The Farmers Market at the Roy Rogers Esplanade is something I have grown to love in just a few short weeks. Through my work with Main Street Portsmouth, I have been given the opportunity to interview the vendors and check out a lot of unique products. It has been something I look forward to every Saturday, actually.
Through this program, farmers and artisans have the opportunity to sell their locally grown or handcrafted products to the community. I find this dynamic, something a box store can never compete with. If you want to ask what is in the product you’re interested in buying, then you can directly ask the person that made the product. Plus, the ingredients are typically much better quality with our local merchants. I love that aspect of the farmers market. It’s great for those who have allergies to specific common ingredients, as well, since the vendor can simply be asked about the product, to ensure it is safe. Being able to ask the maker or grower of the product is something I always enjoy doing because I want to know what went into making it; you always learn new things. When it comes to box stores, however, you’ll be lucky to figure out what the ingredients are in it, or what chemicals were used to grow it.
The farmers market also inspires people to begin selling interesting products such as soaps, flowers, and more to get their foot in the door of the market. This ensures a lot of personalities in one place and it is always nice to hear the stories of why they decided to start making and selling their product.
The farmers market has been established for seven years, and in those seven years it has brought forward fresh, local products for the community to enjoy. Since coming to Portsmouth, it feels as though it’s one of the center pieces of the community. Also, in its seven years, the market has really inspired many friendships and a strong sense of community among the vendors. It is always interesting to see farmers trade products among themselves at the end of a day, and to see how much they care for one another, send customers to their fellow friends, and so on.
Healthy Bucks is another aspect of the farmers market that does incredible good throughout the community. I look forward to seeing the good Healthy Bucks does this year and how many children it helps to educate and feed. Healthy Bucks is a partnership with KDMC and the Health Coalition, operating the third Saturday of the month.
I continue to look forward in my assistance with Main Street Portsmouth regarding the farmers market. It is something I will support long after this internship ends, and I look forward to seeing you at the next farmers market this Saturday! Check out the weekly merchant interviews I have done thus far on our social media sites.
As always, your local Main Street Portsmouth Intern.
Peyton Norman is an intern for Main Street Portsmouth