Winter has arrived in Shenyang.

When the leeks and Chinese cabbages start getting placed outside the main doors and entrances of apartment buildings and complexes then (as well as in the courtyards of apartment complexes), as any resident of Shenyang knows (as well as many cities in China), winter has officially arrived as the temperature drops during the day. In Shenyang, it is not uncommon that the temperature will drop even further to as low as -22 degrees centigrade. It hasn’t reached that point just yet but it most certainly will.

The question remains then, why do they leave their veggies outside? It would seem that vegetables are stocked up (though Shenyang grows a lot of Chinese cabbages) and given the amount of veggies that are stocked up for the winter (which is 3 – 4 months long), it is meant to last them all through winter. The price of veggies goes up in winter and since they have purchased so much of the stuff, their homes can only accommodate so much. Even though some apartments have like a natural fridge which is like an enclosure where they can store all of their veggies in their home (but yet still have them exposed to the cold winter weather and chills), they will still store some of their veggies outside. There isn’t the fear of theft either as there are just so many vegetables available for everyone.

The ‘natural fridge’ in a bedroom of an apartment.
Where the veggies can be stored. The left hand side wall inside this small enclosure is only a wooden fence with gaps (exposed to the elements) whilst all the other walls are concrete.

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