"...in order for people to turn me down, they had to first come to market. Less than fifty people had set foot in the parking lot that morning. The market had felt vapid, neglected, devoid of the optimism that had brought all this amazing food together in the first place. It occurred to me that without customers, a farmers' market didn't really exist. ... Markets had to be more than just parking lots full of farmers and food."
- Forrest Pritchard in "Gaining Ground"
The truth is, food is planted and grown and crafters plan and create for the sake of selling to a customer who will appreciate and consume the fruits of their labor. Without customers it is discouraging at best. At worst, markets shut down. The small downtown Davison market that I've been participating in for years may experience this fate. With the larger commercial market booming, our small community run market may not open this season (nothing definite yet).
So, what's next? Where do I go? Drive further out to other community markets in hopes I sell enough to make up for the time and gas money and vehicle wear-and -tear? Open a stand in our front yard? Like Pritchard said his book, without customers, we don't exist.
There will be changes ahead for Hilltop Soaps.
This year my husband will have honey for sale as our bee yard grows. I will be selling freezer chickens as we raise more pastured meat chickens. (more details soon!) My husband has a passion for increasing local bee populations and the wonders of raw honey. I long for food raised in timeless tradition, devoid of GMOs, commercial feed, and chemicals. Foods raised only on sunlight, fresh air, quality soil, and hard work.
We'll be dreaming, planning, and praying here in our house on the hill.