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Heilongjiang Province, Mudanjiang
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In early April, it's still only 20 F (-10 C) in the morning in Mudanjiang, a remote city located only 160 km from Vladivostock. This city is one of China's easternmost cities and because China is on one time zone, sunrise here comes at 5:00 a.m. in early April. But the bitter Siberian wind incessantly beats down from the north keeping spring away. It's a very short growing season here and locally grown produce doesn't start coming to this market until late June.

Outdoor Morning Markets

One of five morning markets scattered throughout the city, the Taiping Road Market, one block off the main city square, is known among the locals as having the cheapest prices. Even in the bitter cold and windy winter months, the market goes on from 6:00-8:30 a.m..

Farmers pay a market fee of RMB 6/day (US$ 0.72) or RMB 180/ month ($US 21.60) while resellers must pay RMB 20/day  (US$ 2.40) or RMB 600/month (US$ 72.00). These fees are for a 2-meter long space along the curb. I found that quite a few farmers are resellers during the off-season and it seems that they can get away with paying the farmer rate even though they are resellers during the winter months.

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In April, produce comes only from the wholesale markets.

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