Gustare and Repair Cafe Cluj popped up on PMV corner once again; this time inviting passers by to try some of csipet csapat walnut oil cold pressed in Valeni/Valko using kalotaszeg nuts; there was some wholewheat bread from Jebuc/Zsobok to dip into the oil and some of Szilard’s mature cheese made from the cows (owned by the villagers) and sheep in Magyarokereke, available in a wide range of flavours created by Szilard.
And as all markets, share stories; here is some of the news from PMV for HPM! Quite a few years ago now when the private market was created on the Mcdonald’s block, the space available for local people to sell became limited and tables were reallocated. The Gustare gang were told that inside the market area, most of the sellers are now just resellers, not producers at all and they bring the vegetables/fruit from strange sources. Others are producers but they come from Turda area where the land has been massively infested from a huge chemical factory.
The conclusion is that you cannot find safe food even in the market! But, you have more chance if you buy from around the market. Douglas found many local seeming people up the pots and pans side street beyond main market entrance. It would be interesting to know more about the origins of these people and their relationship with the market.
One of the better known, historic groups at PMV are the traditional Hostezeni/Hostat growers. Last week, we had the pleasure to meet Torok Janos and Irma. This Kalotaszeg(Cuzeplac-Kozeplak)/Hostat couple run the risk of getting a fine by selling their flowers on the street in front of McDonalds. They grow their flowers, fresh and dried, and make these lovely posies with them. They do this to be able to afford the medicines prescribed for Janos illness, the cost of which is hard for them to meet on their small pensions.
If you need a posy for a special occasion, you can find them near PMV corner or call them on 0751 600 500.
These stories are not unique, but common to all markets in Romania. I think at HPM, we are lucky; sellers of all types can find a space at market and the pricefor part of a table is not prohibitive. Everybody who grows to sell or wishes to sell their excess has a chance.
Fortunately, seed swops and actions like Gustare also become more widespread and available to all in town and country. A middle aged man with his young daughter was delighted to hear about what we and others like us are up to. Even the chance to meet and chat with visitors to CCP and the city, like Elisa from Australia, caused a stir and led to an arranged marriage proposal! Elisa may be staying longer than she had imagined!
Action and Optimism can change lives!!