Peregrine Farm News Vol. 18 #16, 4/22/21 The Last Market

What’s been going on!

Happy Earth Day and it’s a cold one!  27 degrees in the field, the few things we have that need covering are all tight and snug under their covers.  One more night and we should be good.

So here we are, after 1133 Saturday and another 434 Wednesday markets over 36 years, we have come to the end of our market road, our last rodeo so to speak.  It doesn’t seem real yet and yes it is an artificial stopping point but it has to end sometime and like most of the decisions in our lives we are the ones in charge and we know that now is the time to move to our next adventures.

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market has been the single biggest influence and constant in our farming lives and we are going to miss many aspects of it, especially the people.  First are our fellow vendors, all running their own businesses but assembling together for our common good to make one of the best markets in the United States.  The relationships with our immediate selling neighbors are one of the unspoken aspects at market, we all learn to live with and adapt to each other’s arrival times, parking and display styles.  We watch out for one another’s booths if we have to step away or things go crazy in a storm.  We know what our neighbors are selling and what to say about it after hearing them talk about their products week after week.  We never could have done it without all of our various staff over the years who were thrown into the deep end.

The Market Managers, who keep all of us in line and deal with all of our eccentricities.  We have worked with every manager the market has ever had, ten in total not including the equally great assistants and they have all done a tremendous job, every one getting better and better as the job gets harder and harder, this past year is the perfect example.

Our customers of course have shaped our business in every way possible and certainly been the pulse of our market days.  Saturdays have always started with the Patron Saints of produce growers, Dianne and Jim, who eat more vegetables than some restaurants buy from us.  The rest of our early morning regulars like Karen, Betsy, Polly, Anne and Brian, Catherine, Sue and Allen and more provided quiet conversation and seriousness about their food.  By 8:30 the pace quickens a bit but still with dedicated supporters like Bob, Archie and Dorie, Brian, Paula, Liz, Susan and Doug, Dominique and Andrew, Ellie and Jim.

9:30 to 10:30 is when the crowd hits with new and old faces.  Peter (on his first pass), Kelly, Eric and Penny, Nina, David, Jackie, Ann and Randell, Polly and Allan, Rahsaan, Sheri, Peggy and David.  The pace is brisk but conversations can be had on the side as newer shoppers are waited on.

By 10:30 it is really all over “but the shoutin’”  The folks who come now know the drill, either they get what is left or they were astute and put in an order ahead of time, the chefs especially.  Rebecca, Bethany and Robert, Debbi, Judy, Sylvia and Chuck, Nathan, Tim, Jeff, Ben, Gabe, Brendan.  The philosophy hour kicks in, few problems are solved but some good food does go home with them.

The flower folks have their own programs and we have had many dedicated flower connoisseurs over the years including Terry and Mike, LeeAnn and Sandy, Candy, Catherine, Brian and of course Karen, the Patron Saint of all the cut flower growers who not only bought for her house but her entire office.

Don’t even get me started with the specialists for Peppers, Peas, Tomatoes and Blueberries.  It, of course, is impossible to name everyone as there are hundreds more people who have made our lives rich and interesting and possible.  We thank you all, more than we can say and will miss our regular visits but we will be around.  My friend Scott and I are thinking of finding a corner to set up the Old Coots Giving Advice booth, until then look for us at market as civilians and a newsletter from time to time.

Picture of the week

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We leave you with a grainy picture of one of our first markets in 1986, you have brought us a long way

What’s going to be at Market?

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