What was your first farmers market experience like? Honestly, I can’t remember my first. I’ve been working for markets (as a vendor) for over 3 years now. From Peachtree, to Marietta, to EAV and Grant Park, the markets all have their own personalities and energies about them. However, I do remember the sense of community I felt at each one of the markets, even the first year I was a vendor. Despite my age, my inability to trade any of the goods I was selling, and my feeling of being a bit of an “outsider” (or a fast-talking yankee), vendors were so sweet to me, helpful, and giving. When I got three loaves of olive bread from H&F Bread Co. and a box of mushrooms after market one day, I knew I was in the right place.
Do you have any funny/interesting stories about encounters with people who were at the market for the first time? It was really just a cacophony of “oohs,” “ahhhs,” and “no way! are you kidding me!?” every week at the My Market Club table. One woman heard about the Double SNAP program via a flyer posted in her retirement home and she got a van to take her to the market. When the van pulled up, I craned my neck from the My Market table. The old woman shouted from the top of the van stairs, “Is this the Decatur market?” I assured her that it was and told her to come on down, “The Price is Right” style. Once she hobbled off the vehicle, her eyes lit up and she was so thankful and appreciative that not only were we there, but that she had made it.
Why do YOU love farmers markets? I love markets because of the community. Everyone is very present there, rarely do you see people on their phones or having that glazed over look of la-la land. People are meeting new neighbors, seeing new foods, tasting new flavors, and experiencing a new way to be a consumer. I love the literal and figurative openess of the market. I’ve gotten into very fascinating conversations with people at the market and I think the space offers a very safe and comfortable environment for communication. Plus, the personalities of the vendors, the shoppers, the dogs, and kids keep the energy as fresh as the veggies themselves
What vegetable do you look forward to most during market season? Radishes probably. They not only taste awesome, especially as an at-market snack, but they add such an awesome color to the tables. Eggplants are also up there because I think they are their old-world beauty is hard to deny and farmers are growing such interesting varieties these days (have you seen a Turkish eggplant?! so good)