asked.

My Romanian is now good enough that I often stop to chat after I buy something. The vendors are generally curious about us and enjoy our efforts to converse.

Occasionally, one of them surprises us by speaking English, like the guy you see in the 3-second video clip below. He startled me on Sunday by telling me to “have a nice day!” after I bought some peaches. I couldn’t leave without asking him to do it again for the camera so all of you could enjoy him, too.

Advertisements

Peach Season

You don’t need to go to a special farmers market to buy fresh produce from local farmers here in Ialoveni, Moldova. You just stroll down the street.

IMG_6659

I bought some delicious peaches on Saturday from the woman you see on the left, who harvested them in the nearby village of Mileștii Mici. She was displaying them on the sidewalk near the center of town along with two older women also selling produce. Her husband is behind her next to the car.

I bought three kilos of peaches from her, which she weighed with a hand-held scale. They cost 8 Moldovan lei per kilo, or 24 lei total. That’s roughly $1.30, or about 20 cents per pound. As I picked out my peaches, I chatted with all of them about how I planned to bake an American-style pie, showing them a picture of a peach pie on my phone.IMG_6656 The husband, who spoke some English, encouraged his wife to try saying “peach pie.” They also asked me several questions about what Champa and I are doing with the Peace Corps.

After I placed the peaches in my daypack, I walked to the nearby market to buy some vanilla ice cream and other items, then headed home to start baking. I listened to podcasts while I prepared the dough, peeled the peaches and finally put the finished pie in the oven.IMG_6654

You can see below how it turned out. It was still hot by the time we finished our dinner but we didn’t care; the ice cream cooled it off and we cleaned our plates. We also shared much of it with our host family. By tomorrow, we’ll probably polish off the rest. Then it will be time to see what other fruits our local farmers are selling.

IMG_6668