What a great day it was last Saturday. The celebration of the 30th season of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market brought out a huge crowd to enjoy the festivities and shop. I know that there had to have been ten thousand of those raffle coupons handed out to all the shoppers. We enjoy such great support both from all of you who come to market but also all of the surrounding businesses that donated for the raffles. And a big thank you to Sarah Blacklin (our market manager) and all of the volunteers who helped put it on. This is what the market founders envisioned all those years ago when they stated the goals of the market to be (from the By-Laws) “The goal of the corporation is to operate farmers’ markets in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area which serve the dual purpose of providing (1) a direct retail outlet for local farmers thereby promoting local agriculture, and (2) an alternative buying arrangement for consumers where high quality fresh products are available at reasonable prices in an atmosphere conducive to the exchange of information and ideas between the original producer and the consumer.” and the town of Carrboro wanted to bring more people into downtown to help keep it vibrant and working. I would say that all of that has happened and more.
I rarely talk about “the seamy underbelly of the market” as we want most people to have the feeling that we all just happen to show up on Saturdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and what a wonderful coincidence it is. Yeah sure there are always glitches along the way, issues between vendors, between the market and the town and surrounding businesses, sometimes it’s difficult to park but we all have worked together to solve those problems so we can enjoy the benefits. It’s called community. As members of the market for 23 seasons now we are extremely proud and defensive of the market and it’s organization. It has been a model for many of the markets in North Carolina and around the country too. It is unusual for a market to be farmer run and farmer controlled, it takes a lot of time to run such a large organization when you have to farm as well. I tell folks that it is as close to democracy as you can get when 80 plus individual businesses come together to agree on how their market place will be organized and then elect a board of their peers to make policy and run the day to day business of the market. Farmers working together making decisions that work for farmers, not some other organization. So we thank all of you for rewarding us with your support all these years, it takes all of us to have a dance!
Picture of the Week
Sweet William in the first morning light