Today marks the end of our Market season here in Alderson. The Community Market started just three years ago and has continued to grow each season. Our Market runs from March until mid-October, each week featuring a different theme, children’s activity, and musical performance. We strive to create an atmosphere in which our community can come together and get to know each other. Visitors and vendors can talk about products and agricultural methods or about the weather and town gossip.
Believe it or not, those conversations can prove critical to our local food system. Some of our regular vendors, having gotten to know our organization and our community members, have hosted workshops for our Grow Appalachia participants. Other vendors have connected with fellow producers and helped bring their products to Market. Among these vendors are former school administrators, former extension agents, and local homesteaders. Each of these folks brings something extra valuable to our local food system by sharing their knowledge and skills, rather than just their products.
The Community Market also offers a venue for our Grow Appalachia participants to sell what they have produced through the program, inspiring growers to scale up without fear. We are able to see the (sometimes literal) fruits of their labors and talk with participants about what’s growing (and what isn’t). Moreover, we can connect them with other local growers who may have experience or advice, and are just a booth away.
Thanks to all of our Market participants for a wonderful season! We can’t wait to see all of you this Spring!