Farmer’s Market is such a blast! People are there to shop before we even open at 8:00. As the clouds burn off and the sun starts to warm the asphalt, people start coming in droves. I see friends from church and a friend who is recovering remarkably well from a quadruple bypass; my boss waves as he walks by in his bermuda shorts and straw hat; a former employer stops by and we catch up on kids; regular customers stop and tell me how much their dogs love my treats. Its a really good feeling – this being part of the whole “buy local” movement. I know I’m providing a quality product they can’t get anywhere else and their pets are better for it.
The farmer in the booth to my left grows everything he sells. He starts the season with purple asparagus and expands as the season progresses. Today he has red potatoes, yellow squash and zucchini. His daughter – an ag business major – has a greenhouse and sells bedding plants. He also has grass fed beef this year. He says the butchering bill was astronomical and he hopes to just break even. Later in the summer he will have sweet corn, tomatoes and cantalope. He also grows huge chili peppers and roasts them in the fall. Like flies to honey, the customers flock to his booth and he can’t sell them fast enough.
The husband and wife to the right of my booth have fresh baked goods: breads, pies, cookies, turnovers, cakes and homemade jam and pickles; they raise range fed chickens and sell butter and eggs and cheese for a local cheesemaker. They sell out almost every week and what they don’t sell by the end of the day they give away to fellow vendors like me. My waistline doesn’t stand a chance.
Three girlfriends meet here every Saturday. They do their shopping and then sit on the bench behind my booth and dish for a least 2 hours every week. They laugh and get us all involved in their lives. Its a wonderful sense of community and fellowship. You know, I don’t even know their names. Isn’t that awful? I’ll make a point next week of getting to know them better.
There’s the couple that rides their bikes and leave with backpacks bulging with goodies. And what cute kids. One little boy walks by wearing shorts and bright orange cowboy boots with spurs. Lots of young families stocking up on fresh food – its good to see them starting out right. Its also fun to see the kids that first came by my booth in strollers now walking or chasing after younger siblings.
The flower lady, Amanda, has the most amazing cut flowers. Today, she has buckets full of brilliant sunflowers. Who knew they were different colors in the center?
Its going to be a great summer! Do you have a farmers market in your community? Well, if not, start one! Its a wonderful way to get to know your local producers and learn more about the food they grow. Watch for the guy on the corner selling watermelon and corn. Support him knowing the food wasn’t transported hundreds of miles to your table. Local foods are harvested fresher and are healthier for you. Start where you are…do something different.
Keep it simple,