With my position as Market Manager comes many perks and a few challenges. I mention the perks often enough and sometimes I hint about the challenges. The perks flow from a central theme - that of connection. Whether we realize it or not, much of our social connections are made through the food we eat. We bond with family, friends, and community often over a shared cup of coffee and a good meal. Every Saturday morning, I look forward to having that first cup of coffee (The Peasant Blend from Jason and Greg) and a breakfast sandwich (from Farmgates) hot off the grill. Because I am there at 6am, I have had a good hour and a half to think about breakfast. I try not to bug the guys too much with my question: "Is it ready yet?"
The challenges stem from the combination of two words: Food and Politics. Enough said.
DeBackere's Farm is starting their 2010 market season this week back in the south pavilion. Some of the produce they are bringing includes peppers, zuchini, green beans, tomatoes, and sweet corn. Yes, corn. Can you believe it? Early crops are a puzzler - a good sign or a not so good sign? Just one of the many questions you can ask the grower direct.
I am finishing off the cherries from last Saturday (the cherry season is almost done so if you see any this weekend grab them while you can) and breakfast all week consisted of raspberries and blueberries with yogurt and granola. I also took home a fresh-baked scone from Green Leaf Pasteries last week - Kim made those scones with love that left me wising I had purchased more than one.
Last week we had 35 vendors at the market. With a few more new vendors coming in by the end of July we should hit 40. I say this here to give you fair warning - prepare to spend more time at the market. I know people come before work, before yoga class, and after an early bird yard-sale tour. Last week we had a group of friends congregate at the indoor cafe - they helped me close the place up. Lingering for that last bit of laughter shared over samples of chocolate.
And about that chocolate. Sharon Jackson and Eleanor Warren will be returning this week to fundraise for a mission trip to Nicaragua. They are sampling their Xocai healthy dark chocolate and selling 50/50 tickets to support the PAN Mission group. My Mom (Sandy) and my Aunt (Patti) are a part of this year's mission group that are heading to Nicaragua in August to teach women to sew and market their business. Sharon and Eleanor are inside the building raising funds and awareness for the entire mission; Sandy and Patti will have a booth outside selling items they have sewn to help raise funds for their own expenses to be a part of the mission trip.
Congratulations to Carl Bagshaw who won the customer appreciation draw for this week. Everyone who has won the basket is overwhelmed by the bounty of the vendor's gifts. Many of the vendors also read this post so I pass on the Thanks to them.
With the increase in vendors and hence customers at the market there is an increase in the number of four legged friends at the market. I have fielded many concerns about dogs in the market pavilions. They are not allowed in the building and signs are posted at both entrances to this effect. The concerns raised about dogs in the pavilions include having them in close proximity to food, dogs loudly voicing their opinions about other dogs, and the crowding that happens with lots of dogs and lots of people. I am a dog lover at heart but I see both sides of this scenario. If possible please leave your furry friends at home or stay with them around the outskirts of the pavilions. I would love to have a place in the shade to wait with the dogs but our property is not able to accomodate that. We are looking into regulations regarding this topic but in the meantime..... Many Thanks.
So it is that I have written another lengthy post; always signing off with so much more to say and not enough room to say it all. We can chat about it at the market.
See you there,
St. Thomas Horton Farmers' Market