As you may know from following our adventure, growing our own food is a fairly new adventure for our family. It’s been one crazy-fun ride! Our friends the Hawkins Family of Hawkins Homestead Farm encouraged us to reach out to the community more. We joined them at a Farmers Market in 2017 within our community which suited our busy & varying schedules. As we have interacted with the customers and fellow farmers, we found that ours is one of a very few year round farmers markets in our community. In fact an internet search was quite disappointing. That number is further dwindled when considering the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides & herbicides – all of which are not permitted on the Market at Dothan & are never utilized by us. We have heard some beautiful stories of appreciation and thanks for making our produce available to this market. These have been a real source of strength when things just are not going as planned with our growing season. We wanted to share today an interview of Ms. Patty Donovan. A portion of her interview was published in the Market at Dothan newsletter, however, the interview in its entirety is below:
Shena:” How long have you been a part of the Market?”
Patty: “I have been a member of Market at Dothan since I got to Dothan in May 2012. I had been in communication with the manager of the market for a few months before I ever got here.”
Shena: “How do you benefit from our year round market schedule?”
“1. I have severe chemical sensitivity and my diet is severely restricted, not so much from allergies but from residual antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and other chemicals found in conventional food. Before I figured out what was happening, these resulted in multiple ER visits. I have even had reactions to grocery store certified organic foods but have never had a reaction to anything I’ve bought from the market. So, I have year round access to foods that meet my special needs.
2. It is healthier to eat what is in season in your area and by the Market being available year round, it is easier to follow that.
3. I consider the vendors friends and it is awesome to meet people who share my passion for growing/raising things safe and sustainable. Honestly my time at the market every week is virtually the only socialization I’m able to have.
4. Being able to use the Market minimizes my exposure to both possible contaminants in food and the chemicals/fragrances etc present in stores.
5. Year round availability gives me the ability to try new foods that I never would have thought of trying. I may not always like it but I don’t think there’s much new that anyone has introduced that I haven’t at least given a shot. So this has definitely expanded my palate.
6. The knowledge of the vendors and members of the Market is immense and freely shared. I consider this a major benefit.
Market at Dothan means the world to me. I honestly buy close to 100% of perishable items through the market. I’d be lost without the Market AND the people.”
We here at Bain Home Gardens want to give a personal thanks to Ms. Donovan for sharing with us her personal thoughts on our year round farmers market. We hope to pick her mind more in the future on other areas of interest. Stay tuned. Sharing a wealth of knowledge – from our family to yours!