As the days inch closer to our outdoor Ellington Farmers’ Market opening this Saturday, I check in with my weather app way too much trying to force the little yellow sun to show itself for Saturday. I think it worked; I think the weather Gods are going to be nice to us.
There is nothing better than tons of adorable spring animal babies and really cute children who squeal with delight to hold a baby chick, duckling, or way-too-furry bunny. (Please Mom and/or Dad, I promise I will take REALLY good care of these chicks – this one is not going to grow that much; it will stay small and fluffy just like this! I’ll go out in the cold of winter and feed them every day – I promise…or we can just keep them in the house….pleeease.) It’s my favorite theme day, and one of the characteristics of our market that I really love – every Saturday features some aspect of life in our community and its wealth of agricultural history and identity. We will welcome ducklings, bunnies, chicks, calves, lambs, goats and most likely some farm kittens, and hopefully our favorite alpacas who are regular visitors throughout the season. After all, spring is a time of rebirth – of Mother Nature finally awakening and showing her colors after the mostly dreary winter from which we just slogged our way into spring.
I will make my rounds and greet my fellow vendors, some who make a living from creating and selling their fine products, and others who participate as a side venture for a little extra pocket money or just because they love it – whether it be a passion for the artisan creations they share or an affection for the people and experiences they encounter along the way. It’s a unique and welcome way to take a breather from rushing about during our work week. Hopefully we reconnect with friends and neighbors, laugh a lot and enjoy the fresh air. I love our patrons, some armed with their bags and baskets on a beeline to purchase, and others who meander and make their buying decisions after doing a “once around” our circular layout. The musical entertainment is mostly top-notch as well, and people come just to enjoy the show. Kids dance, seniors claim a spot and stay for a while, and others just tap their feet or listen as they walk the grounds. It’s hard work putting it all together, and I’m thankful to those who organize, promote and make it happen week after week. It’s also REALLY hard work being a farmer in our ever-challenging world and having to depend on the weather to be your friend. We need to support them as best we can. I look forward to the start of another great market season. Bring on the babies!