2020- Two thousand and twenty. I don’t need to belabor the challenge of this calendar year: it’s been done frequently and by most. I’ve heard our experiences over the past several months described in many ways. Some of us have struggled with fear, sickness, loss, and countless frustrations. Some of us have rejoiced in the slower pace, an opportunity to reconnect with immediate family and place, a discovery of new or return to old hobbies, and a refinement of what’s important to us. But probably all of us have had day to day (minute to minute?) shifts in our emotions and how well we’re doing with handling everything. I have already re-hashed more than I meant to.

Meanwhile, the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market has been doing our best to carry on. Staff, board members, volunteers, and vendors have wrestled with what it means to be community during a time when safety, healthy food access, and support for farmers and small businesses are all of utmost importance- but sometimes felt too hard to hold all at the same time. There were things we did well, and there were a few things that we could have done better. But give us a break- it was our first pandemic of this scale!

All joking aside, it was so inspiring to see everyone come together and do all that we could while keeping everyone’s health and safety at the front of our mind. We received so much gratitude from the community for being open, even in a limited way, and providing a place to go and deliciously healthy food to eat. It was hard to not see some of the vendors we love so much at the market, but it increased our gratitude for those who could make it even more. And sure, we had a few grumbly folks not into our entrance and exit, or the mask rule, etc. But the overwhelming message was love for the market and a willingness to do whatever we had to do to keep this community going.

So I just want to send the love right back to you. Thank you for being supporters of the market, of our farmers and artisans, of community. We truly wouldn’t be anything without you. Stay healthy and keep in touch!

-Jessica Wright