Farmers’ Market Etiquette

Our signs definitely show our true selves. "Life is like a box of cookies."

Our signs definitely show our true selves.

This post sounds a little intimidating, or perhaps snobby? Yet, farmers’ markets can actually be a snapshot about people and our society in general.  The good and the not so great!  Most of the time it is a pleasure to be a vendor at a market. People are attending because they want to be there and show it by being personable, each in their own unique way.  Yet, it is in our own humble opinion, those that don’t wish to be social, or enjoy the general atmosphere of a market or special event, should stay home.  I realize that may come off as harsh, but my reasoning is based on our experiences and ensuing thoughts on the matter.

I, myself, really don’t get excited about attending random farmers’ markets because there are times that I just don’t want to engage or be bothered!  On the other hand, when I am ready to attend a market, I will definitely make myself interact and enjoy the atmosphere, people, and of course, take in the products and/or the event itself.

I can only assume that this probably holds true for most people.  Why would you take the time or the energy to attend something that you have absolutely no interest in?  Well there is, thankfully, but a small minority of people that don’t agree with that assumption.  And we’ve met them.

Sometimes, people will come up to our stand, often with children in tow, and pick-up everything that we have to offer.  They also will refuse to answer to a “hello” or “how are you today?”  My personal favorite, when I have to physically hold myself back, is when the child picks up a cookie, squeezes or breaks it, then puts it back and proceeds to pick up another to test.  I’m amazed that some parents or caregivers have absolutely no clue.

On another note, this past weekend at the market, there was quite a contingency of canvassers getting signatures for a petition.  While I completely get the fact that they are simply doing their job and this is obviously a passion for them, they don’t seem to realize that they can be annoying to people attending the market. They also can be somewhat annoying to those of us as vendors when they decide to take cover under your tent and have a conversation with one of their co-workers in order to pass the time.  Or perhaps walk continuously in front of the vendor tents while looking for their next prospect.  I try and have a conversation and get to know them so that they realize we’re all at the market basically for the same reason – and that we can actually co-exist!

Last, but not least, we’ve come across a few hilarious expressions from market attendees:

“They should ban smokers or people who bring their dogs to the market!”

“That music is terrible!”  

“Why don’t you do samples? Everyone does samples!”

Actually, the majority of people that we meet are really wonderful.  It’s refreshing and such a nice reminder that the world is a good place.  People might want to talk and ask how we got started, and where we’re from.  We like to do the same because it’s amazing what you find out! Some are visiting from all over our country or even the world.  We’ve been in selfies, a universal language all its own, and laughed with those that have taken pictures or commented on our market signs.  Our favorite, of course, is when someone takes the time to come back by the stand and say how much they have enjoyed their cookie.

That, to us, is simply priceless.