The Farmers Market: a weekly summer party
Jenette DaPolito Special to the Courier
Each year when the weather starts to get warmer and vegetation sprouts with a fresh, vibrant green the question arises, ‘When does the farmers market begin?’
The local farmers market is something that so many in the community eagerly anticipate and thoroughly enjoy. It begins on the first Friday of June and ends on the last Friday of September, every Friday from the start to the finish is a bustling day for all of Woodland Park.
The market includes fresh produce, plants grown locally, cheese, skin care products, foods prepared by those in the community, as well as clothing and jewelry. Anyone who has had the opportunity to go to the farmers market would agree that preparation and organization are evident to an immense degree.
Judy Crummett, one of many contributors putting the market together, was asked what some challenges are involved in preparing.
She responded, “So many . . . we have 100 vendor spaces so it takes a lot of organizing. We open our summer application in January if that gives you any clue. Summer market is June- September. It is so big that it takes a great deal of organization, that’s the only way it succeeds is to be organized. Many vendors tell us that it is the best organized market that they attend.”
The next question, without a doubt, would be, is it worth all that effort? She responded positively.
“It’s been going 23 years and it is still run by a board and volunteers, so if we didn’t like doing it we certainly wouldn’t do it. We’ve gotten old in this thing, some of our volunteers are over 80 now. I think of it as a weekly summer party!”
Vendors face similar challenges with preparation and organization. Several said they were up late into the night before the market, and woke up at a shocking hour in the morning to be there and ready for their customers.
Consistency in plants, produce and ingredients in certain foods is sometimes an additional issue. One vendor, named Florence, who sells the plants that she herself grows, says “It takes all week, I’m working at this all week long either transplanting or planting and keeping it all in good shape to bring and then getting everything packed.” Despite all of that hard work she added “But I won’t give up this market because its such a great market, and the people are so nice.”
Customers are certainly grateful for all the hard work that is put into this weekly event. One customer, Samantha, said “It is nice getting to know whats in the community, because you don’t even realize that some of this exists until you come here, and then to see the talent of the people in the community.”
Another customer, Eva, appreciates the market so much she makes an effort to be there each week.
“I always come, I try never to miss it because I just love everything that is growing and is natural and just the friendliness of the people. There is always something to discover, every week you get new produce, you meet new people, you see the animals and hear the music. I meet a lot of friends and make this my place to buy something for lunch and then I sit by the lake and eat.”
A major focus behind having a local farmers market is to benefit the community. One vendor, Gene, put the benefits of the farmers market to the community this way,
“We have good camaraderie, everybody knows each other and it brings a nice kind of family atmosphere to the market and the community.”
Certainly, the local farmers market is something we can all enjoy, along with the whole family, contributing to the closeness of our community.
All can be excited for a summer party each Friday from June to September, year after year.