(Harriet, Max, Alex, Patrick, and Sarah)
At the Farmer’s market, we talked to many different vendors from all over as we worked our way through our shopping list. One of the vendors we met was selling a wide array of beautiful flowers. Michelle Elston is the owner and farmer of Roots Flower Farm, which is located in Carlisle on Walnut Bottom Road. As newcomers to the area, it was interesting for us to meet a local who was enthusiastic and involved with the community. They grow a variety of different flowers from tulips to dahlias to peonies. They also have herbs and vegetables such as basil and peppers. Despite their wide range of products, they tend to grow in smaller quantities because they prefer to conduct business locally. When asked why they chose this market their response was immediate and their passion was undeniable. While they want to make a profit, they focus on the local economy because it establishes strong relationships with clients and it helps stabilize and build the local economy. They could not give a specific description of their “typical customer,” but instead said their customers are diverse. Their ability to appeal to everyone, we think, speaks volumes to the success of their business. Apart from the their stand at the famer’s market, they also do weddings and other special events. The goal of their work is to seek a balance between “work and play, work and family, and work and rest.” Their business allows them to do something they are interested in but to also have a life outside of the farm.
From the vendor who we bought the peppers from we asked, “Who are your ‘typical’ customers?” She answered saying most of her customers are in town mothers with their children and college students. Upon further questioning we found out that the mothers often use the food they buy for home-cooked meals later that day. We then went to another vender that was selling more fruits and vegetables where we purchased carrots. As we were buying the carrots we noticed that they were also selling apples that were about twice the size of a large mans fist. In shock of the size and quality of the apples we started to talk to the vendor about them. We found out that the vendors were representatives from Peter’s Orchard, where the apples were grown. What really amazed us is that the majority of the apples grown there are sold to applesauce companies. We were unable to figure out the names of the companies unfortunately as the main representative was on the phone. Our last stop was at a stand of Amish farmers to buy tomatoes. We asked one of farmers why he farms and at first we got a simple “Cause I enjoy it.” After further encouragement we learned that it was a way of life for him and that his parents had also been farmers. He also mentioned that he provides a lot of his crops for his community. Overall, our experience at the Farmer’s market was interesting and opened our eyes to a part of Carlisle that we had not experienced before. Food clearly brings people together, especially when the food is used to support one another.