Winter Markets are finally here! I was so excited to kick-off this season, hosted by Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery. This new location lets HCFM customers shop for produce in the warm confines of the tap house, just a block from downtown.
Vendors peddle their goods as aromatic, hoppy accents filled the air, the building full of people and music. This closeness is what I most looked forward to about the winter markets. Coming in out of the cold, this season brings people together in a way that is completely different from the summer. To share in food and company during the winter is a more holistic experience.
Not only does it engage all of one’s senses, it has an intangible factor that can’t be recreated. Parking the car at the Baptist church lot, you walk briskly down St. John Street, ice and snow cracking under your heels. Warming your hands as you walk through a door, you’re greeted by friends. Your eyes scan the room. Holding a warm cup of little river coffee, you plan a feast for later in the day based on the market wares: Chili, I’m going to make chili.
That’s just me, though. Winter has always been special on a personal level, and I know that southerners don’t like the cold. But you can’t appreciate the warmth without the occasional, biting frost.
As HCFM prepares for the spring, I’m excited too about the programs we’ll introduce to the community in the coming months. The field trip program for Cleveland Academy, continuing SNAP outreach, and getting involved in neighborhoods on the south side of town will benefit both community residents and local farmers. It is good to have something to look forward to as I reach the midpoint of my service year.
Our next Winter Market is February 17, from 9AM-1PM at 197 E. St. John Street in Spartanburg. Hope to see you there!