A neighborhood farmers market’s broad reach

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There are obvious reasons why having a farmers market like the Fulton Farmers Market in your neighborhood enhances your neighborhood experience. It is wonderful to be able to buy locally grown produce and other unique goods within walking distance from your home.   

We can support small, local business by purchasing from them face to face. We are also fortunate to have a place to meet neighbors each week and have conversations that you may not have across the fence or alley. All this while listening to music, eating lunch, and having your children create a craft is a big asset to the quality of life we have here.

What takes a while for you to realize about having a local farmers market is how it can actually have a bigger impact, how it becomes a part of your family’s tradition and routine. Having three kids under three, my husband and I like activities that are easy to get to, flexible on time, and open to a little crying here and there. 

It seems simple, but there is nothing that makes me happier to live in the neighborhood I do than loading up everyone in the stroller on a beautiful Saturday morning and heading over to the farmers market. We have our usual vendors that we hope to see, are surprised when a new interesting one pops up, have a discussion about if we ate the all the goat cheese we bought last week, and are pleasantly surprised when we make it in time for story time. 

I am excited to see what kind of flavored lemonade there is that week, and happy when I run into a neighbor I have not seen in a while. We walk around finding our favorites and sharing a donut or two along the way. A quick trip to the park on the way home is a wonderful way to round out the morning.

There are ways the market comes home with us beyond the fresh veggies in the fridge. It warms my heart that one of my daughter’s favorite things to play is to load up her dolls in the cart and head off “to the market.” The fact that she and her dolls usually just get a donut and maybe an apple does make me realize that we have a few more lessons to give on nutrition. 

For reasons only a 2 and a half year old can understand, the foam wrench she got at one of the winter markets with market sponsor Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling’s logo on it has made it into the elite collection of stuffed animals in her bed.  I am not sure they were counting on all the extra ad impressions they would get from having me pick up the wrench from the floor a couple times a week as she is trying to get to sleep answering her call out “Mommy, Mommy my wrench, my wrench.”

I look forward to seeing you in the upcoming weeks at the market as the strong growing season continues and meeting more of you as my family and the market continue to grow and evolve in the years to come. 

Sasha Jensen is a Fulton resident who joined the Neighborhood Roots board in 2015. She recently left her job in advertising to stay home with her three young daughters.