Do you support local farming? You do if you frequent businesses that purchase ingredients from our local farms. Not sure if the stores or restaurants you gravitate towards use farm-fresh local ingredients? Ask! Request! Why?
Farmer Janet Clark of Steady Lane Farm had this to say in response, “Here is where I am on the topic of local. It is my first choice when I shop, even above “organic” and “climate smart farming.” This is to support farmers in my community, including youth hired for chores. It is to protect our productive landscapes and associated wildlife habitat, to build soil which good farmers do, and to ensure resilience. Here, where I can see it and celebrate it. And here perhaps it is where others can see farming as a viable way to contribute and enjoy this industrious but rewarding life.”
Beyond supporting local farming, what is the value you place on community? How much is it worth to you to come out and be social with your neighbors? Perhaps being neighborly is not an efficient use of your time if you have other errands you need to run, but I dare say it is an effective use of your time. We are not just here every Saturday asking you to support your local farmers, though by default you do that by shopping on the Town Common. The Ashfield Farmers Market is a community building initiative, whereby the very act engages you in town life and draws you in closer.
The Ashfield Farmers Market is a gathering place. It is where friends and neighbors catch up, share a bite to eat while discussing the latest news, and hand out hugs like so many zucchini. You can even meet your client here: grab some coffee, a baked good, or ice cream or cukes or carrots and device your action plan. It’s a place to listen to “front porch” tunes while shopping for all your favorite in-season produce. It is a place to connect, to feel connected.
I will go one step further. The Farmers Market is a “head space” to remind yourself and one another why you choose to live in this town: why you are so willing to volunteer on a committee and be of service to your community; why you feel comfortable asking your neighbor to care for your pets while you are away; why you run out the door when you hear a crash just to see if you can be helpful; why you take in that stray; why you leave your door unlocked in case a friend needs to get in; why you leave fresh baked cookies on the doorstep of someone who has just moved in. Every act you do to be neighborly pulls you in that much closer until you cannot imagine living anywhere else.
Is that what you want? Do you want to feel more connected to the people you live in proximity to? Then gather. Come out and participate. I swear, you won’t be sorry you nurtured these relationships like so many garden flowers. Here, you will thrive!
– Arianna Alexsandra Collins
Are you a musician? Love to sing and/or play an instrument?
The Ashfield Farmers Market is seeking musicians for our Saturday markets on the Town Common from 9:00am – 1:00pm. We will happily compensate you for serenading our customers while allowing you to sell your CDs and promote your music. Compensation is a bag of food and $25. Contact the Market Administrator if you would like to come play: firstname.lastname@example.org