Saturdays are the perfect day for a different kind of work

By Vicki Hyatt | Jul 26, 2014

Saturdays are a part of the weekend many people look forward to all week, including me.

During the summer, one of my favorite Saturday activities is loading up my coolers with beef and heading to the Historic Farmers Market.

Most of us get there by 7:30 or so since the market opens at 8. I’m probably the only vendor there who doesn’t use a tent, which means my set-up time that includes unloading my sign, unfolding a table and popping open a beach umbrella to stick in the pickup stake pocket takes only a few minutes.

That leaves me plenty of time to roam the market and visit with the other vendors before the crowd shows up.

This time of year, almost every vendor space is full since all the garden produce is in, local honey is plentiful, berries are in season and those that use cucumbers, berries and other local products for their value-added products have had time to reach full production.

The market has a wide variety of not only fresh, locally grown or raised products, but arts and crafts as well. The hand-knitted or carved items are stunning, and the soaps, fragrances and beadwork are items you’ll want to take home for your own use or as the perfect gift item.

What I particularly enjoy at the market is the number of people I get to visit with, both old friends and new acquaintances. There’s not a Saturday that goes by that I’m not enriched by numerous conversations — and left with story ideas for the coming week.

This weekend was a real gold mine. I met two newcomers to the community who immediately offered to assist with the social enterprise efforts through Haywood Helps. Both bring a wealth of talent and ideas to the table and I consider myself lucky to have met them.

I learned the final legal papers that will clear the way for the Daniel and Belle Fangmeyer Theater at HART should be signed this week and construction will start immediately and that the lawsuits regarding the damage done by the Rich Cove landslide below Ghost Town in 2010 are headed for court.

Megan Brown and Chris Allen, also known as the Soda Jerks, will be bottling their product soon, and have nabbed a prestigious national award. Keep reading The Mountaineer for details on all these issues.

Thanks, Ed, for keeping us on our toes regarding the use of the word “elderly.” The older I get, the more I understand that age is better expressed as a state of mind than a number. We will be more diligent in assigning that adjective to individuals we write about in the future.

On top of all these wonderful conversations and more, I still had time to sell a little beef!

The rest of the day wasn’t quite as fun as I had to put up the tail end of the beans in the garden. Luckily, Cole spent Saturday morning stringing them, so I just had to wash and can them. In all, we have 56 quarts going into the winter. I know others put up far more than that, but for our size family, this is the perfect number, and I’m looking forward to freezer corn next weekend (sorry, but I’ll have to miss the market) and putting up plenty of salsa once the tomatoes start ripening in force.  We can’t remember a year when tomatoes stayed green for so long!

What a beautiful summer we’ve had in Haywood County. Unlike last year when rains seemed to show up in force for every weekend event, we’ve had enough moisture to keep the pastures green and the gardens growing, along with fairly mild temperatures.

Whenever things seem overwhelming, it always helps to look around and give thanks for this beautiful corner of the world we call home.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Kevin Ensley | Jul 26, 2014 22:56

Great article Vicki! The farmers selling their excess goods got me thinking. It's funny with all the "prepper" craze that is going on across the country, mountain folks have always been prepping. This time of year it's canning fruits and vegetables. In the fall we kill a beef for the winter. Year round the chickens give us all the eggs we need. I am thankful that my parents and grandparents instilled this way of life in me! Now my kids know about this too.



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