Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thanks, A Farmer

In my attempt to address those who have been frightened and confused by the fear-mongers and “marketing mavens”, it was not my intention to make it sound like those folks are in the majority. 

After 18 years of growing food and selling it directly to the end-consumer, I can tell you that they are not.

In a world environment where it seems that we have to remind people where their food comes from and tell people to “thank a farmer”, I can personally attest to the fact that there are those who do know and are outspokenly grateful. There are shoppers who not only ask the questions, but they listen to the answers.

There are concerned folks who truly care about their food, and are committed to buying fresh and local, who want to be connected to the process that puts the food on their tables. Despite the crazy rhetoric tossed around in some circles, they are steadfast in their positive opinions and support. We are privileged to be able to make a living from the land while being directly connected to these people. Words fail to express the gratitude I feel at being in this unique position.

Each Saturday morning during Market season, we directly interact with at least 100 other humans in one way or another. (often many more) Our Market customers are an eclectic bunch and Saturday mornings are memorable experiences. We’ve been challenged, encouraged and inspired by each and every one.

Each interaction is unique and while we never know quite what to expect, here are a just a few of the experiences that make us thankful for the Market...
The guy who stopped me last week just to tell me that the chicken he had the week before was the “best in the universe!”

      And, the gentleman who waxed poetic about the double-yolk egg he had enjoyed for supper.

The lady who reminds me weekly that “the Good Lord has truly blessed us”.

Those folks who’ve been there since day one and encouraged us during this adventure.

Those people who think of us (pray for us) during the week.

Those “fixtures” of downtown who add to the “atmosphere” of the Market experience.

The girls who squealed with delight when I presented them with the last bit of cilantro.

The patient people who overlook my occasional brain-lapses and wait until I get it right.

The cooks who share their recipes and culinary triumphs.

    And the ones who are trying to figure out solutions to their dining disasters.

THIS is a dedicated shopper!

The ones who show up every Saturday, rain, shine or sub-zero temperatures.

Those who share in our triumphs and commiserate over the failures.

The dear old lady who once brought me an entire squash pie..

Those folks, who albeit unknowingly, kept us going through some of life’s darker moments.

The guys who always have a joke or a funny story.

The kind souls who have expressed their ongoing care and concern for our family.

The ones who feel comfortable enough to point out our failings, but know that we are doing our best.

The “cheerleaders” who sing our praises constantly.

The people who offer constructive criticism.

                And, make helpful suggestions.

The true Market devotees who try to make all their food purchases at the Market.

         And, the ones who only buy those special items they feel are a luxury.

The few who can’t remember my name, but know that we have the produce that they love.

The ones who do remember my name.

       And, the woman who declared I should identify myself as “badass farmer-woman”.

The guy who (loudly) tells the entire market how great our lamb is.

The people that say the same thing every single week.

The ones who say nothing.

The children who bring me artwork and flowers.

The funny, smiling babies.

The folks who ask lots of questions.

                        And wait for the answer.

The eaters who overlook the occasional slug.

        Or at least don't totally gross out over it.

The older folks who grasp my hand at the end of the transaction, look in my eyes, and say THANK YOU.

The shy ones that finally engage in conversation.

The ones who have shared their own stories and become our friends.

The people who truly understand how very difficult this work is, how hard it is to know that many things are out of our control.

To each and every customer who makes the effort to come out early on a Saturday morning to support our efforts when you could be sleeping or relaxing…

This whole farming/market vendor thing wouldn’t work without YOU.

And we appreciate you greatly.

Somehow, THANK YOU seems so small.

But, YOU are an integral part of our business…our life.

Without you, the endless work, our hard-earned knowledge of the crops, the continual battle with the pests and the dance with the weather, would all be in vain. Our Saturday mornings would probably start later, but they would be far less interesting. You’ve brought a richness to our lives that keeps us passionate about what we do.

We truly appreciate each and every one of you.

All I can do is say…

Thanks…from the bottom of my heart!
at the Farmers' Market 2011
(we REALLY need a new photo)


  1. No you don't need a new photograph - this one is lovely. I just wish I could arrive at your stall with an empty basket one day.

  2. If I lived in Virginia I would appreciate you every week and that is a lovely photo. No need to change, Your community is so fortunate to have you there providing fresh homegrown food.

  3. I love this post. You put your all into your farm and market, and reap the rewards for that - customer satisfaction and gratefulness. It must so warm your heart knowing that what you produce for the families in your community greatly appreciate it. Well done. And I love the photo of the 2 of you!!