And so, dear reader, we wind up another season of our Teton Valley Farmer’s Market. It has been a privilege and a tremendous pleasure for me to get to know our farmers and artisans who, each week, bring you bounty from their fields and studios (I’ve learned everyone who provides for our Market is a creator). I admire them for their steadfastness – most arrive at the Plaza by 7 a.m. or soon thereafter to unload, set up their tents, put their weekly offerings in pleasing displays, and have sincere smiles on their faces when you come to shop or browse. At 1 p.m., they “take down”, returning to their fields and studios to prepare for the next Market (for some, more than one every week). We admire and applaud them for their steadfastness.
I could not leave you without a few words about the folks who co-ordinate and orchestrate (most times, we make “sweet music”!) our weekly Markets:
Sincere thanks to our fearless Market Manager, Steve Thomas, who spends many hours both at the Market and behind the scenes dealing with all aspects of the Market on a yearly basis:
· Preparing for and conducting four TVFM Board meetings/year
· Engaging with the City of Driggs re: negotiating space on the Plaza and the fee for the Market
· Providing the City a list of vendors with their contact information
· Providing the City tax information
· Providing the State of Idaho sales tax information
· Recruiting and procuring vendors (2019 ~35 vendors)
· Providing applications and registration forms to vendors
· Being the “go-to” person for vendors at and outside Market hours (total 10-12 hours/week during the Market season). Plus, ~40 more hours throughout the year for a total of 250 hours of Market-related duties
Thank you, Steve! Brian McDermott and Emily Selleck provide support as his “Market elves”, and are also members of the Teton Valley Farmer’s Market Board. Other members of our Board are Jennifer Werlin of UI Extension Services; Linda Prentice, Treasurer; Barry McKay, former Market Manager; vendors Rob Dupre — Chasing Paradise, Ken Michaels — Full Circle Farm, Al Young – Biodiverse Gardening, and Kendall Russell – Lark’s Meadow Farms.
I could not leave you without answering the questions I asked all our vendors. So,…
When did you start your involvement with the Farmer’s Market?
Three years ago. For many years, I had been an Educator in Horticulture at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in upstate New York where I lived prior to coming to Teton Valley in 2015. As such, I had exposure to (mostly) home gardeners and small and large commercial farmers. Our weekly Farmer’s Market in Keene Valley was a draw from up and down Champlain Valley (much like here in Teton Valley), and, as here, it enriched the meals and spirits of its denizens and visitors. When Linda asked me if I’d like to become a Teton Valley Farmer’s Market Board member in 2016, I was delighted. Being retired gives me freedom to choose my hours of involvement, and, of course, I couldn’t not be at the Markets each week as well!
What motivated you to do so?
Although the Farmer’s Market in Keene Valley was a big deal, I sensed from the beginning the Farmer’s Market here in Teton Valley was unique. Perhaps it’s because of its location on City Plaza. Perhaps it’s because of the camaraderie demonstrated by the vendors, Market staff, community members, and visitors alike. Perhaps it’s because it showcases so elegantly the many wonders our Valley has to offer (we are all creators here).
What keeps you motivated?
The energy and happy vibes I pick up from each and every vendor and the Market visitors each and every week!
What, so far, do you feel you do best as it pertains to your involvement with the Market?
I’ve always worked well with people. Prior to my involvement with Extension, I was a registered nurse and then a Physician Assistant. Working with people has always added meaning and purpose to my life. I am enriched, just being part of this special, supportive, community. Talking with folks here soon after I arrived four years ago, I hears so often “I moved here for the (skiing, climbing, fishing, etc.), but I stayed for the people.” Me, too!
What can folks look forward to in the coming weeks?
I shall be working with Steve and the rest of the Board to make next year’s Teton Valley Farmer’s Market just as wonderful as this year’s Market. Perhaps even better! You’ll just have to come by Friday, June 5th, 2020 and see for yourself.
And, please come to Market this Friday for our last Market of the 2019 season — root vegetables, cabbages, herbs, happy flowers, splendid cheeses, bread, honey, salsa, mead, stunning ceramics and pottery, sparkling jewelry, bold and beautiful paintings, robust hot coffee – and more — await!
On behalf of the vendors and Market Board, thank you all for joining us in celebrating the bounty and beauty we have here in Teton Valley, and enjoying our unique Market.
‘til next season, Cheers!