Ah, farmers markets. They’re all fun and hip and stuff… until it rains.
Buying local food is a super feel-good thing to do, right? Right. No argument there. Farmers markets — especially our market — have such a great atmosphere and there’s nothing better than mixing your shopping with a yarn with friends in the sunshine by the beautiful Moruya River.
Oh but, shop at an outdoor farmers market in the rain? Errrrmmm… maybe not. A nice climate-controlled shop that has trolleys sounds much nicer. And managing kids in the rain? Ugghh.
OK, that may be so, but I’m here to tell you our stall holders are made of sterner stuff. At our wet and rainy market yesterday afternoon, only 4 of our regular stall holders didn’t come and one of those was because they couldn’t physically get off their property. Palarang Organic Meat came from Bombala to be at our soggy market, such is the dedication of these people to bring fresh, quality local food to our town.
While it’s reasonable to expect fewer customers on a day like yesterday, it was also a little disappointing to see. Yes, the weather was… not so nice at times, but the camaraderie amongst the stall holders and the dedicated customers who came in dribs and drabs was heartwarming. I had more laughs at yesterday’s market than any other, pretty much. If you didn’t go yesterday, you missed out. And not just on the food.
All our producers take their businesses very seriously. They are committed to their customers. They are committed to our local food system! Mere rain does not frighten them (unless it’s cyclonic, like that day back in June when we had to cancel). Food has been harvested, prepared, baked, packaged and transported — for us! Too much of it was taken away yesterday.
We need to acknowledge and reward these people’s commitment to us with our loyalty and custom, if our local food economy is to keep growing. If you’re not sure if the market is on when the weather is dodgy, check our Facebook page or our website. We will always make an announcement one way or the other if things are a bit iffy.
So the next time it rains, don’t be afraid. It’s just water falling from the sky. Just that small miracle we take for granted and complain about (even though we know we shouldn’t). Don’t let it stop you from supporting these businesses.
Put on a raincoat, make sure the kids have got their gumboots on and come along. Because splashing in puddles is as much fun as chatting in the sun.