But of course (continuing yesterday’s theme) it’s not all doom & gloom for foodies along SH2. The Hawke’s Bay region still has lots of the local, from home-grown produce sold at road-side stalls to the very numerous – and already discussed, already dissed – vineyard operations. But the jewel in the crown is probably the weekly farmers’ market held in the Hastings showgrounds every Sunday morning. It has a great setting, too, rather (English) park-like in appearance with stalls set up around an open green area surrounded by grand trees. Live entertainment – once a woman singing Piaf songs, this Sunday a male a capella choir (though they did seem to be dressed a bit like Morris dancers & at first I wasn’t sure if they were going to sing for us, or dance) – adds a festive air, a Continental seasoning on top of the English flavours. I’ve been there before, clearly, but this Sunday we went with purpose, with a shopping list. Courgettes, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, rocket, lettuces of various descriptions, red peppers … what else? Crusty bread, celery. There’s much else besides … meat, cheeses, jams & pickles, wine … Anyway, all this because we’d invited friends for dinner. And it was fun, shopping this way. Knowing everything was freshly harvested & locally grown.
There was one little dilemma, however. A sort of what-to-wear moment. The straw sunhat, okay, but whether or not to shop with a wicker basket! I decided that was a little over-the-top (for me). So grabbed a re-usable shopping bag on the way out of the house instead. But once at the market totally forgot about it, ending up with my purchases in plastic bags. Oh dear. Still, at least, they were re-cycled supermarket bags.