CAN Farmers Markets save the world??
Yes, I said it. Farmers Markets can save the world. And now it's in print in an article written by Stephanie Barna with the Post and Courier. So perhaps I should tell you just why I'm "nothing if not passionate about the Folly Beach Farmers Market", as she says.
A friend of mine, a pastor in Charleston, shared with me that his heaven on earth was a farmers market in Hawaii where he grew up. All the vegetables and fruits, the smells, the colors, the people... it's beautiful! I agree! I agree!
When I close my eyes and think about my earliest memories of JOY, I see my brothers and I building forts in the woods behind our house, eating a big breakfast with my Mamaw and Papaw Poe and then heading out to to plant beans and corn, staying in the garden till the sun fell behind the mountain digging potatoes and filling our baskets with berries. I can smell the kitchen of my Great Granny Grace, the beans and tomatoes in the canners, Mamaw Poe, "Ain't" Patsy, Kay and Jane, my Mom and all the ladies sittin' stringin' beans, talkin' and laughin' and eating.
I come from farmers and preachers and I guess I've turned into a preacher for farmers. My Papaw Poe and Papaw Clark would be proud, I feel them with me every time I step into the garden and every time I visit my friend Sidi to buy my family some veggies. And I know they have been with me every step of the way as I planted the seeds to grow a Farmers Market on Folly Beach. You see, I care about where my food comes from. I care about the person who loved that bean from seed to my families plate. I care deeply about the land, the water, the plants, animals and people. I care because I LOVE, I LOVE because someone shared their LOVE with me and I know that LOVE is how we save the world!! This love, this relationship to land and food started when I was a little girl and fuels my passion for my journey today.
Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono “The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness.” We borrow this matra from our Hawaiian friends. This mission to support honorable, responsible agriculture, land care and healthy lifestyle for all people guides what we are creating together at the Folly Beach Farmers Market.
"To cultivate joy, health and harmony within community; fostering a vital economic and educational connection between local farmers, food purveyors, artisans and market guests; ultimately creating asustainable future for all. " This is the vision for the Farmers Market. It's a big vision, It's a passionate purpose. But it's my passion to help connect us all to the sacredness of land and food, to once again see the earth as a gift and to relate to one another in a connected space. Community, conversations, culture.... Connecting us to the person behind the products, the source of our food and products, and beyond that... connecting to people who are creating with purpose. The business of meaningful work! That's the business I'm in!!
A farmers market is a gathering space that is free for everyone to attend. It's the only place where we can really connect to the source of our food and products. We get to meet the farmers, the makers, the artists, the activists and the chefs... face to face. This personal connection is how we change the world. A big name grocery store is convenient, sure. But how do you connect to the food in plastic packaging, processed in a factory somewhere?
On an economic level, farmers markets keep our money working locally, helping small businesses grow a market base. A farmers market supports your neighbors dreams. If we were all shopping our FARMERS MARKETS FIRST, what would be the impact on the local economy and better yet, the environment. If we add an educational aspect to the farmers market, we are also teaching the community... how to grow your own food, how to act more sustainably, how to purchase goods in a more meaningful way... Could we move towards food independence and sustainability for all? Could we end poverty if we were working together more and creating a way for more people to do what they love? Could we adopt the "honorable harvest" and create something purposeful for everyone, giving what we can and taking only what we need? Could we write a new story and unify our people by creating a safe space to have conversation and relate with each other every week?
And what about cultural education? What if our farmers markets created a free space to learn about culture and learn the true stories of our history? What if a farmers market could provide all of this and our community made the choice to shop their FARMERS MARKETS FIRST ? Could we change the world? Could we save the world by spreading this LOVE every week? Love for the land, Love for food, Love for the people.
I'm nothing but passionate, but I believe that it is possible.
Allow me to tell you about some of my favorite memories as a little girl growing up in West Virginia, daughter of farmers and preachers. My papaw would fill baskets with bushels of beans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes... and we would go visit people in the community and deliver these gifts, often with a pie or cake that my mamaw would have made. I LOVED this part of growing food.... the giving, the sharing. They taught me that it is in the giving that we receive. We had enough for our family and enough to share. What a gift the land is. What a gift LOVE is! It is this LOVE that I believe in, that I want us to share.
It is a big dream, and I cannot do it alone, but I see the future... working together with this Folly Beach Farmers Market Collective to write a new story. By supporting businesses like The Stone Soup Collective, who's businesses is making soups to sell and giving ONE FOR ONE to feed the hungry.... Steel Birch where every purchase helps someone recover from addiction. WOW, there are amazing humans doing amazing work. Let's come together in a good way and do the good way of saving the world. We love you and we love our sweet Farmers Market on the Edge of America.
We're Poes for Peace and we LOVE you all! If you feel called to get involved in this mission reach out! Remember "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
READ the POST & COURIER article here
Create with Sarah and Monet and find out more about their mission to create Peace and Spread some LOVE.... LEARN MORE HERE