Last fall, a friend asked me to go with her to the community association annual general meeting. I went, but I told her I was NOT volunteering. When we arrived, we were promptly met with a list of volunteer positions that they were looking to fill. I explained that I wasn't in a position to make long term time commitments. I'd agree to be at *that* meeting, I agreed to join a few of the volunteers at a member drive, and I might be at the next meeting. That was it. I didn't want to commit myself to a volunteer position I wasn't sure I wanted to do, but I did commit (and go) to each monthly meeting as they came up.
A while back, I went on my own to a meeting at the city hall about taking a run down area of town near the river, and turning it into a hot spot. There, I met a couple who run a local farming coop. They grow fresh produce and sell it directly to consumers instead of wholesalers. I asked to be put on their mailing list, and showed up the next time they came to town. They had rented a cramped skate shack with next to no parking, and I thought to myself - we could do better at our community hall.
The idea, which started with offering the coop farmers use of our community hall, grew as it percolated. These farmers are great, but there are more. There are local honey producers, people who keep free range chickens for eggs, and some really impressive artisans in the area. So, I approached the community association and asked if they'd be interested in hosting a market aimed at spotlighting local vendors.
What I thought would be a hard sell turned into a bandwagon, and everybody jumped on. We went to the city and got their full support; the 100 Mile Market is now in the works. We'll start off small, and see where it goes. Right now, we're thinking 10-15 tables, but we expect (hope!) to outgrow our little community hall soon. There are lots of details to work out, and we'll be delayed be my surgery - this is MY baby, after all - but we hope to host our first market in May. With any luck, it'll be a regular monthly event where people can come to find quality products that have been grown, raised or made from scratch within a 100 miles. Don't look now, but it appears that I've made a commitment.
Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta with Ricotta
2 days ago