Celebrating the harvest

Yesterday was the Madison Farmers’ Market’s “Autumn Harvest Celebration” and though the day was not bright and sunny, the event turned out well. We saw a good turn-out, many of the market’s devoted followers came out-along with a number of tourists. We had a couple of different agricultural presentations, food, games, and music–and aside from a couple of brief misty-drizzles–the rain held off.

farmers' market harvest celebration

Jessica Paul of Sidehill Crazy Faces makes every face a work of art!

groundswell seed farm at madison farmers market

Mike Bowman of Groundswell Seed Farm in Embden with devoted market-goer Jim.

As market manager I feel that it’s important to set up these kind of events–not only do they promote the market, but they help to get people excited–and when people get excited about something they feel good about it, and they’ll go out of their way for that thing.

talking permaculture at farmers market

Ken Hahn of Buttermilk Hill Farm in Belgrade, Maine volunteered his time to discuss permaculture with market-goers.

Because people got excited about the idea of the Harvest Celebration I managed to line up Ken Hahn of Buttermilk Hill Farm in Belgrade, Maine to talk about permaculture, and Kathy Hopkins of the University of Maine’s Somerset County Cooperative Extension to talk to folks about root cellars and food storage methods. We were also able to line up–not one, but two–volunteers to help out with the kids’ games and various market-related tasks.

Because the market vendors got excited about the Harvest Celebration, they volunteered food, helped to make games, sought out possible musicians to come to market, and offered their time and help to make it all happen.

willow lane farm

Free sliders offered by Willow Lane Farm. Free food is always a winner!

amanda landry

Amanda Landry came to sing and play for us!

squash bowling

I came up with “Squash-Bowling”. The 2 liter soda bottles were donated by Pine St Redemption in Madison, filled with enough water to keep them from blowing over in the wind–with a little food coloring and glitter thrown in for fun. Runamuk donated the acorn squashes and the kids all had a grand time!

mega-jenga

Mega-Jenga! Created by Crym Sullivan of Sidehill Farm in Madison.

Maybe it’s just me being–well-me–but I like to celebrate little things. I celebrate the arrival of spring and fall, the first snow, new baby chicks, the long-awaited arrival of a highly anticipated movie and minor accomplishments like getting a 100 on a spelling test. Celebrating even the littlest things seems to me to bring more joy to my life. It creates memories and gives depth to life.

When you share a celebration with friends and your local townspeople it helps to foster a greater sense of community–and that’s something that once was a very strong theme in any town, but it seems that with the advent of technology some of that has faded. What better way to bring your community back together than to celebrate the bounty that the land you live on has provided?

raffle winner

Ellen has been a devoted market patron for the last couple of years and she was the happy winner of our market-raffle. She took home a bag filled with more than $50 worth of goods and produce donated by our vendors.

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