I’d never been on the “seller’s side” of a farmer’s market and was a bit nervous as I anticipated the event. It was interesting to observe how people wandered into our stand. Some had their eye on something and walked directly towards it, others were scanning as they approached and still others, looked for eye contact.
Today’s market bounty was heavy on fresh greens: Arugula and Super foods Mix (baby greens of the kale family, AKA Mesclun Mix). Also, we had an abundance of tomatoes including cherries, heirlooms and the “eat today” type. To round out the tables, we had green, yellow and purple beans, squash, cucumbers, basil, okra, three types of kale and collard greens.
Quite a few customers sampled and then purchased. These were my favorite customer interactions. The looks on their faces if they’d never tasted sun gold tomatoes which we describe as “magic in your mouth”. Others were new to arugula, and purslane which my mom and dad consider “weeds”. One woman thanked me several times for sampling with her.
My two biggest takeaways from the market were:
1. The power of sampling! Matt was great about engaging people to sample the greens. People, who may not have even entered our area, came in after the sample and more times than not, bought something.
2. The power of socializing! I’ve been to Farmer’s Markets across the globe…this was different. People were there to purchase, but more importantly, they were there to enjoy their community. The Ferguson you see on the news is not the Ferguson at the Farmer’s Market. These are people who value connecting, conversations and cooking. Whether they listened to the great band, bought breakfast tacos, wandered and looked around, this was a favorite pastime for them. No one seemed in too big a hurry or too important to have time to visit.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I was not looking forward to this market shift. But I enjoyed my time at the Ferguson Farmer’s Market. Julie and Matt were great partners, but my favorite part – watching Molly Rockamann, the EarthDance Founder and Director, hula hoop with Matt LeBon!
She loves living life!