Four seasons in one (farmer’s market) day. Part 1

Last night I sat at my desk by the window, and listened to the rain.  Tonight, I sit at the same desk watching the last bits of twilight fade away.  For a brief moment the heavy cloud cover was golden, but those vibrant colors quickly faded and now have turned to gray.  It is, again, raining.  But it is not a hard rain like there was last night; there is just enough rain to make me want to stay inside.

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Today is Saturday, and not that I’m becoming a creature of habit, but it’s Farmer’s market day.  It happens every Saturday morning by the Train station (you know, that heavily photographed one I referred to in my first posts).  I was surprised to wake up to bright blue skies today, having heard the news last night about a storm coming in today and after listening to last night’s pounding rain.  But, hey, I’ll take blue skies when I see them.  The Farmer’s Market is only two blocks from my apartment, so on my way there (at 930 am) I took this picture of one of the most heavily traveled streets in the Dunedin.   There isn’t a car on the road.  I’ve said there was little traffic here….see what I mean?

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The Farmer’s market is in the parking lot of the Train station, and I thought I would do my civic duty to keep the building the most photographed one in Nz.  Hard not to, on a brisk clear morning like today (it was in the high 40s F, or about 9C this morning).

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There are about fifty individual vendors at the Farmer’s market.  It is quite an eclectic offering.  There are a couple of vendors offering various preparations of wild venison (don’t tell the kids it’s Rudolf), and a whole big crepe scene (I haven’t had those yet, so I can’t vouch whether they are in fact savory).   Quite a number of vendors sell free range eggs.

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The people selling their wares are truly home folks; these people grow, raise, make, bake, or in some cases, distill what they sell.  They often sell it from the back of their car, though in the case of the care below, I’m not sure I would want to drive home in that.  But then….maybe I would…..

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There is one winery which sells wine here, and two weeks ago I did taste their wines at the eyebrow raising hour of 9am.   (it was good, but not great).  I was not particularly keen on sampling whiskey at that hour, so today, I passed on that  experience.

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There are many fruit and vegetable stands.  A lot of people here grow vegetables, and in particular lettuce (and many different varieties of it) hydroponically. I would have to say, since it’s still winter, I am very impressed by the greens here.  In fact, almost every day I have a salad and the lettuce is crisp, tender and quite tasty.

Another big item are the pies.  Not the kind of pies that might first come to mind if you’re from the US (like peach pie, or apple pie), these are the meat and potato pies (and truthfully, mostly meat).

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If you closely at the bottom of the chalk board, you can see the Facebook logo, so after you eat at pie, you can ‘Like’ it on Facebook.  Well, then.   I haven’t had any meat pies since I’ve been here.  I will, eventually, but since every single patient I’ve admitted to hospital so far has had either a stroke, a heart attack, or heart failure, for now I’m going to pass on these fat laden entrance tickets to the hospital.  Still…..I bet they’re tasty.

A few people have asked about the coffee here.  Well, for starters no one here that I know of (yet) grows coffee beans, so it is all imported.  If they can grow it on the Big Island of Hawaii, it’s only matter of time before someone here figures out how.  There are a ton of coffee shops in town.  In my world travels, I think I have come to the conclusion that for every 100 miles from the equator, your coffee consumption goes up by 1 ounce.  Dunedin, which sits roughs 46 degrees South, has a high daily per person intake of coffee.  Ordering a coffee in a coffee house can be a little uncomfortable if you’re from the US.  If I want, say, a single espresso, then I would order a ‘short black’.  If I want a regular cup of coffee (no milk or cream) I would order a ‘long black’.  If you want milk in the coffee, you order a ‘long white’.   I’m not making this up, and I’m not going to comment about anything you might be thinking.

If you make coffee at home, you do not have a drip coffee maker (like most of have in the US).  I looked for one, and still haven’t found one to buy.  Instead you heat water in a kettle (these are kettles with their own power supply, specifically designed only to to heat water).   They heat water really, really fast (I think because of the 220 power supply, but I’m not an engineer, so it could be something else, like magic).  Then you pour the boiling water into a ‘plunger’, which is a glass carafes (often, including the ones here, made by Bodum) and let the coffee steep for a few minutes.  Then you plunge down the stainless steel mesh filter.  It does make good, strong (well, maybe that’s me, who puts twice the recommended amount of ground coffee into the carafe) coffee.

At the grocery store, you buy coffee in 200 gram packets.

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The grocery stores here are very similar to the ones back in the US.

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That’s the diabetes aisle.

Since the weather was still favorable after the Farmer’s market, I headed North of Dunedin to explore some more of the beautiful country.  And that, my friends, will be tomorrow’s post.

cheers

Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

5 thoughts on “Four seasons in one (farmer’s market) day. Part 1

  1. I’ll try not to become one of those people who leaves banal comments every time you post, but I just have to say I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog early on. You’re an extremely engaging tour guide. Lucky us 🙂

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