I have had the good fortune this last summer of being able to sit at my wife Julie's table at the Becker Market and the farmers' market in Willmar. Before Julie started to do the markets, we would go to the farmers' market and walk through buying fresh farm-raised products, then leave, not really talking to a lot of people, and that includes the vendors who are some of the friendliest people I have ever met.
I have to say the people who put together the Becker Market and the farmers' market do a splendid job with all the time they put into the markets and it shows with a well-run market.
I hear a lot of talk about community, and what can be done for the community. Well, my friends, these markets in Willmar are right out of the community playbook.
I can't tell you how many times I have been sitting with Julie at her table and I hear someone out in the crowd say, "Hey I haven't seen you for a long time, how's it going?" and then they get into a nice conversation with lots of sharing and laughing.
I have found out that these markets are much, much more than just getting some fresh vegetables or some great fresh homemade items. These markets are so much more about community and they are such a great social setting for people to come together and maybe see that person you have not seen for such a long time. We talk about community and doing something for the community; well, here are a couple markets that anyone can enjoy in a social setting with all of the community-building anyone would want.
So if you see the people who put the markets on, stop and say hello and thank them for the hard work they do to help build the community.