I’ve been remiss in writing the market column, and I apologize.
It’s been a period of some twists and turns, and writing went to the back burner. But I’m back … and loving the market as much as ever.
What’s not to love? For those who’ve been coming, you know what I’m talking about. I see you streaming in on Saturday mornings, shopping bags under your arms, or slung over your shoulders. I see you with huge bouquets of flowers, munching on bagels and cream cheese, gabbing with friends and neighbors, and singing along with the band. You leave with bags overflowing with fresh goods ready to be made into gorgeous meals for the next week.
On Tuesdays you show up later, but you bring friends and hang out in the Plaza, nibbling on chips, hummus and fresh strawberries. Your kids run and play on the grass and color at the coloring tables. You take photos of them with their heads peeking through the “carrot” photo stand we have.
Both markets bustle with visitors as well. I know many in Healdsburg feel the town is overrun with non-residents, and it’s true, but yet so necessary. It fuels the local economy in ways you and I cannot match. At the Info Booth we love talking to people from Texas, Missouri and the greater Bay Area. It’s always fun to find out what brought people here (how many weddings there must be in this town), how long they’re staying and how their home compares to Healdsburg. Invariably Healdsburg wins. It’s pretty hard to find a place more inviting, delicious and filled with great things to see and do.
As the manager of our farmers markets I can’t help but feel this is true even for me. Although I don’t live in this town, I’m the beneficiary of the community’s unfailing support of the markets. This is not so true elsewhere, as I work with many market managers, and I know their struggles to make changes, open new markets, etc. My experience has been positive throughout my tenure, which makes me want to do this forever.
Thank you to all of you who come down and shop our markets. Thank you for buying tee shirts and tote bags to advertise us, market bucks to spend at our farm booths, and supporting your local farmers, food producers and craftspeople. All of us at the markets are so grateful for your patronage and for this wonderful town that appreciates what the market represents in our history and our economy.
Janet Ciel is the manager of the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.