Editor’s Note: Maryellen Bliss is serving as the Franklin County Farm Bureau Fellow this summer. She is writing a blog about her experience.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau has a booth at the Pearl Market in downtown Columbus during the regular market times this summer on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is a social place where community is built. Farmers markets show the local side of agriculture up close and personal where you have the opportunity to match a face to the product.
At the market, I am able to answer questions about Farm Bureau, highlight member benefits, provide information about Edible Columbus, and listen to the many different stories individuals bring to the market. These stories range from stories about growing up or going to farms, recipes they like to make with produce they buy, thoughts of the current views of the world or agriculture industry, and what this market means to them. The crowd of people that come every week spans from those who work in the downtown area on a lunch break to those who call this area of downtown home.
Every week I’m able to have rich conversations that embody what markets like this are all about. There isn’t just one thing that people gravitate toward in coming to the market. It is the intersection of food, products and the community that can be found. When I asked people last week what they liked the most about coming to the farmers market, none of the answers were exactly the same. In the answers I found the themes of tasty fresh produce, the importance of supporting locals, and the friendly environment of people. There were individuals who had been coming to the market as part of their routine for years or it might have been the first time they checked it out. I learned that there is something for everyone in this market that has become a staple to the lives of many in the heart of downtown Columbus.