I read in the news that “France will declare a state of natural disaster after rain and hail storms lashed a swathe of the south-east on Saturday, devastating crops”
In Tahiti, I was bimbling round the Papeete local fruit and vegetable market last week. Chatting to a stall holder, I mentioned that prices appeared to have gone up for things like cucumbers and tomatoes. He told me that everything was growing really well, then suddenly for no apparent reason the cucumber and pepper plants just died.
Sunday was the farmers market. I noticed that there were quite a lot of cucumbers but no tomatoes or peppers.
Another stall holder said not much is growing at the moment but they didn’t know why. May is usually a productive month for produce here. I wondered if there had been bad weather in Tahiti whilst we were away on holiday in Oregon.
During our visit to Oregon, we were shopping in Safeways. A lady was promoting Oregon Solidarity wine. It was a heart warming story.
After an order for $4 million worth of grapes was canceled citing smoke-tainted grapes, local winemakers stepped up and used them anyway.
We had experienced large areas on fire as we drove through California and Oregon on a previous trip last October. The smoke certainly carried in the wind for miles and the effects on agriculture were devastating. However, tests were made on the grapes and they did not prove to be smoke damaged.
We of course thoroughly enjoyed our bottle of Oregon Solidarity wine.
I’m left wondering what and when the knock on effect will be for us in French Polynesia, if the vineyards in France have been badly affected.
All was calm in the marina this morning, no swell. The Muscovy Duck was catching a few rays of sunshine and appeared dry and relaxed. Breakfast was prepared and ready for us to eat in the cockpit but John had disappeared. I thought it a bit weird that he should choose that moment to spray WD40 on his bikes which are secured near the marina gate.
Moments later I was presented with a rose and a bouquet of local grown flowers from the market. Today is Valentines Day. John admitted to being embarrassed about buying Valentine flowers. I had made one of my card creations for John, not a fair exchange really but it was made with love.
Valentines day can be a cruel day. The teenage school girls in Tahiti are demonstrative with their newly presented roses and often look smug rather than smitten. I’ve seen girls purchasing their own roses from the local garage, glancing quickly around to check that no one in their peer group has noticed. Such is the pressure.
Having purchased a baguette a couple of hours later, I noticed that the flower sellers in the market were having a field day. Men young and old seemed shy and embarrassed as they make their choice of bouquet. Token gesture or completely over the top, what message should they give.
On closer observation I was happy to note that families old and young bought flowers too.
I don’t want to be too harsh on the concept of Valentines Day but I loathe the fact that it has become another commercial gimmick. How could you possibly approve of a bunch of flowers containing an inflated Chinese helium balloon. So bad for the environment.
Be sure to tag today’s post — and your posts in general — appropriately.
I visited the Papeete Market in Tahiti early this morning. I love the vibrant atmosphere. Despite the rain, everyone was in a jovial mood.
The Sunday market is always special as it’s the Farmers’ Market. It connects the people from the many French Polynesian Islands together for a good old chin wag .
There’s a the core of regular stallholders who operate inside the market complex on a daily basis. At 4 am, the rest of the traders set their stalls up in allocated spots along the streets which surround the market building.
Tahiti has a large Chinese population whose presence has been here for a number of generations. There are many stall holders of Chinese and Polynesian descent. The community is interconnected.
I realised as I lugged my cache back to the marina, that I had bought far more fruit and vegetables than I intended. The produce was all so fresh. Everyone was so happy, friendly and connected.
The house of Green Ginger was a coffee shop in my UK home town. Green Ginger sounded exotic when I was a teenager in the 70’s . It was the sort of place where I would rendezvous occasionally with my father on a Saturday morning, knowing that he would pay for the coffee and I would get a lift home. The only other ginger thing in my life at that time was my hair.
Fast forward to present day and I’m retired, living with my husband of 36 years on our yacht in Tahiti. I feel very special because I’m regularly presented with a fabulous bouquet of local flowers from the Papeete market.
These locally grown flowers are totally exotic. My previous assumption of exotic ginger being green in colour, went clean out of the window.
Look at the vibrant colours and look at the stunning textures.
Isn’t nature wonderful.
Red torch ginger (phaeomeria magnifica)
Hawaiian golden beehive ginger (zingibar spectabile)