Unlike the Umpqua Valley Farmers’ Market in Roseburg, the Canyonville Farmers’ Market is still finding her way. There has been many changes and turn over in the last several years. And this year … for me, a huge change. My experience being so brief compared to so many, yet I have taken on the title of management.
In any Market, some people have the view that it is just about produce. After all, it is called Farmers’ Market. But a grocery store is not just groceries, either.
Traditionally, a Market has offered a wide array of talents. The criteria is simple: Everything is grown, processed, produced, or crafted by the vendor.
Markets offer many choices for the roving eye … food, herbs, plants, garden accessories, body products, sewn items, crocheted/knitted items, metal work, woodwork … It is a long list. When you buy from the Market, you are supporting a grass-roots movement to keep alive local communities.
Last summer I wrote an essay on why I participate in the Market:
Why I do Market ….
My ‘mission’ is to promote health through physical activity, mental stimulation… and to encourage nurturing care for this magnificent and complex body that navigates us through this physical world.
I spend many hours of many days preparing product for Market, harvesting, drying, combining ingredients, and labeling. For all this work, the income generated might cover the costs of production and gas to get there, but rarely does it cover much of the ‘cost’ of labor.
Is the Market a way for me to make a living? Not so far. But there is something else involved, something beyond the hard cash that many of us so desperately need in order for ends to meet.
There is a difference between Making a Living and …. Living. The difference between ‘life events’ and ‘life’.
I am an Introvert. For those of you unfamiliar with that concept, it means social activities are uncomfortable at best, and sometimes painful at worst. You will never find me at a party or ‘hanging out’.
I do not consider the Market a ‘social’ function. It is Community. It is deeper than sharing a drink over dinner.
At Market, we display our wares, and we share aspects of our True Self. We connect with other ‘like-minded’ souls, and encourage a more authentic and healthier life style.
In a society that is riddled with ill-health and confusions, the Market is a place that strips away the false ideals of thoughtless living. The vendors reveal a different truth … a truth that embraces our connections to each other and to Nature.
The Market is a quiet revolution. It is a place of education and revelations. It sparks imagination and creativity. It is a life-style and a life-choice.
Is it hard work? Oh yes. Oh very much yes. Is it worth it? Oh very much yes!
Idealistic? Sure. Why not? I still believe in the Market. I believe in the ideal of it.
… with gratitude ^_^