Buying at supermarkets is quite an experience, Mumbai or Wellington. These guys are so clever; they make you buy more than what you really wanted to at that moment or more than what you intended to. Sounds familiar? That’s the trick, the marvelous displays, the clever stocking of merchandise, the discounts, the variety, the neatly laid out aisles, the-easy-to-choose-easy-to-compare placement of wares, is what makes these big retail monsters click.
New Zealand has quite a few such supermarkets offering variety of foreign fruits and vegetables, fresh and resplendent with taste and flavour. Exotic fruits and veggies from around the world, sitting fresh and colourful on various aisles, look so inviting that they make you want to reach out to them. They are quite a sight to behold. A delightful visual treat.
Look here for example. Aren’t they begging to be picked? Oh my, I could barely contain myself.
But that’s not the real deal. The real deal is the weekly Farmer’s market held every Sunday here in Wellington. As a part of our city exploration plan, The Cool Guy and I decided to check out the Farmers Market this Sunday, and I am glad we did. It was quite an experience. And definitely much better than the supermarket experience.
Fresh fruits and veggies, straight from the farm, entice shoppers from across the city. The market starts as early as 5.00 in the morning I am told, and goes on till about 2.00 in the afternoon. The produce comes directly from the growers – which not just means fresher produce but also cheaper costs; as the whole chain of middlemen is eliminated and that benefit is passed on to the end consumers. I have heard that there is a great emphasis on quality. Also they use organic growing methods and as less fertilizers as possible.
There were about 35-40 odd farmers exhibiting their produce. Buyers (happy families out on a Sunday morning) took their own sweet time to go around, see, compare, touch, smell, discuss and think before making their buying decision. Tomatoes, onions, potatoes, red, yellow, orange, green bell peppers, water melons, oranges, limes, grapes, egg plants, coriander, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, beans, spinach, lemon grass, melons, mangoes, limes, apples, plums, cauliflower, ginger, pineapple….yellows, greens, reds, oranges, browns, pinks shining under the bright sun light while the breeze played cool…was the most vibrant sight ever. Almost all the fruits and veggies, the names of which I knew and then some more, whose names I had never heard of, were seen here.
It was so much fun, it was impossible to stop me from buying more. We stocked ourselves adequately with fruits and veggies for a week at an almost 40% lower cost than usual. The Cool Guy had to gently remind me that we would come back again next Sunday and buy more stuff later.
The sellers were warm and friendly, smiled at and thanked everybody who stopped by. It was such an awesome experience, I am already counting down to next Sunday 😛