Meet the market: Market magic, from setup to teardown

Sure, we anticipate the week’s new arrivals and our usual market treats when we set out on a weekend morning farmers market adventure. But our anticipation goes way beyond filling our tummies with good food. We are full of excitement to see the people behind our fruits and veggies, the creators behind our at-market goodies. It’s not just about filling our bags with a week’s supply of produce; it’s about the relationships we’ve developed with our food growers.  

In addition to filling our bellies with good things to eat, the market nourishes our spirits, too. It feels great to support so many young, adventurous farmers as they pursue their passions and bring them to market every week.

Each time our young family attends the markets, the bond between our family and the farmers deepens. We know which vendor is expecting a baby at any moment, which vendors are newlyweds and which vendor is hosting a wedding at their farm this fall. They are not just any food grower or producer, they are ours, and because of that they have become a very important part of our family.

Even buying food staples like onions and carrots — which are now in season and no longer a thoughtless grab at the grocery store — is transformed into a lovely encounter complete with broad smiles, loads of farmer pride and an update about the week’s work on the farm.

As parents of two young boys whose attention span for things is unpredictable at best, it is a real treat that they are so darn smitten with the farmers market, returning week after week, as enthusiastic as ever. Our kindergartner’s favorite thing — besides his wood-fired pizza — is to volunteer all day. I’m talking setup to teardown, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. And, I kinda see his point.

To see the market rise from a hushed, vacant parking lot into an aromatic, lively marketplace is nothing short of magic. Then, to linger on in the midday heat until the last table and chair are stowed away and the pavement is swept clean comes with its own sense of accomplishment. It completes the farmers market circle from beginning to end, from all the anticipation of the day ahead to the satisfaction of pulling off another successful market.

Recently, our three year old walked around at the end of the market “helping” the vendors take their tents down. Well, maybe distracting them more accurately describes the scene. The humor and kindness with which they greeted him at the end of a long workday was remarkable.

It is this shared joy and excitement around what we’ve made together that even the littlest ones find there. To me, that is so very telling. What we are doing benefits all of us from the inside out, from farmer to customer, young to old.

Fulton Farmers Market
49th & Chowen
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
May 21–Oct. 29
Follow on Twitter @fultonmarketmn

Kingfield Farmers Market
4310 Nicollet Ave.
Sundays, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
May 22–Oct. 30
Follow on Twitter @kingfieldmarket magic, from setup to teardown