We’re a Trailblazer!
A year ago the Wild Ramp Market was not even a gleam in anyone’s eye yet. There were several people who would mention to friends how nice it would be….if only……but it took a visit to the market in Athens, recognition of the Local Roots market in Wooster, and a combination of other people’s search for knowledge that got the market moving.
Others are watching us, just as we turned to Local Roots for guidance. We are one of only a very very few indoor year round local farm markets. Oh yes, there are other indoor markets, but they are not local. And there are other year-round markets, but they are not in the cold weather area of the country so they need not be indoor. We are special, and other areas are now approaching us, as we approached Local Roots, for an explanation of what we have and what took us to get here.
My husband is on a team from the Eastern Panhandle for the Cast Iron Skillet Cook-off in a couple of weeks. One of the other team members is the Agricultural Development Officer for the Jefferson County Development Authority. At the exact farthest corner of the state in Shepherdstown, Shepherd Odgen asked me to give the group a presentation about the Wild Ramp. The community there has their eye on a piece of property that would combine a year-round indoor market and education center, office space and meeting space. I saw the loading docks and the flat lawn area. It will be fun watching them put it together.
You know what I emphasized? Passion! They need farmers who are passionate about what they grow! They need consumers who will be passionate to help the market develop and sustain it!
Oh yes, they also need money. I spoke about the system we use for the farmers to get paid and how our corporate sponsors are so highly appreciated. I explained how Kickstarter worked and how we were able to achieve our goal because of…once again…your passion.
This market is a community. It feels nice to be part of a group of people who have clear goals about something positive.
Right now, as the temperatures dip, we are really feeling the effects of winter. The high tunnels are feeling it also and plant growth will slow or even stop at this point. There is more to learn to optimize plant production in the winter. The farm animals are huddling and trying to stay warm and the farmers are doing what they can to help them get through the cold weather safely. On these cold January days most of us are longing for warmer weather. But this is the winter season and we will deal with it.
Stick around. Come in and fill up on the meat and dairy and eggs, and all the value added products that fill the shelves. And get ready to roll up your sleeves….there is much more we can do! And together, we can make it happen!