When I was kid, I practically lived on the Borman farm in Lorain, Ohio. Susie and I became best friends in the 5th grade and were inseparable. Mr. Borman taught us how to feed the pigs, pick ripe produce, stitch up a wounded cat, and not worry about dirt under our fingernails. Mrs. Borman taught me how to sell on the market, count change back, handle customers with a smile (even the ornery ones), and pack up the market at the end of the day. The Borman’s market, an open stand of full of fresh, clean, healthy produce. From that point on, anywhere in the world I traveled to or lived at, I always visited farmer markets. That homey, country feel always reminds me of my summers on the Borman farm.
Farmer markets got posher the more popular they became with live music, pony rides, petting zoos, perfectly wrapped gift items, freshly made baked goods and even morning cocktails. From the Pacific Palisades in LA to Union Square in NYC, it’s like a festive, county fair and the perfect weekly event for the whole family.
But then we moved to stix in China. Haiyang that is.
So much for those sexy little farmer markets with celebrity sightings, gourmet treats, and perfectly organized picket fence style stalls. That feeling of walking into a good ol’ Bob Evans restaurant was as far back as Ohio.
After getting over the “ick” factor, I actually looked forward to going to the market on a weekly basis. It’s the real deal, how the locals live, the nitty- gritty. The market is so provincial that it’s not even based on the normal fiscal calendar. You can’t simply say, “See you next Wednesday!” to your favorite vendor.
It’s based on the Chinese lunar calendar. Fellow expat Jeff explained to me, “Today is July 13th, 2016. On the Chinese lunar calendar it is the 10th day of the 6th month. This particular Haiyang market is when the date ends on either a 4 or 9. Therefore, market day was yesterday or will be next Sunday (the 14th day). This year (2016), Chinese New Years started for us on February 8th 2016.”
Confused? Me too, which is why I just simply ask my Ayi or Jeff when the next market day is.
Vendors wake up early to set up for the crowds.
Tons of people, motorbikes, trucks, cars, and anything else that can fit, shuffle their way through. I’ve never brought my my kids here in fear of them being trampled.
Fresh pork just sitting out in the summer heat.
Looking for pork fat?
Plenty of dried fish and shrimp
Fresh seafood everywhere
Wow, this does not look appetizing
Just watch where you are walking, cause look what I almost stepped on:
Yup – the carcass of a goat
They leave it out with the hooves so you know it’s the real deal, since you never know…
And in case you do want to know what it can possibly be, check out these disturbing images. I’m separating the picts from this post, because…well, it’s really upsetting, and my vegetarian friends would never visit my blog again.
Roasted chicken for dinner? This is as fresh as it can get. More on the step by step guide on how to kill your chicken and eat it too!
Fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers themselves simply layed out on tarp.
Anything and everything here from household goods to even jewelry
or the latest Haiyang fashion
Plants, shoes, you name it – it’s here
Until the next market day (ending in a 4 or 9)!