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Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

Market Envy

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Yes, I admit it. I envy those who live in Olney for the size and selection at their community market. Don’t get me wrong, I love our markets but they don’t have that festive community atmosphere that Olney has.

This market is only in its sixth year. It is a farmers and artists market, and also has food vendors. On opening day, they had special events and it was pretty crowded.

Yesterday when we went, they had a special display for kids, a bug petting zoo. Right next to the Master Gardeners who are committed to be there each week.

We started with Zeke’s Coffee and an omelet burrito, made while we watched the early attendees fill the area.

Some of the same farms frequent this market, like Falcon Ridge, who sold me rhubarb Friday in Columbia at the hospital market. Only here, they had a huge presence, with dwarf fruit trees and lots of plants.

Atwater’s was there, so I don’t have to drive to Catonsville to get artisanal breads. A loaf of rosemary Italian came home with us.

This market was the brainchild of one woman, who pitched it to the community. It took hold and grows every year. It would be wonderful to have something like this here in Howard County, like at Symphony Woods. I would volunteer to help. Why can’t we “Choose Community” and do something better than five small scattered markets?

I already posted that I was concerned at Glenwood, that South Mountain is no longer coming. Neither is Woodcamp. Thankfully, TLV stepped up to bring meats to Glenwood. Breezy Willow will be there in June, but Saturday, there was only one farmer selling spring produce at Glenwood. That is sad. There were three last summer.

It looks like I will be getting my meats by going directly to TLV and getting other things I need at Olney. It is closer to me in West County than most of the Columbia markets and Ellicott City, and equidistant to get to the hospital market. I don’t want to abandon Howard County, but if we don’t step up what we do as a county, will we lose to markets like Olney?

Should we add artisanal foods and art? That is a sticky subject, but brings in customers. Is purity more important than profit? I don’t know that answer. I just feel that our farmers are being shortchanged, and good vendors are going where the communities support them with bigger draws.

Am I off base?