It seems like only yesterday I was opening our ninth season with the immortal words of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends. But here we are at season’s end and this act of the show, at least, has come to an end. As I have done for the past few years I once again present our Top Ten events of the summer Market season as chosen by a blue ribbon panel consisting of, well, me. Although I think all involved would agree with this list.
Before hitting the list I have one important bit of scheduling news. While the Winter Markets are always the 2nd Sunday of each month from November thru April this season will actually start on the 3rd Sunday of November, the 19th, due to a scheduling conflict at our Winter home, the Bridgeport Conference Center. From that point we will return to the 2nd Sunday. Please see the schedule at right which you can click on and print for your refrigerator. Or click here. See you there!
10). The addition of one Frugal Foodie Mama, Carrie Robinson, to our list of blog contributors. Carrie brought a professionalism to our proceedings as well as an original recipe each and every month using ingredients purchased at the Market. See here, here, here, and here. Thanks, Carrie! Oh, and consider this your formal invitation to join us again next season…
9). The Market was very fortunate this season to attract a bevy of local and regional media attention. It seems every week we were featured in a newspaper, TV station, blog (I mean, besides this one), radio station, or social media site. Years ago we would beg local reporters to come out and experience things first hand and we never complained when they didn’t. We love it that they have finally discovered what everyone else has been talking about all these years. See here, here, here, here, and here. Thanks to all!
8). This one may seem silly to the outsider but for our setup and teardown crews (your friendly blogger included) this was a real game changer: fold-up benches for the dining tents! For years we have endured the uttering of bad words from the guy or gal who got stuck in the truck trying to get 32 metal folding chairs in and out each week. As the chairs were my idea in the first place I not only accepted it but joined in each time it was me who got stuck up there. Another great idea by our lovely founder, Deb Workman.
7). July 9th was our 1st Annual Meet the Farmers Day. Of course, you can meet your farmer every Sunday at the BFM but this was a special celebration of all that is great about farming and farmers. All the farmers pitched in by designing poster boards with info about their farm and farming practices. The Market handed out specially made brochures featuring all the farmers and every one was encouraged to stop by and give the farmers a hug.
6). August 6th saw Hollywood descend on the Market as the WV Food and Farm Coalition chose the BFM as the perfect spot to shoot a commercial to spotlight all WV Farmers Markets. The director and crew showed up bright and early that morning to get setup and by the opening bell it looked like a Spielberg set around the lot. While the BFM is not mentioned specifically in the commercial we were extremely proud to have been chosen and extended the normal WV hospitality to the movie folks. Besides, it was a blast!
5). Our Co-Pictures of the Year:
4). The Market hosted our 1st Annual Women’s Day at the Market on June 11th. Our special events crew put together a fun and informative day for women of all ages. Representatives of UHC were on hand to spread information about cardiac care, early detection and prevention of breast and gynecological cancers, and CPR demos. There was also a self-defense demonstration by the Old Town Karate Club as well as a Pilates demo and Riversong Spa. We even had an ambulance on site for the kids to check out.
3.) For the third season our POP (Power of Produce) Club for kids continued its remarkable success. This season saw a major influx of both talent and donors who understand the importance of getting to kids early about healthy eating. Again, each week kids could sign their Passport to Health and then receive two POP tokens good for $1 each to spend at any produce or meat vendor. Then each week they could return to the POP tent to get their Passport stamped and receive two more tokens. Each week Athena Freedlander and her crew of WVU student interns had activities for the kids to participate in. This season saw over 450 kids sign up! Over a hundred more than last season. Kudos to all!
1). Without doubt the biggest undertaking of our 9th season was our move from one parking lot to another bigger and newer parking lot. I know it doesn’t sound like much but you would be surprised at how much work moving an operation this size even 100 yards can be. We moved in before the lot was finished so there were safety concerns, setup concerns, and, as we moved forward thru the season, lots of other challenges. From folks parking all weekend in a lot that was signed “NO Parking” to getting our electrical panel moved and rebuilt it was never a dull moment for our crews. Thanks to all our volunteers, vendors, and customers for being patient as we grew into our new digs.
Well, that’s it, another season in the books. Stay tuned here next May for the special celebration of our TENTH season! We’d like to take a moment to thank all of our vendors and customers for their continual support. We couldn’t do it if you didn’t show up week in and week out.
The BFM dedicates this Season to the memory of our friend, Chef Tim Goots, 1968-2017.
Until next season, Stay Fresh!