Outdoor Markets are Connected to Nature

a great blue heron visits our outdoor market A great blue heron comes in for a landing.

By Kat Peters, Market Manager

Originally published on our blog on April 25, 2022

Many of the vendors at the Coffee Creek Farmers Market get their ingredients from farmers, or they are farmers themselves.  They forage, grow, raise and add value to natural products. AND, they sell their products at our outdoor market, braving the elements each week.

During this early part of the season, vendors bundle up, bring hot tea, and hold their tents against the wind.  In the summer months, they have sun protection, bring plenty of water and look for ways to keep themselves and their products cool.

Why? What is the purpose of being out in the elements at a farmers market?

Farmers markets are unique in that they are temporary and outdoors in many places of the world. They allow many different vendors to come together to reach their customers, without the need for brick and mortar. They were how markets first started – different kinds of producers selling their wares directly to consumers.

Of course, today many people enjoy visiting a farmers market for the experience of being outside and getting to know their neighbors – those who are selling and those who are buying. A beautiful day at an outdoor market is nothing short of glorious.

But there are also days that aren’t so glorious, when it may be cold, or overcast, or windy. Nevertheless, vendors are there with their hard-earned produce, ready to share the goodness of their talent with their customers, rain or shine. A stable outdoor market, meaning one that is present, rain or shine, allows both vendors and customers alike to have confidence that we will all get to connect and share the local products that we all value.

With our experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, a stable and reliable place where we can all gather sounds like a pretty nice thing to have.

But there is one more advantage to being outdoors, and we really get to boast about it at the Coffee Creek Farmers Market. We are next to the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, and we get to experience all that this location has to offer – hiking trails, wildflowers, and wildlife.

Last Wednesday, on our cool and windy opening day, as I was returning from taking down the wayfinding signs from Highway 49, I got to watch a great blue heron fly right over the market, and bob up and down a few times as it came in for a landing, searching for the best place to land just a few meters southwest of the parking lot. As herons are creatures of habit, I invite you to look for that individual at around 6:50 PM if you happen to be at the market.

Then, as I was taking our cones and sign back to the Watershed office after the market, I found four deer waiting for me on the gravel road.

We share our world with so many creatures that are not ever going to buy anything at our outdoor market, but who are part of it, nonetheless. We hope that your purchase of local food helps you to connect with nature in all of these

Find us this week and every week at our Wednesday market at the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve Pavilion parking lot, April 20-November 2, 2022, from 3-7 PM. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our mailing list to get notified of all of the vendors’ featured products each week.

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