As we come to the end of our 8th outdoor season all of the folks involved in the running of the Market would like to thank all of our loyal customers and vendors. We couldn’t do this without you! In keeping with end-of-season tradition I once again present to you a Top Ten list of events that took place during the season. And don’t forget to join us when we move inside the Bridgeport Conference Center starting Sunday, November 13, for the first Winter Market. Winter Markets will continue to take place the second Sunday of each month thru April. See ya there!
It was a banner year at the Market with lots of new things to see and do so, here we go:
10) The Great Variety of Music under the Music Tent all season. Once again the Market brought out the best in local musicians of all genres. We had the best in classic rock from the likes of Greg Gregory and The Masons and classic country and Americana from Annie Neeley’s band and Nate Frederick. You could also hear classic bluegrass from Hillary Kay and John Posey or jazz from the Jenny and Nathan Wilson Duo as well as Seth Maynard and Randall Hall. One week we featured some excellent original pop tunes from Madison Douglas and the next week we had the exotic Eastern European stylings of Ancien. Huge kudos to our resident guitarist and booking agent Rus Reppert!
9) The Refresh of the Market’s Marketing Efforts thru our new website and blog space as well as a new logo. If you’re reading this chances are you’re already familiar with our new web presence. We also for the first time had a regular schedule of bloggers including homesteader Heidi Nawrocki and Chef Jay Mahoney and once a month featured a Market vendor in their own words. Thanks to all from me for all of your contributions!
8) The New Initiative to Support local WV Authors and Poets. Now in addition to supporting local musicians the Market realized a long-time ambition this season by regularly featuring WV writers for book signings. This season we featured children’s authors Diana Pishner Walker, S. Hardy, and Lisa A. McCombs as well as well-known WV poet Kirk Judd.
7) Bridgeport Farmers Market Picture of the Year!
6) The June 26 Outpouring of Support by the Market’s vendors and customers for the victims of the devastating floods in southern WV. Many vendors donated a portion of their sales and the Market collected food and supplies and arranged for them to be delivered to the affected areas. In addition Market board member Chef Jay Mahoney volunteered his talents to help feed the folks of Rainelle, WV.
5) The New and Wider Selection of Food Vendors. This year in addition to the Bridgeport Conference Center, Mia Margherita, and the Hash Browns and New Grounds food truck the Market also saw the return of the WV OO Bagel Company as well as the debut of well-known Weston restaurant, Thyme Bistro, and the Foggy Dale Cafe BBQ trailer from Ritchie County. Prepared foods were also available from My Little Cupcake, That Smoothie Guy, and Quantum Bean Coffee as well as the Market’s bakers, Little Red Hen and This & That.
4) The Addition of our Appalachian Foods Series with Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm. Throughout the season Mike and Amy presented demonstrations of traditional Appalachian food preparations. Preserving and pickling ramps, foraging for mushrooms, and cooking with nettles were just a few of the things that we learned this season.
3) The Market’s POP (Power of Produce) Club for kids finished up its second season by signing up over 330 kids who participated in all manner of activities and got $2 in Market tokens to spend with any produce vendor each week. This season saw the kids playing with worms, saving seeds, and making veggie art among many other activities!
2) The Addition of a Reading Program Thru the Market’s new Book and Bean Club. The Book and Bean Club tent is setup each week next to the Market’s coffee vendor, Quantum Bean Coffee, and features a selection of books and magazines about WV, Appalachia, healthy eating and the intersection of all three. A fine selection of children’s books is also available. The books and magazines can be read under the tent or purchased to read at home.
The B and B Club, by sheer coincidence, also brought us the delightful Bards of Yellow Wood. The Bards (Brian Elliott and Daniel Summers, l-r in the picture below) are poets and high school English teachers. Each week they setup at the Market and write and recite spontaneous poems for folks who donate books that they then give away to their high school students. They’ve made themselves a home at the BFM and have added a whole new element to the special atmosphere that exists each week at the Market. Thanks, guys!
1) A Wild and Wonderful Table-the Market’s new branded fundraiser. In its inaugural season WaWT was a major success as both a fundraiser and an evening of fine dining and entertainment in a rustic setting in Sutton, WV. Thanks to all who contributed to the evening’s success! For more on A Wild and Wonderful Table see my recap blog here.
Well, that’s all folks! Until next month, Stay Fresh!