For me, the final day of the beautiful downtown farmers’ market has always been a little sad. The weather starts to cool down, the lush produce has started to dwindle, and you might need two or three coffees to keep warm if you stay long enough; all of which combines to provide us with a sign that winter is coming. Yet, last weekend, on a cool Saturday morning, I felt energized and excited. Waking up at my regular early hour, I poured myself of cup of coffee and readied my selling fingers. For this Saturday, I found myself on the other side of the spectrum. Behind a table.
There is something to be said about the hustle and bustle that happens before customers start filling 104th street. Vendors are busy setting up their temporary stalls, filling their shelves, and saying hi to friends and neighbours they’ve potentially spent the summer with. As I helped Owen set up, a constant stream of happy vendors came by to talk about Thanksgiving, prospects for fall/winter markets, and maybe the occasional barter agreement (who could turn down those giant warm cinnamon buns!!). As we neared closer to 9AM and the opening bell, Owen had to turn a handful of customers away. As surprising as it sounds, there are strict rules to the market, and selling before the bell could get you a little detention time if you know what I mean.
As someone who spends a good portion of my day behind a desk, it was great to see such a changing flow of faces. The sheer pace of new people walking by the tent reminded me of my years spent at IKEA and it felt amazing. In between the sale of goods, there was always samples to hand out and a table to restock. Phew! I think I was starting to work up a sweat. Oh wait. I think Owen needs coffee! I was also pleasantly surprised by the people I’ve met through Twitter in our city, and how they have become not just occasional customers of Prairie Mill, but in fact regulars.We have such a great community.
I wish I would have taken more pictures of the day, but after the flow started to go, I didn’t really have the time. Plus it was so much fun to mingle and sell that I basically forgot about it. And what started as a cold day, ended with a beautiful clear sky and plenty of friendly handshakes. Thanks for the day Owen. It was great!
*PS. Have no fear, the market is going inside City Hall until next May!!!