I’m up earlier than normal on a Saturday, but nothing like the farmer (my bro-in-law) I am here to help. He has been up before dawn. Three in the morning actually – this Saturday, and every Saturday that he is at the farmer’s market . It is passion and dedication that drives Farmer Chris to produce organically grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers with love.
Walking up to One Love Farm‘s tent, the vendors are bustling all around me, eager to have their displays up and running. Early bird shoppers are trying to score the best produce of the day. Between setting up his makeshift tables, Chris stops to talk to a patron. They walk away with the biggest bunch of Collard greens I’ve ever seen. I am put to work right away, sorting and bunching dahlias into simple, rustic bouquets. There are vibrant burgundys, cheerful oranges, delicate lavenders, and pretty pinks.
At nine sharp, the crowd floods in. Chris’ farm helper has left now that set up is complete, and its just the two of us manning the station. Chris is talking to everyone that enters the tent. He is friendly and easy to approach, and is incredibly knowledgeable. I jump in and get a line going, fumbling with the scale and the money pouch. It’s been a while since I’ve worked in retail, and it takes a few minutes to get into a rhythm.
And then it just flows; cucumbers, $2.25 a pound, carrots, three dollars a bunch, zucchini, $2.50 a pound, dahlias, six dollars a bunch. Money, and the freshest produce you can buy, are flowing through my fingers. Dozens of interactions happen before it feels like I remember to take a breath. Thank goodness for a calculator! The hustle continues, and questions about zucchini plants and kale varieties swirl around me. The next time I stop for a moment it is nearly 10:30 am.
Things slow down then, but there are still plenty of customers. In a moment’s lull, Chris runs to pick up coffees, and we sip and chat about vegetables, family, and how the farm is doing this year. Mr. Green Thumb stops in with the sprouts to say hi, and drop off a few gluten free muffins from Duft and Co. Bakehouse, just around the corner. And then we sell more produce.
As we wrap things up at the end of our time together, Chris tells me that it’s my turn to shop. I am being thanked with vegetables, and I couldn’t be happier! Garlic, kale, and three kinds of cucumbers; not to mention a few potatoes, beets and zucchini as well. He tells me later that this has been the farm’s most successful day at the market yet. I am so thankful to have been a part of it.
And I am so grateful to Chris, and all the other farmers like him, who devote themselves to this true labor of organic love.