Saturday, October 30, 2010

Say Sayonara to Farmers Market

Sadly, today is the last day of the season for Idaho Falls' fabulous Farmers Market.  We were so excited to be able to attend Opening Day May 1.  We barely arrived back from Arizona the prior afternoon just in time to get up and go down by the riverside as the vendors congregated once again for another interesting season. (Click here for our May 1 blog post on the Market.)

We sure will be sad to see it close down.  What a year it's been for the Market.  First, the May-June weather was positively terrible for outdoor marketing.  Second, the city played hardball and actually demanded the Market move someplace else.  Fortunately, Stephanie and the vendors stood tall and united and faced down the Mayor and other poo-bahs who had no clue just how resilient these people are.  Meanwhile, the city created weekly chaos by ripping the main access street to shreds.  Crossing that street each week reminded me of stories my Dad told about gingerly threading his way through the rubble of bombed out German cities.  Luckily, there were no Nazis prodding us with bayonets!

Through it all, the vendors have been there despite rain, sleet, wind, cold gray skies and sparse attendees.  Their patience and dogged tenacity has been rewarded by what can only be called magical weather during the past few weeks.  Each week this fall, the market has positively glowed with the rich colors of Eastern Idaho's agricultural bounty.  All those shiny vegetables and pastel squash and colorful fruits are a visual feast.

Our special treat, of course, is enjoying a taco breakfast from the Sol Rio outfit.  How can you beat three bucks for two perfect shredded beef tacos with all the trimmings?  Plus, we get to take our tacos and sit beside the river and watch the water flow past.  Rich stuff, those Saturday morning memories!

Looking back on our short 2.5 year second career as a volunteer manager, we can count only a few things we did that could be called "special."  One of them was getting a website up and running for the Farmers Market along with finding a young photographer to shot hundreds of photos of the place, its people and the Stars of The Show--the fruits and vegetables.  So now, even if the Market will be closed for six months, we can at least peruse Emily's photos and ignite all of the sights and smells and sensory delights of the one and only Idaho Falls Farmers Market. (Click here for the Market's website.)

We're fond of telling people that the Farmers Market is one of the primary reasons we decided to move to this fair city.  There's no doubt about that assertion.  It's easily in the Top Ten reasons and possibly in the Top Five.  A city without a great Farmers Market is bereft indeed!

Our hats are off to Stephanie G. for her amazing stewardship of this Market.  We are so happy to be able to count Stephanie as a friend.  She never stops smiling but she has a firm hand and she can handle crises as well as comedy.  The event simply wouldn't be the same without her.  Keep on keepin' on, Steph, you're AWESOME!

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