...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"To Market, to Market..."

although modern shoppers would probably say, "Uh, no..." as the little poem's next phrase rolls out: "...to buy a fat pig." More likely, they'd relate to the last verse, the one that goes "To market, to market to buy a plum bun. Home again, home again, market is done." This little poem has surely been chanted since well before it's first publication in the late 1500's, so our cultural tradition appears to be steeped in farm market life, whether live pigs make an appearance or not.

And, since marketing is now easily done at a grocery store, why should these markets still thrive? All I can do is give you some assumptions based on my own town's farm market...held every Saturday morning from early May through mid-October. First and foremost, I'd say this: it's not just about what you buy.

It's about the story that builds while you're there.

It's about the vendor who says. "That birdhouse gourd? If you want to come by the farm store, we have ones already dried, ready to drill the bird hole and paint. Don't buy these, they're too fresh, and you'll have to wait to use them."

It's about the booth you think offers brownies, but then realize from the aroma you've actually come upon hand-made soaps, and the vendor who leaves it to you to figure out the difference.

It's about corn sold by someone whose overhead expenses involve the bed of a farm truck and whose advertising budget covers things like cardboard boxes and black magic markers.

It's about learning who made the cupcakes. Not someone's apron-wearing grandma, but these guys...although the apron is a constant.

It's about consumers...

...and producers outside the human race who nevertheless make a welcome appearance.

It's about shopping for what's seasonal, only what's seasonal.

and the casual side of creative display;

...about shopping under a watchful eye...

...and kettle corn as the impulse buy.

Happy marketing!

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