The Longmont Farmers' Market officially closed for the season on October 25th. After many hugs and farewells to good friends and good food, we all went home and slept in! The end of the season can often be bitter-sweet.
For the several years I've been working in agriculture, the winter has often been a solitary time to reflect on the summer community gatherings at the market. But this winter has been a little different. I barley got started longing for food talk with fellow foodies, when I received an invitation to the Longmont, CO Sustainable Harvest Fair. I was even invited to speak on a panel about agriculture and farmers' markets!
I wasn't really sure how many people would wake early on a chilly Saturday morning, drive to the local high school to listen to people talk about renewable energy, agriculture, water, etc. When I arrived at 8am, the parking lot was packed. When I walked through the front doors it was only a matter of minutes before I started recognizing market customers, farmers, leaders of community organizations and most surprisingly, city council and other local government employees!
All too often, talks about sustainability and local foods are hosted by NGO's and local idealists who get together over potlucks. But there I was mingling with government folks who thought the farmers' market was a community treasure and worth investing time and resources in to make it a center piece for local food, local economy, health, and culture.
For too many years farmers and agricultural workers have suffered from the lack of support for land, water, fair prices for their labor, and recognition for their contribution to the development of local communities. We've seen the rising impacts of the disconnection of local communities to healthy, whole foods in our health care system. City and county planners spent too much time planning agriculture out of the city limits and burried beneath the growing concrete neighborhoods.
The Longmont Sustainable Harvest Fair was a much desired and much needed awakening that many hope will be the beginning of a fruitful relationship between farmers and their community.
Posted by Cindy
@ 09:24 PM CST