I am just back from my market rounds this morning. There are days when the quality of produce on offer is almost depressing…a reflection of the declining buying interest/power of consumers with respect to fresh food, then there are great days where there are signs some hope. We are, in fact a huge agricultural nation, that should be able to raise the finest produce from land and sea if we only cared enough to do it right, and consumers ate the stuff… Recent months have yielded poor offerings in the markets when compared to previous holiday seasons. Several typhoons which battered both the Northern provinces where much of the metro’s vegetables comes from, AS WELL as the Southern provinces like Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, where the other half of the veggies are raised, meant seriously slim pickings and wickedly high prices. But farms and harvests in the North must be recovering as the vegetables on offer at the markets today were noticeably better than just a few weeks ago. Prices have also declined, with good kalamansi at PHp30-40 a kilo, onions back to PHP35-40, asparagus at PHP80 for a large bundle, broccoli at PHP130-140 a kilo, eggplant at PHP35-40 and these were all from a good supplier bringing stuff down from Baguio at the FTI market. I also noticed there was nice celery in stock, snow peas, chinese greens (such as bok choy, mustasa), cauliflower, green peppers, etc. My total bill today was at least 30% lower than during the peak holiday season… This entire basket photographed here cost less than PHP850 and should feed many over the next week… The only things in short supply this week? Good strawberries and siling labuyo. Normally by this time they are abundant and 4 packs to PHP100. Right now, you’d be lucky to get a decent pack for PHP50… And siling labuyo is going for PHP1 PER PIECE!