Saturday, July 28, 2012

Report from the farmer's market

Monroe-- The day dawned overcast and cool this past Wednesday, leading residents of the small Midwest town to conclude there was little chance the weather report was right.  It wouldn't reach the forecasted high of 100 degrees and the weatherman would have to cough up a free umbrella to a viewer for flubbing on his "4 degree guarantee."

Amy, owner of 10th Ave. Soapworks and vendor at the local farmer's market, enjoyed the early morning hours out in her garden.  The morning went so smoothly that she even had time to make up a batch of soap and try out her latest lip balm flavor, pina colada, before packing up for the market.  For the first time since June, she expected to enjoy a farmer's market day that was less than 100 degrees.  As she toted boxes of soapy delights to her car, she noticed the temperature had risen dramatically during the noon hour.  Our enthusiastic saleswoman remained remarkably undaunted.


Until she reached the Square, that is. The thermometer on the Square read 94 degrees and the black pavement radiated heat, and the heat mingled with the humidity was ghastly.  Throughout the afternoon it worked its way up, taunting residents as it flirted with the 100 degree mark.

It was senseless to cheerily ask customers and passersby how they were.  Their condition was obvious by the way they they dragged themselves along, dribbling sweat. The more appropriate question was, "How are you coping?"  Even vendors, tucked underneath their tents, were spraying themselves with spray bottles intended for vegetables, wrapping wet towels around their necks and letting ice cubes melt down their legs.

The only relief from the heat came from the frequent gusts blasts of wind.  The whirling, swirling wind stirred up more energy among the vendors than sales or chit-chat. But then one needed six arms to hold down all four tent legs and their wares. Vendors routinely chased all sorts of items down the street. In all, four tents were bent, broken or turned upside down in the middle of the walkway, leaving three hapless vendors without tents in the blazing sun.  Amy was particularly hapless after the loss of her tent, having no near neighbors with shade to borrow and an injured assistant, who further damaged her weak ankle running down the street after soap mats and business cards and was nursing a banged-up arm that didn't escape a collapsing tent.  The two retreated to the courthouse lawn and rested in the shade of a post and watched for the occasional brave soul to dawdle along the street.  When the lip balms began looking weepy, Amy declared market day over.

Jordanian camels Free Photo
The weary trek home

Sunburned, thirsty, dog-tired, and barely richer for the experience, the pair returned home, cheered only by thoughts of air conditioning and frozen Almond Joys.  Will they fare better next week?  One can only hope that a week like this occurs once a summer, but the adventure will continue...

12 comments:

  1. Oh you poor dear, we've had a few hot days as well and it's never great for sales either. Also had the experience of ruined shea butter cream, melted soy candles etc. Also had many windy days this year with hanging onto the tent for hours and being exhausted as customers don't buy on really windy days. Oh the joys of markets. Can't believe my sister and I have endured all this for 10 years and every year we wonder if we will do it again next year.

    Enjoyed the writing and your post. Hope you fare better next week.

    Michelle

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  2. Love your logo on your lip balm. :)

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  3. Loved how you told the sad tale about your day at the market, Amy! It's been a hot summer so far, that's for sure. I hope things go better for you at the next market!

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  4. 10 years, Michelle? You're an amazing trooper! I adore the farmer's market environment but the heat and wind this summer has been brutal.

    My day was so disastrously comical that it makes a good story, but I didn't want to tell it in a whiny way....I'm glad it amused you both!

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  5. For some reason, I did not do farmer market this summer. It's gonna be really fun if the weather isn't that way.

    Amy, an excellent screenplay you have here.

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  6. Amy,

    Yes it's been 10 years and we can't believe it either when we think about all the experiences we have had over those years.

    For us the wind has been really bad especially at one venue and the heat is always a killer. We finally after 10 years have an awning system in place that really helps.

    You did a great job with your story I'm going to get my sister to read it as she will get a good laugh out of it.

    Michelle

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  7. Wow, what a visual when reading this. Is it okay if I sighed and chuckled? Life is certainly an adventure best taken with a smile!

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  8. Sad and comical, both. Sorry you lost your tent!!! It's been hot here as well, but at least I have a spot in the shade, along with my tent. I've been keeping lotions and other melty items in a cooler, just leaving the testers out for the customers. NOT looking forward to my Wednesday market this week at all! Here's to better days ahead - specifically FALL!!

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  9. Wow, you're a great writer! Wishing you only calm and cooler market days ahead!

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  10. You're such a good writer, Amy! You make any situation into a great adventure. Thanks for the laughs!

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  11. Amy,
    I saw this post on the Zibbet FB page and clicked on the link. I love your blog! It's very well written.

    I can't help but laugh at your day, though! You have a very colorful writing style and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    Anna

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  12. @Amy--the cooler idea is a great one! I keep thinking about fall, too.

    Well, I seemed to have entertained you all....here's hoping for more market adventures to share with you all this week! Maybe.

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