The Star-Herald

Pop and lock

This has been an off-again/on-again sort of a spring, like dancing to music with an unfamiliar time signature … move to your groove, freeze and hold.  Pop and lock. Even in mid-June, we are not secure in our decision to put the past winter in the past. Summery sandals sit next to mud boots, themselves leaning against a pair of insulated boots not yet stored.  We optimistically pull on a lightweight T-shirt in the morning, then bury the short sleeves under a sweater or fleece. And that is just for inside the house.

We go out the door suited up in rainwear over a jacket over the aforementioned fleece, but pull on a brimmed hat to keep possible hot sun out of our face.  We walk toward the garden with hot coffee in hand, but a bottle of bug-dope sloshing companionably in our back pocket. Bust a move, then hold. Pop and lock.

So it is with the Presque Isle Farmers Market at Riverside.  Vendors experienced with sidewalk selling have quickly recovered from the jerkiness of a “soft opening” June 2; newbies are quickly catching on.  With limited forethought, we can now get our products packed up and loaded with the tables, chairs, cash box, signage, promotional material and other necessaries like the aforementioned rain gear to make it to downtown Presque Isle in time for our advertised 8:30 a.m. start.  

On site, we have mostly ironed out the initial confusion associated with making adequately sized vending spaces under the pavilion roof for crafters and others for whom rain and wind make a challenging day.  We have a mostly agreed-upon parking organization for vendors with canopies who sell from the back of their vehicles. Both “inside” and “outside,” we debate setting up downwind from the food truck. And then there is the baker.  Do we really need breakfast, brunch, lunch and snack to sustain four and a half hours of standing in a parking lot? Enticing aromas draw people like the siren call of mermaids to the rocks, but continuously smelling air-borne temptations is likely to cut deeply into our potential profits.  

Like an off-Broadway show initiating a shakedown tour of Greenwich and Hoboken, vendors now have a couple of Saturdays under our belts to identify and rectify pitfalls or unforeseen challenges.  The cooperative PIFM/Riverside Market is taking shape as a welcoming, interesting and versatile venue for local farmers, producers, growers, artisans, and crafters.

On Saturday, June 16, between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., we will be ready, willing and able to bring our best moves to The Market. We are ready to “wow the crowds” at the upcoming grand opening of the Presque Isle Farmers Market in our new Riverside location, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a bit of speechifying by Star City officials, and some fun and games for children of all ages.  

Lock and load.  Pop and lock. We hope you will come celebrate with 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 hoctrainer@aol.com.

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