Boxnote 128: July 26 Gustare/Kalotaszeg Kostoloi – Hrana naturala, locala de la satele din zona Huedinului


We had some amazing extra help this week when Iulia came to Huedin on Monday afternoon to learn about how G/K is created every week. She stayed overnight in Damos* in a tent in the attic space, alongside some of Damos treasures, ancient spinning sticks, pieces of a loom, a huge and ancient, and oh so Damosi, box for grains etc. We love sleeping in the ‘hiaba/pod’, the attic in Valeni (especially during ‘canicula’) as it is a cool and clean and out of the way space. It didn’t turn out so good for Iulia though, who was kept awake most of the night by owls, nesting near the house! You can imagine how excited (bird watcher) Douglas is!

Unfortunately for us and for G/K driver, Zoli, nobody wants to buy tights in a ‘canicula/heat wave,’ so he is taking a break from the market but Gustare continues thanks to the TFR and Acasa bike trailer and the invaluable help of the Cluj Gustare gang.

As the season shifts, and tights are not so required by the public; beans and vegetables and flowers … are. Hajni (Bicalat) told me they had to get to market at 7am to secure their regular table space in the shade. The market ‘lives’ and you/we are one of the reasons why* – that is true and useful power!

We feel that Gustare also/is a type of power, and maybe we are not alone at market in believing this. Csaba, the market manager has given permission (with absolutely no need of persuasian!) for Deni, Zsuzsi (OAR) and we to create a medicinal herb/herb/flower information giving event (10am-midday) next week for producers and customers at HPM (and supporters too, if you’d like to come!). We’ve noticed that there is a serious lack of local knowledge about what to collect/when to collect/how to dry/how to store wild things/excess for winter.

Throughout the year, some G/K producers and TKD collectors have been getting some extra cash by gathering on a regular basis chamomile, marigold, extra peppermint/spearmint which are dried on the Huedin tarnat/in drying boxes and transferred to the solar drier in Valeni, which we can enjoy in winter.

Hopefully, you saw/had the chance to try some of another Valeni neighbour’s, Nita’s marigold/calandula/korom virag cream made in her spick and span summer kitchen last Saturday, from her finest untura/zsir and Valeni marigolds with a little help and encouragement from Deni on the phone. It was the first time she has made this and she was absolutely thrilled,


Here is your box this week!

acasa box 27 july

Unusual mixed salad leaves – Many leaves coming to an end such as lettuce and endives (being saved for seed), before new crops of lambs lettuce, jack-by-the-hedge (ustoroita) get under way! Sooo,not so much variety … garden and wild rucola … nasturtium leaves … sorrel …purslane/grasita (just beginning!) – 2 varieties (which we discover take a VERY long time to grow and maybe why it is so full of health value, blue borage and nasturtium flower (with a lovely cucumbery taste!) Douglas and Agi Huedin, Alunis.

Herbs/verdeturi/fuszer: …peppermint …. lemon balm….sage/salvia/zsaja Agi, Alunis , Douglas in Huedin, and Damos

chives Douglas, Huedin,

perpetual onions Douglas, Damos

Parsley Bozse, Bicalat. Zsofi, Huedin

celeriacHajni, Bicalat,

Basil/busiouc/Bazilia Zsofi, Huedin. Bozse, Bicalat. These two women are keeping us all well supplied with basil! Iulia pointed out that if herbs to be used for drying have been stored in water for anytime (like they are at market) be sure to remove these wet stems and avoid creating mouldy smells.

Alma paprika (the small round pale green is HOT), ardei Iute, csipes paprika, hot pepper Zsuzsi,Bicalat, Zsofi, Huedin, Piroska, Ketesd

Red and green onions Ildiko, Fildu de sus and Kati, Damos

Fresh garlicHajni, Bicalat.

Little carrot bundles – Agi, Fildu de sus


perpetual spinach and rainbow chards – Zsofi, Huedin. And Douglas,Damos and Huedin.

Kohlrabi/guliZsofi, Huedin, Eva, Tetis.

radish/ridiche/retek – little Eva, Tetis

sfecla/cekla/beetroot – Piroska, Tetis. Piroska was so proud of her table this week with beetroot, beans, peppers .. aaahhh .. now I wish I had taken a photo for you ..

Green beans/fasole/paszuly .. Bozse used a local name to describe these small roundy long beans, ‘gomb..’and I didn’t manage to note it! Next week , I told her we could buy the more conventional butter ones! Beans are the main reason Bozse is coming to market at the moment! I love the way that people know their land; they know what they can grow and how to grow that crop best; life patterns are inextricably linked to crops and connect man firmly to land – Piroska Tetis, Zsebe Kati, Damos

Peppers, paprika, ardei – . Bozse II and Zsuzsi, Bicalat.

Castraveti/ugorka/cucumber Csirpe neni, Tetis. Yes, Erzsi is back. She told me she was much better after her illness last winter and happy to be back. I told her how wonderful it is to see her; and Zsofi and Bozse (all the octogenarians) at market. The market has been part of their worlds for very very many years.

Tomatoes/rosii/paradicsom .. gosh I can’t write the word, paradicsom now without thinking of the paradicsom kert – the garden of Eden … ! … Zsuzsi, Bicalat and Gyongyi, Horlacea

celeriac/celer/zseller Eva, Ketesd, OR csilla tok/pattisson – Agi, Alunis. OR the last of the mazare/purple peas/borso OR the last of the lobab/broad;Fava beans OR dovleci, tok, zucchini Agi, Alunis. I can imagine Agi’s delight when she collected these whoppers.

Summer apples/nyari alma/mere de vara Zsuzsi, Bicalat

Flowers – last week, we encouraged Bozse Bicalat to make her world famous posies once again and they are lovely.


EGGS – Agostin, Huedin and Viorica, Fildu de mijloc and Zsebe Kati, Damos.

Fresh garlic –BozseII Bicalat and Eva, Ketesd. Simona and Tibi are making a wonderful pickled garlic for winter and we’re waiting to hear how it goes!


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