Friday, May 1, 2009

Opening Day

We couldn't have asked for better weather today to demonstrate the value of the improvements made over the winter at the market. Despite regular downpours, we stayed high and dry on the new concrete floor and could walk from one end to the other never stepping out in the rain. It was quite a switch from what would have been the case last year. So three cheers to all the people who made the improvements possible.

And three cheers to Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, for coming down to open up the market and personally hand us our Market of the Year award (& $1,000 check - that will come in handy since we had to buy new batteries for the market cart this year). He then took time to walk the market and meet every vendor and many customers. And when he headed home, it was with some jelly from Fairhaven and honey from Amos Apiaries.

He's a man of many talents, easily switching to German while sampling some of Bert Ott's Bavarian pastries, and discussing trips to Laos, Thailand and Vietnam when visiting with Mor Xiong.

Dr. Hagler is a big booster of local foods and of shortening the distance between producers and consumers, putting more money in the farmer's pocket and quality food on the consumer's table.

Despite the weather, we had 300 for lunch and lots of shoppers and well-wishers. Perhaps the most remarkable for me was the abundance of wheelchair bound patrons and children in strollers - easily maneuvering through the pavilion. Now that calls for another THREE CHEERS!