When May begins, the average person can again find themselves spending a comfortable morning at a Farmer’s Market. You can again browse early greens, purchase fresh laid eggs, and obtain ground beef from a cow whose name sounded different from a social security number. These and many other benefits will again be yours, if you have not already started hunting for them at Winter Farmer’s Market.
Behind the scenes, as you await your fresh eggs and greens, the farmers are preparing themselves for the season. Most farmers are not only preparing for Farmer’s Markets, but also readying their plants, seeds, and livestock for the year. This very moment, there are farmers assembling their Market arsenal: Washing tables, getting table clothes, cleaning crates, washing coolers and freezers, stretching out tents, and doing about everything else they can think of.
The farmers is eager, ready to go back to the public. Through the Winter, he has slowed down, enjoyed a warm fire and cup of hot cider with a book or movie. It is a well deserved rest after a busy season. However, after sufficient inactivity, he grows restless with the pace; his inactivity broken only by chores outdoors or equipment repairs.
On the farm, when a person spends all their time from dawn to dusk working on the property, it can start to feel confining. The only difference between being a prisoner and a farmer is that you have something (sometimes) to show for your labor. The Markets are not only an opportunity for consumers to meet their farmers, but for farmers to get away from the farm. It becomes a break that they can enjoy, by talking to everyone about their favorite subject: farming, the topic which is nearest and dearest to their hearts.
After they spend one or two days a week at a market, they will be sufficiently relaxed to go back to their fields to ready produce for the next market, carrying with them the memory of the customers they do it for.
Here are a few things we can learn from their humble example:
Be ready – Though they know that May is only the beginning of Farmer’s Markets, with June being a more productive month, they prepare themselves for success; getting every aspect of their setup presentable and clean for the public. There will be times in our lives when things are slow, but we shouldn’t let that fool us. Use the slower time to prepare and be ready for the opportunities ahead.
Talk about what’s important to others – Most farmers are willing to talk about anything, but they know when you are at a market you are more interested in how they farm than the points on the deer they shot. In personal conversations, keep what you’re saying relevant for the audience, not boring them with unnecessary information.
Work with a purpose – All work is easier when you know why you do it. The farmer is not only motivated to work for his family, but for the people who will eat the food he’s raising. He knows that he is an important part of the local community, providing the materials for a family meal. When you are working, look beyond the paycheck. Keep in mind the greater purpose of your labors. That paycheck feeds your family. That job is important to both the company and economy as a whole.