I think part of the charm of going to farmer’s markets is getting to know the people that produce your food. I like going around and chatting up my favorite people. Truth be told it’s probably when I’m the most outgoing. Last summer I brought a friend to the market and she commented that I made eye contact and smiled at everyone and talked to everyone- she thought it was weird for me. Overtime I think I developed a connection with the vendors and that’s what keeps me coming back.
I’m sad to hear that my CSA farmer will no longer be doing the farmer’s market circuit. I really liked seeing them every week and chatting about the farm, and how things were going. They’ve opted to drop the CSA boxes at a central place for people to pick-up. I assume that they won’t be at the pick-up locations which is too bad.
Last Saturday was the New Westminster winter market. I’ve missed the last few, and so made a point of going to this one. There was one vendor that I really wanted to buy from and made a B-Line for. Here’s the thing, I love the product, but cannot stand the producer. There is something about the attitude, like me buying is such a pain in the ass for them. Not a smile or a bit of banter to be had although I buy something every week. This time there was someone else manning the table, a smiling, happy face that made me feel happy. I ended up buying more than I had originally planned, and it was a good experience.
I got to thinking how much do the farmer’s market vendors actually like being at the farmers market? My CSA farmer says it’s too much work and would rather just do more CSA boxes. I can understand that everyday at the market means a day not working on the farm. The other vendor has a brick and mortar store, so maybe the farmer’s markets are just for promotion of the main store. Maybe it’s just a case of farmer’s market burnout. I found it draining to be self promoting at vendor events every week for a couple of months and the farmer’s market season is much longer. How to prevent the farmer’s market burnout? I’m not sure, but I think a good start is to tell the producers just how much they are appreciated. My intention is to win over my grumpy vendor this year. I want to feel good about buying from them every week instead of dreading the attitude.