Applications for membership continue to trickle in and we couldn’t be happier. The more, the merrier; a big market is a strong market.
Acceptance for membership to the Presque Isle Farmers Market at Riverside is largely based on being willing, being local, and being legal, both in terms of the products sold and the “hoop-hopping” required by the state of Maine. New market member applications may appear because “somebody knows somebody” or because they were recruited by a current member or because they figured out that the idea of a successful farm stand next to the road depends on the road. They may have appeared at a winter meeting when they were introduced to too many faces and names to keep them all straight, especially since we do not park our vehicles in the same order that we may have parked our fannies in chairs around the meeting room table.
The application form and bylaws are posted on our web and Facebook pages, so the “new guy” (or gal) may have submitted the application by e-mail and therefore not recognize a soul on their first day. She or he may not show up until halfway through the market season, depending on their production schedule (not a whole lot of fresh corn or cucumbers in Maine in June).
In truth, folks showing up for the first time on opening day at Riverside last Saturday had few clues that would give away our member status as veteran or newbie. Even PIFM members of long duration struggle to get their head in the game at the start of a new season: Do I have enough ones and fives in the cash box to make allowances for an ATM that only spits out 20s? What in the world happened to that sign after I put it away last fall? It looks like an art project created by the Pathologically Un-Arty. All this stuff actually fits in this van? I need different shoes. Maybe this new-and-improved canopy was not the best investment I ever made. A price list? What a great idea, but not one I had before I got here. What did I do with my business cards?
One of the best things about members of the Farmers Market is they are all willing to help. The hand of cooperation and friendship is extended to every vendor and customer, old and new alike. Another vendor may be able to figure out how to make that pop-up tent pop up. Somebody brought extra change and will share. You don’t need to stand up for 5 hours: there is an extra chair in the back of my truck! In a very short time, new friends become old friends on both sides of the tables. The next time they come, customers and vendors are greeted by name as well as with smiles.
Stop by the Presque Isle Farmers Market at Riverside on Saturdays between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and join us.
The Presque Isle Farmers’ Market president for the 2018 season is Deena Albert-Parks of Chops Ahoy Farm in Woodland. For information about participating or visiting the market, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.