If You Build It…..


This thing has taken on a life of its own and I can’t seem to run away from it. “How about we start a Farmers Market?” I said those words and felt a combination of joy and trepidation.

About two months ago, I was kicking off with my own little business, Food Concierge. And doing more writing, more photos, more recipes, and promoting the nuts and bolts, which is shopping and consulting. Part of all this is knowing where to buy food and find the purveyors of the stuff we eat. Being a spiritual person of the Christian persuasion, we often put our concerns and needs to God, and soon, we will have a nudge or impression to do something that is either a little out of the ordinary or a lot out of the ordinary. I got the nudge a few months ago to go out in search of the nearest farmers market. One hot and sunny Saturday morning, I rolled out in search of any and all markets outside of the north Austin area. First stop ended up in Jonestown, a sleepy old town 7 miles east of my town. I had seen the sign for a few weeks, and decided to stop. And there, alone, in the heat sat one woman, Miss H., selling beautiful tomatoes, okra and peppers. She had sugar scrubs made with beeswax, and a few other goodies. So we talked and talked. I got a sunburn. I met the owners of the store who had allowed her to set up a shady spot. I left feeling good, I had made a new friend, a fellow food lover in the beautiful hills where we live. I drove on to the next location on the Google map, but it had closed. So I drove to the big market on the northwest edge of Austin in a mall parking lot. I got some mushrooms and mead, then back home, but not without a stop to let my new friend know that the market in Leander was permanently closed. I knew that I had other friends, Mr. L. and Mr. D.,  she needed to meet, and told her we would work it out.

A week later another event was in town, a monthly market for crafters and artists where a small community garden is located. I got out of the car, walked to the front and my friends Mr. L and Mr. D, who raise goats and chickens, were out front selling eggs. Knowing that the nice woman was inside, I knew the good Lord had a hand in this, but didn’t know the full ramifications of that moment. I got Miss H. in best ‘mom’ voice (she’s the same age as my daughter), brought her out, made the introductions and the conversations began. I had been working on a cocktail, tequila on the green, and the guys thought it would be an awesome treat. I had some egg cartons for them, so I went home, got the cartons, and made a pitcher of the cocktail, being careful that the crème de menthe separated to the bottom of the pitcher. Grabbed cups, and headed back the 2 miles to the market. We sipped on the beverage, and I looked around at everyone assembled, and the words came out of my mouth without my knowledge. “We need our own farmers market. How about we start a farmers market?” This was far outside the ordinary.  Time stopped, and everyone looked at me like I was crazy.  Or maybe that’s what it felt like.

I have an expression I use when the need or knowledge of what to do or what will happen is so strong, it’s unavoidable. I know that I know that I know. This was the moment. The next hour I went to work, in spite of all my desire not to do it. I just knew it had to be done, and as soon as possible. Over the next month we progressed slowly, but in a flash, the nudge is now a big push from something outside of myself. I can’t not do it.

Everyone always asks me what a Food Concierge does. My answer is, “We start Farmers Markets.”

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