By 12:45pm any given Saturday, I – the Market Manager – am already checking the forecast for next Saturday morning, crossing my fingers for sunshine. By Thursday and Friday, I consult 3-4 various weather sites for wind speed, high/low temps, and precipitation chances – including scanning radar maps on Saturday morning. Overkill, maybe. But cancelling the Farmers Market is no simple task; it’s a delicate balance of ensuring safety for market vendors and customers – while guaranteeing an outlet for product that has already been harvested, cooked, killed, etc. and rallying enough support for those products to be purchased.
We coach our vendors to prepare for the worst by packing ponchos and sunny dispositions.
Even with 70-80% chance of thunderstorms this Saturday, we had a hearty number of vendors turn up to Market – 18, compassing a beautiful offering of free-range eggs, pastured pork and chicken, tamales, salsa, goat’s milk soap, plant starts, hoop-house tomatoes, tortillas, kombucha, hydroponic herbs and greens, tacos, wine, cornmeal, jams and marmalade, grass-fed beef, honey, beets and radishes of every shape and color. And folks, this is the doldrums of February. Watch out for the sunshine of March because our vendor roster is about to explode to 60 farmers, artisans, creators, makers and doers of local loveliness.
We have defied the odds of bad weather this winter – and we do it because our farms and small businesses sustain us, the people beneath the tents, and you, the people of our community. Each week our vendors do their darnedest to make a living – which sometimes requires getting wet, muddy, and/or sweaty. For some, the Market is their second or third job. But for 99% of us at Market every Saturday – it’s also our passion. Sometimes we must dig deep to find that passion – particularly on those 20-degree, 20mph wind days – but the passion is there.
The next time it’s raining at Market use the opportunity to cozy up under a tent and meet a new vendor. Learn more about their story, their family, or why they have a passion for what they do. Because the Waco Downtown Farmers Market will be open. Rain or shine.