As we approach our last market of 2020, I take a deep sigh of relief and smile that we never closed and were able to provide local & sustainable food to the community as well as help keep over thirty small businesses blooming.
An industry, known to not be technically advanced, had to buckle down and figure out the process of pre-orders. A blessing and a curse, getting more familiar with online sales and locking down inventories, pre-orders were a way for vendors to create a safe space for customers while also stepping up their digital game. The agricultural community had to make time (or hire someone) to upload quantities and accept online payments which was more out of our comfort zones than trying to grow avocados!
But we did it.
In March, we moved from the corner of Chestnut & Main to the closed street in front of Chattanooga Brewing and, a week later, moved to their private gravel parking lot behind the brewery. We had to figure out how to house almost thirty vendors in a space the city approved of and, at the same time, the customers approved of. The lines would tangle and cause confusion or frustration. The lines were longer too as the vendors now how to figure how to present/package pre-orders (which seemed just as hard as the computer stuff).
But we did it.
Four seasons later and, as a good farmer does, we are looking beyond to the months ahead. It sometimes is the only thing that gets us through these cold winter days—are thoughts of spring. So we are planning for a Fun 2021! We need your input!
We are reviewing our vendor waiting list as we have several spots opening up in April and some exciting locally sourced folks who are chomping at the bit to join us. We are going to launch a new website that hopefully makes your grocery list making easier. We are going to have a new blogger who, unlike me, is a great cook who focuses on simplicity as well as sustainability. And we are going to celebrate going into our twelfth season.
We did it.