Our 2011 market season has ended and I’m feeling nostalgic. This week the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market will end as we know it and the work will begin on it’s all new and much-needed renovation. So why am I so sad? I know we will love pulling up to a market stall that is permanently covered. No more tarps dripping on us and our customers, or shredding in high winds. Nobody would deny that this is an improvement. But am I crazy to have actually liked putting up our tarp? I remember the first time I came to market by myself, so early no one would see me fumbling with the darn thing; and my sense of satisfaction when I got it up and secure.
And I know darn well neither of us will miss the endless splinters from the old and peeling wooden boards that overflow with beautiful produce each week. Then what exactly is it? It’s not that I feel all change is hard; I’ve been through so much drastic change in the past 5 years it makes my head spin. Then I came across a quote by Christina Baldwin, “Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.” I realized this statement held the answer to my feeling of sadness. I was weary of change. I had cut my teeth as a novice farmer at this old historical market, with all its funky worn-out pieces. It’s has been my destination for purpose, conversation, commitment and passion. Food. People. There was no glitz. It was straightforward and unapologetic of its appearance. It was simply itself, served up to the masses of people who also called it a destination each week. Many of our customers came for similar reasons, with their bed-heads, children in tow, to talk about everything from food, to politics, to the weather. So here lies the question, can we preserve that feeling of connectedness? Then it hit me. It’s not the place, it’s the people. The Fulton Street Farmer’s Market has great vendors, food and people. It has been and always will be a microcosm of humanity in all its various shades and colors. That’s what I love about it: the people. So as all that is old is new again, I offer a collection of pictures to honor the market as it was as I look forward to the new. Through the efforts of many, the phoenix will rise again.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”