Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our market customers build community....

We track all sorts of statistics about vendors, revenue, and numbers of customers at the market but how do we put into numbers what happens on the subtler level of connections made and memories shared?
I continue to hear new stories and meet new people every Saturday at the market. I over-hear folks saying: " I haven't seen you in ages, how's the family?" People ask me about the compostable coffee cups after I make one small request in this newsletter. Vendors help each other out by expanding the circles of business outside of the market hours and operations. Partnerships are happening with other community groups just because people care, not because there's something in it for them.
I love when a customer comes to the market and is still excited to discover a new way to cook sweet potato, or when I can tell what time it is just by which customers are purusing the isles. I know that there are several folks that come to the market before an appointment then come back after the appointment because they didn't get their full Saturday morning experience. Then there are customers who will stop at all the new vendors and make an extra purchase, just to help those new vendors along a little.

I like that customers are amused when there are 'traffic jams' rather than annoyed. I like that there are traffic jams - it means people have time to stop and chat, to catch up, to connect.

This weekend at the market you can take in a little history around the story of Jumbo. The library will be decorating their space in circus style and serving up elephant ears made by The Dutch Bakery. These tasty treats go on sale ($3 each) at 10am and will have various toppings for you to choose from. Rumour has it there will be a special guest on hand to enjoy the first serving. Plan to be there around 10am if you can.

Gail McNaughton will be back will her commemorative Jumbo and IPM postcards. The International Plowing Match is less than one week away! Each time I visit the site, I am amazed at all that is happening there. A mini city is about to come alive complete with a daily farmers' market and daily sample fest (noon to 5pm) within the farmers' market. Bring your shopping bags as there will be lots to take home from this major event.

Kim McCarvel of Green Leaf Pastries is back this week with mini-scones perfect for the kids lunch boxes, (I ordered extra!) and Ralph Troupe will be back with apples, pears, and plums. The Seniors' Centre is bringing apple pies and our apprenticing face-painter will be stationed in the North pavilion. I purchased a beautiful fall/winter wreath from RGrow Farms and I am looking forward to my half bushel of apples from Gredig's Orchards - it's applesauce time! Today I simmered soup stalk, baked up sweet potatoes, and made a batch of biscuits.
Don't you just love this time of year?

See you soon at the market!


Tricia Herbert
Market Manager

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