I attended our annual "Vendors" meeting this afternoon and I was so happy to see everyone. It wasn't just the people that made me happy, it is also the impending excitement of the upcoming season.
I have the unique opportunity to be a part of one of the best and the largest markets in our state. Opening day last season brought us a whopping 5,000 guests, yes just on opening day! We had people who waited in traffic for over an hour just to get into the parking lot! To say that I am honored to be a part of this group of amazing people is an understatement. There is such a strong feeling of community every Sunday when we are standing at our booth visiting with all the people who travel by. They are looking for the best they can find and they will most certainly find it there.
I was a dedicated customer of the Coventry Farmers Market for years before I joined the ranks of Vendor. I faithfully packed up the car, grabbed my father and headed out to make the twenty minute ride to Coventry. It was always well worth the drive. The tables were lined with the most beautiful colors you can imagine. Produce I had only heard of in abundance and the vendors were happy to give you excellent ways to prepare it.
I went because I felt a sense of belonging as soon as I walked through the entrance to that little world of Market-ville. It was a place to join others who felt the same importance of community, farmer support and just plain ol' great food. It is a place to bring your family, a place to reconnect, a place to relax, walk a little slower, meet some new people and run into others you haven't seen in years.
What I gained each and every Sunday at the market has changed my life in so many ways. It has made me a better person, a better mother and has led me to a place that brings me great pride; the other side of the table. I now have the opportunity to connect with people, even if they do not purchase a single thing from me I am still part of someone's Sunday; every week. I now have the chance to give people the same exact gift that I received at the market, and that is a gift I am willing give. I am ready for June 7th to arrive and bring the beginning of a new season to share with all who grace my table; I am so thankful for every second of it.