Well, the damn glove had been thrown. One of the biggest short-term goals for our fledgling farm was to get to a farmer's market. It can be a daunting task for a wee farm in its infancy, and Texas is a bit of a different world from the market-rich environs we've been maneuvering through these past few years.
We wouldn't have much to take, we wouldn't take home zillions, but it would be a start. A good start.
And this weekend, we did it! We were one of a handful of lovely vendors at Urban Harvest's Highland Village Market in Houston!
The modern gauntlet for today's farmer is manifest in the farmer's market--the place, the mindset, the fashion pool, the "happening." It takes more than great-looking produce and smiling "Hey y'alls!" to make you a millionaire* at the farmer's market. That pairing goes a long way, but the farmer's market has and is evolving into a living, tweeting entity where lycra-clad yogabutts and Williams Sonoma-enthused dads shuffle around, squeezing, smelling and (ideally) shelling out money for fresh goods.
*You will never become a millionaire at the farmer's market. Unless you sell boob pillows, whiskey toothpaste or some other good idea like that.
The history behind farmer's markets weaves through human civilization as far back as ol' Antiochus hawking honey and olive oil outside the Forum, but the market as we know it today began to take its shape more in the 20th century, with the advent of the motorcar. Trucks were friends to farmers and lent themselves for not only transporting goods to one central, consumer-filled place in town, but had a bed which was the perfect place to display shiny peppers and carrots.
Of course, the style of eating and producing food changed dramatically in that same century (not a total coincidence that our beloved truck has something in common with Cheez Whiz) and so farmer's markets didn't claim the spot in our collective national heart in quite the same way as, oh, Taco Bell.
But trends are swerving (and have been for years now), people care more and more about what happened to the wad they just put in their mouth, and it's increasingly obvious (again, has been for a long time) that big things have to occur to reverse some chaos in our world. Little things that add up to big things are usually a good recipe for change. And guess what? There's almost nothing cuter and meaningful than the little trip to a farmer's market.
And let me tell you, it means a LOT to us.
We want our farm to be a part of something bigger.
The vision is to be part of people's tummies and cocktail conversations but also be the reason that folks from different homes, different ethos and different colors meet up and learn about how mint is really good for their digestion.
Or how it feels to be bone tired after working in dirt and feel happy. Or how kale chips just make a lot of sense, they really do.
Lordy lou, we're naive. But we're young, and I happen to think that we can make this happen.
All it takes is a visit to our table at the Highland Village Market off Westheimer, behind the Starbucks.
Buy 5 white grapefruits this Sunday and I swear, by breakfast Monday we'll have saved the world.
Thank you, lycra and non-lycra clad heinies everywhere.
But what kind of future millionaire farmer would I be if I didn't thank all the folks who helped us reach the highest heights?
We have some good, good eggs in our lives, and I cannot say enough how much it meant to have friends and family visit us at our first market, talk about it on the internet, and send their good vibes our way.