A Day in the Life of a BFM Volunteer

Were you at the market last week? From what I hear, it was pure pandemonium! Our newest vendor, Mountain Ears, sold 76 dozen ears of corn in the first hour. Note: be sure to arrive early if you want corn on Sunday!

And did you see the baby kangaroo? Truly a BFM first! Be sure to check out Irwin the Red Roo!


This week, I’m sharing a post I put together last year on the hard work our volunteers put in every week to make the market possible. We are a passionate group of people and love what we do!

“Volunteers are the only human beings … who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”  ~Erma Bombeck

Here at the BFM, we love our volunteers! We give our time because we are passionate about local food and supporting our local farmers and artisans. We love being able to provide *you*, our customer, with a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy some local music, grab lunch, and shop for the week. But, it isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s quite a bit of work. So, join me on the journey from start to finish on a typical Sunday.

7:30 AM – a foggy morning behind the infamous white box truck. This truck houses all of the things that make the markets run on a typical day: tents, tables, chairs, signs…you get the idea.


7:50 AM – the truck has made the trip from it’s favorite parking spot to the market lot. Commence the unloading and setting up!


8:00 AM – the best sight of the morning – the arrival of Quantum Bean Coffee. This market runs on coffee and Sam knows the preferences of all of our board members. I think I’m the only odd one out that doesn’t drink coffee. But, have no fear! Sam also offers chai tea.


8:30 AM – a big part of our weekly set up is the dining tent. Not only do we set up all 1,496 chairs (I kid…) but we also provide tablecloths, which one of the volunteers takes home after the market to launder and bring back the following week. Be sure to check out our new experiment – benches!


9:00 AM – first cup of coffee down. Many, many more to follow.


9:30 AM – when your youngest volunteer is 8 months old, sometimes set up involves a little more. A stroller, pack and play, high chair and many toys help to get through the busy day.


10:02 AM – thank goodness for the opening bell! Food, along with coffee and mock Bloody Mary drinks, is essential for survival on any given Sunday.


1:00 PM – now starts the waiting game. T – 1 hour until tear down starts. Tear down in the afternoon is, well, hot. Those straws from the iced coffee make good chewing sticks!


2:00 PM – closing bell! And now the work starts again. While we would love to just shove everything into the truck and run home for a nap, we have to take care in reloading the truck so that set up the following week can run smoothly.


Let’s look at some numbers:

Number of tents set up each week: 12 – 15

Number of tables set up each week: 12 – 15

Number of weights used to hold down the tents: 30

Number of fingers smashed while moving around weights: 1 per week

Number of signs created and placed: 6

Number of extension cords: 3

Number of trash cans placed and emptied: 6

Average hourly wage of a BFM volunteer: $0.00

Yearly salary of a BFM volunteer: $0,000

Behind the scenes are countless hours of communication with vendors, planning for future markets, photo editing (thanks to Raines Photographic!), blogging, and email/phone call/social media management.

But, we love what we do. We love what the BFM has brought to our community. And we can’t to see what the future holds.

Be sure to check out Bob’s A Day in the Life from three years ago – to think it’s been three years since Quantum Bean joined the market! I joke with Sam that our motto should be “The BFM runs on Quantum!” Be sure to pick up a cup of the volunteer juice Sunday 🙂

Author: heidinawrocki

Soap maker. Knitter. Farmers market junkie.

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