Tea. Mop handles. Pickled mango. And, surprisingly, skin lightening cream.
Otherwise the shelves in Leh shops were empty.
Out on the street, the women selling vegetables only had a few potatoes, a very few onions and the first crop of teeny turnip greens (chocker-block full of fertilizer for rapid growth).
They were charging Rs. 150 per kilo for those onions - and you cut out the rot. Twice as much as I paid in a Colorado store last week - except I didn't have to pay for the rot.
A HEALTH Inc member had a brilliant idea last year: Could we build better root cellars and trench greenhouses in Ladakh, allowing women to meet late-winter market demand and increase their income?
And to still enjoy quality produce in our soups in March and April?
Why not? was CanAssist's answer, offering Tsering Stanba a grant to build the first ventilated root cellar, design a more affordable trench greenhouse and start a Seed Library in his village.
As Ladakhis come into the 21st Century, everyone has a smart phone, little girls play with Barbies and each family wants to own a car. Then another March rolls around, the shelves are empty and we remember we should also invest in bringing our agricultural traditions into the 21st Century too.
Maybe next year there will be some rot-free onions available in the market. And three years from now, more of us can go into the cellar to "shop" for that night's supper.
Cynthia will be blogging as she works with our Himalayan projects this year.