the market has moved. the woman who runs the market found that she was just about scraping by with it in its old location, so now it has moved up the street to a new space. yesterday was the opening week of the new location and since its right on yonge it was super busy. talking to the people who run KEG and to zach and a couple of our other regular vendors, nobody is totally pleased with it. the vendors and the regular shoppers prefer the old location in the park in the trees and grass with the freelance dog park in the background, they dont like being right out on yonge st. i agree with them, but as i told zach, “if this is going to allow the market to keep running and it means that you’ll still be here next season, i won’t be selfish about it.” he agrees with me. his family has been pushing him to drop this market for a long time now because for him, its creating more work than any substantial amount of profit. (however zach frequently drops his prices and gifts onions to his regular customers). i also blame the heat and the heavy waterbear belly, but i didnt enjoy the sudden crowd and the packed atmosphere. cordelia, who is used to being plunked in the grass to follow along as her own toddler-pace now had to be scooped up and carried because there was no space for her to roam. the vendor who usually brings her 12-month old daughter to sit under the table and play in the grass couldnt bring her today because theres no space for the babies. other vendors who used to bring their children to go play in the park didnt this week. theres no park anymore.
i also feel kind of protective and slightly imposed upon – the market in its old location was intimate and you saw the same people over and over. out on yonge st its lost that comforting appeal, and, worse, now theres strangers in my market. this is my market with my vendors who sell me my food every week – we’ve been coming here for over a year, you ‘fresh off of yonge st people’ dont know what this is about. you dont know the farmers names, you havent been supporting them and they supporting you for a full turn of the seasons, you dont know anything. thats what i was feeling. consciously though, i can put that aside because many of those ‘fresh off of yonge st people’ are just like us and will happily become long-term customers if given the chance, then there wont feel like theres such a big divide between the ‘us’ and the ‘them’ (and really, theres never anything to gain from that ‘us/them’ divide, ever) the market needs the new customers to keep it going and i recognize that my selfish feelings would keep that from happening. i cant say ‘i support this sort of food movement’ and then ban other people from it who would just as likely support it too. i cant say ‘i think everybody should make educated food choices and be given the option of making a change’ and then get upset when they wander through the market, learning about food and considering making that change. i am aware of these feelings so i can watch them. where they come from interests me because they are entirely counter-productive to what needs to happen.
everybody i talked to said basically the same thing “i dont like the new location or the atmosphere, but it may be what we need to stay here.” everybody was adjusting and seems hopeful that it’ll work out. plus, theres a few new vendors as well, so hopefully the space can expand and more farmers will come and join in. there were a few vendors last summer who haven’t shown up again this year, and that needs to stop happening if my girls are ever going to have a memory of where their food came from.