At the feria

11 February 2006
8:25 AM

Sergio's market stand
A selection of the fruits and vegetables available at the local feria, or market..

This is the first in a series of snapshots of life in Pocuro.

In my house here in Chile we have a rotating list of chores that need to be done during the week. One of mine this week was doing our fresh foods shopping at the local market. So Monday and Friday morning, I saddled up one of our bikes and make the 10-minute ride to the market. The word “market” may suggest a large-scale affair, but there are usually just two to four stands there.

We buy from Sergio because he knows us and lets us pick out everything ourselves. It’s kind of nice to know the person from whom you buy things. On Friday while I was picking out foods, he cut open an amazing honeydew melon and gave me a couple slices to eat. I choose an assortment of onions, tomatoes, lettuce, nectarines, carrots, and peppers, bananas, zuccini, and cucumbers, which represents the non-grain component of our diet for the most part. Each week we have around $15 budgeted for perishable-food shopping, which includes trips to the market and other staples like bread and cheese. Here are some sample prices:

  • tomatoes and carrots: $0.17 per pound
  • onions: $0.25 each
  • corn: 5 for $1 (these are massive ears of corn)
  • apples: $0.26 per pound
  • honeydew melon: $0.38 each
  • beans : $0.20 per pound
  • bananas $0.26 per pound

After paying, I put the bags of fruits and vegetables in my backpack and pedaled home. I’m done until…well, until there is something else to do.