You will rarely ever find me endorsing anyone else’s commercial enterprises here on the blog but today is going to be an exception. And just so it’s clear and upfront, I am not receiving anything in exchange – I am doing this purely based on my own genuine opinion that it’s a good thing.
As you know, I meet a lot of people who found me via the blog (the one you are reading now) but occasionally I also meet people because of my food blog (which is badly in need of updating as I’m up to all kinds of exciting new stuff). Over a year ago I had the fortune of meeting Ronen and Andreea when they were living in Unicorn City. Now they’ve moved out to the countryside to continue their experiment there. And I remember when I met them that they had a wonderful idea.
But in those days, it was just an idea. Now it’s reality and I’m quite excited to see it. You’ll notice that this post that I’m writing is filed under the category of “solutions” because I really think this is a truly sustainable project that will keep Romania a healthy and wonderful place to live for everyone, city dweller and country resident alike.
Back in November 2011 when I was filming for the ProTV episode, we did a number of shots and interviews inside the piata or main food market. But we also went outside and around behind the piata where there’s like a secondary “black market” out there. It’s “black” in the sense that it’s illegal but people there are selling fruits and vegetables, not illegal products. And I asked the people out there why they were selling their fruits and vegetables on the side of the street instead of inside the main market.
Their answer was that the city government charges a very high fee to set up shop inside the main market, anywhere from 500-900 lei (or more) per month. Obviously for many people this is a heck of a lot of money. So what happens is that it encourages more commercial dealers (who operate on a larger scale) to dominate the market instead of ordinary country folk who wish to sell their locally grown, all-Romanian products, many of which are grown naturally without chemicals or abusive practices.
Ronen’s idea is to go around these obstacles and allow the folks in the countryside growing the food we all eat to skip the “middle man” and exorbitant market fees and get their wonderful vegetables right to people in the city (like me! yay). I love it and I think it’s a great idea and I am definitely going to sign up myself. Even if you don’t live in Cluj-Napoca I recommend you click through to the site and check it out.
This post is also categorized under “1,000 reasons I choose Romania” because I wholeheartedly agree with Ronen’s statement here:
Simply put: Romania is still a country that can feed itself and that makes it a rare and special place on this planet. We feel that should be nurtured and protected.
I don’t think most Romanians truly realize what a rare thing that really is. But I do, and that’s one of the 1,000 reasons I choose to live here :)