This month we’ve turned up the heat at the market. With spring hot on our heels it’d been a challenge getting everything organized for the upcoming season. Summer is the busiest time of year for HCFM and our farmers.
After going home to Baltimore for Easter, I returned to Spartanburg to find everything in bloom. And the smells were incredible! I whiffed fragrant lilac, and saw the heavy boughs hanging from roadside trees. This was invasive wisteria, I came to find out, but despite its foreign origin is nonetheless a beautiful sign of spring. I think we are all certainly ready to kiss the cold goodbye.
I’ve turned my attention to recruiting new volunteers. With some outstanding volunteers from Converse College moving away and our Bonner Scholar graduating soon we will need some extra help this season. I’m confident we can find some new volunteers among the market’s faithful customers, or perhaps at local colleges. Anyone looking to learn more about the market and help with operations, please reach out, I’d love to talk with you about volunteering.
Another need we are trying to address this season is finding resources for our vendors. With the recent closure of several community kitchens, some of our longtime vendors lack affordable access to DHEC approved workspaces where they can prepare goods for the market. All baked goods and prepared foods are required to be prepared in kitchens that are up to food-service codes. If anyone has access to one of these kitchens, or knows someone who does, please reach out. We’re trying to give our vendors what they need to run successful businesses through HCFM and provide our shoppers with delicious food.
This month I’ve been inspired by two community efforts. Participants in the “Over the Edge” fundraiser for the Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties sent themselves rappelling down the AC Hotel’s 10-story facade. When I first saw these daredevils coming down the building I was confused, and the surrounding news crews prompted me to look up what they were doing.
Raising money for families of cancer patients, this is a creative event that brings positive attention to downtown Spartanburg. In such a close-knit community I was glad to see that local patients have the support of their peers. I lost my best friend to cancer two years ago, so it was encouraging seeing work being done here to help people through the treatment process.
Children’s Cancer Partners for the Carolinas is another group that has built an amazing support network for young patients. Hosting their annual burger cook-off presented by Cribbs Kitchen, downtown came alive with the smell of charcoal grills and the sounds of sizzling meat. HCFM participated, featuring our “Angry Goat” burger which highlighted an array of local ingredients. Our patties were seasoned with Blue Moon’s “Yep Shake”, topped with Hannah’s homemade tomato jam, Crescent Moon goat cheese, and Full Circle Farm-sourced arugula-mustard green slaw. Our burger placed second out of 15 entrants behind RD Anderson’s, which ended up on the Cribb’s Kitchen menu.
Just shy of landing on the Cribb’s menu, it was nonetheless an awesome day. This event was a great opportunity to support local families and embrace the spring weather. It would be fun to stop back in Spartanburg for the cook-off next year and enter a burger with my best friend’s foundation (https://www.bostrongfoundation.org/). They support holistic treatment for young adults, and there are few things more holistic than grilling in good company, listening to great music, and supporting people you care about.
This month has been busy so far, and I am looking forward to seeing projects unfold in the near future. As we roll into summer I hope to see you at the market, it’s time to shake off the cold!