Joy and gratitude

We closed the farmers market season today. I’m rather glad there’s a season to it. I mean, it’s harder for the community to gain access to fresh local food without it. And that’s a big problem. A problem I try to mitigate to some degree with deliveries and pickups.

BUT

As a farmer who attends the market on a weekly basis, its nice to get a few months off. Hello lazy Saturday morning! Where have you been my friend?

I left today’s final market full of gratitude toward this community of people who come together under the market tent of growing, discussing, preparing, and enjoying fresh local food. I’m grateful for their business and support. I’m grateful for their tolerance of my silly musings and poor change counting skills. I’m grateful they show up, chilly rain be damned. I’m grateful they say kind words and smile bright smiles. I’m grateful they buy this food I’m raising.

Many people shared gifts to me today. Living plants. Herbs. Baked goods. Herbal medicines. Thought provoking conversation. I am mindful, not for the first time, of how choosing to grow food has been the catalyst for connecting to my local community.

Us young(ish!) people have taken to building much of our community online. And that has great potential. I’m all for it. There are aspects of my life (artwork in particular) that have room for blossoming online that physical life erects barriers for. It is easier to find like-minded people when your community scope is worldwide.

But it cannot be all, or most, of our human connecting. Beyond actually seeing someone’s face every week (which is truly something our bodies crave) the connection of food and community is visceral. I literally participate in sustaining the lives of this community. We do not ship our food elsewhere.

I’ll dial it back.

I know full well I grow very little food and serve very little people, relative to our county’s population and it’s caloric and nutritional requirements. The argument for or against small farms sustaining our country’s caloric needs is a long one. One I think about a lot. And we can chat about it later.

But for now,

The fact remains that I grow a bit of food and it’s been my ticket into the local community. I feel joy and gratitude. For the opportunity to grow food that sustains my neighbors. That they trust me to do it. And that they bring me gifts. That we are all showing up for each other. Taking care of each other. Showing generosity and care. That gives me joy.

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