No, I’m not writing about a Fleetwood Mac album, I’m writing to dispell/discuss a couple of rumors swirling about the ‘hood.
I had been hearing the rumor for some months that the downtown folks planned to start a new farmers market (or market of some kind) this summer. Putting aside the unpleasant part of what I’d heard about that (“they’re trying to take your vendors!”), I went down to talk to Gloria Christopherson yesterday morning and get the scoop.
Yes, there is a plan to start a small market downtown–in the Raziel’s courtyard. The specifics don’t appear to be set yet, though it sounds as if they’d like to do it on Thursday evenings (which is when our market runs).
You can’t really blame them for that–much of the reason we switched to Thursdays was to help boost the downtown merchants later business hours on that day–but we’re not downtown anymore. We’ve kept to that day because it doesn’t conflict with the larger markets on Saturdays, or the smaller regional ones sprinkled throughout the week–so it helps us get more vendors looking for mid-week outlets for their goods.
I really don’t see another market downtown–even on the same day–as problematic competition–after all, we do get some vendors who only have a few things to sell, and they may not want to shell out the ten bucks a week if they don’t have a reasonably large volume. This smaller market may serve as a good outlet for them, and may also be a good place for small art and craft businesses as well.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m all about boosting the downtown, it’s just that we hadn’t found a good space there, and in the end, the market board’s job is to ensure that the market has space to grow and that the vendors make money. If they don’t have space and they aren’t making money, they don’t come back–and then you don’t have a viable market.
The downtown market isn’t likely to draw away our bigger truck farmers because there’s nowhere for them to set up. But, I think that a downtown market might be a good spot for really small-volume vendors for whom our market might not be the best fit. I’ve asked Gloria to keep me posted on the details of their venture, and when I get them, I’ll pass them along.
The second rumor I’d like to address is a bunch of silliness, but I’ve heard it from so many people, I’m going to address it here:
I did not pick ALL the mushrooms!
Anyone who has mushroom hunting experience knows Harry’s and my find was an awesome stroke of good luck. We’d heard (and it was broadcast freely at a party we’d attended the previous weekend) where there might be some, and we hit it during an amazingly big flush.
Since there was no one else anywhere in the vicinity during our big pick, and because we left in the evening just as the weather was getting bad, it’s pretty fair to assume that the only other sentient beings who would’ve gotten any of that flush would’ve been the deer that night.
I’ve spent many springs wandering for miles with only a few ‘shrooms (or none) to show for all my work–in fact, I’d spent the previous weekend Bataan death-marching my six-year-old son over miles of ground in several locations and found nothing (though we ran into others who cheerily told us they were finding some).
And yes, I thought under my breath–bastards!
But, I’d wager for all the miles I’ve walked and mushrooms I’ve found over the years, the equation works out to about a mushroom a mile–two at the most–even with this year’s haul.
So my advice to the disgruntled mushroom-less is simply–quit blaming us for picking all the ‘shrooms, get your hiking boots on, and go for a walk.
And then, when you come across the motherlode, don’t tell anyone. 😉