......but it's still dark when we arrive at our markets! Tim has the privilege of driving an hour away to Morrisville, NC to the Western Wake Farmers Market. When he arrives, it's a bit before 7:00 a.m. He finds his pre-assigned parking space, backs his truck in, drags out his tent, then his tables, his scales and bags, and begins setting up. After his space is beautified (complete with the table cloths I make him use), he begins to place our lovely, delicious tomatoes out on the table. When everything is in place, he pulls out his chair and waits for the cowbell to ring at 8:00 sharp. Let the sales begin! Not so fast, Cary does not get up that early on Saturdays. He continues to wait and relax while catching up with the other growers and bakers.
Let's go east. I'm Nancy, and I have the privilege of driving less than 30 minutes away to my hometown of Rocky Mount. Leaving home at 6:00 a.m. seems like a crazy time for a 8:00 opening so just bear with me. I arrive at 6:30 and back into my permanent spot at the Nash County Farmers Market. My tables, complete with table cloths, are already sitting there waiting for me. I unload my boxes of tomatoes and begin to put the closed boxes on the table. I set up two scales and ponder as to when I might put out my bags for use by the customers.
Since the Nash County market really rocks, it's necessary to have two people work. At 7:00, Jonathan arrives with biscuits in hand. I don't eat that early, so I set mine aside. I try to politely ignore the customers who are milling around my table at 7:00 a.m. (I don't make eye contact.) It's 7:15 and we have another 45 minutes until we open. We can no longer ignore the folks, so we open the boxes, put out the bags, and start selling tomatoes. I don't even know if our market manager has a cowbell to ring at the start. I cannot hear anything but customer chatter around my table. Suddenly, it's 10:00 a.m. I'm starving and we're nearly out of tomatoes.
Over at the Western Wake Market, Tim is having a different kind of day. The Cary folks arrive much later than 7, 8, or 9 am. Tim's day doesn't pick up at around 10:00 a.m. The market closes at 12 noon sharp (when the cowbell rings). He starts taking down his display while customers are still getting out of their cars and running over to shop with whomever may have product left on their tables.
Back in Rocky Mount, we don't close until 1:00 p.m. even though the crowd always disperses between 11 and 11:30. At that point, I have to apologize about having sold out of tomatoes and promise to bring more next week.
We enjoy serving the folks at Cary and Rocky Mount. The difference in the two places is that RM has a building and Cary does not. Just wait until next year when Cary gets its permanent structure!
I said all that to let anyone who's interested know that both markets open this Saturday, April 7. We'd love to see you at either place.
P.S. If you come to Rocky Mount at 7 a.m. and I don't make eye contact with you, call me out on it!