Today, on our vacation in the southeastern state of Arkansas, we visited the downtown Fayetteville, AR farmers market that is celebrating its 40th birthday.
It was the first farmers market I had ever visited, back in - do I dare admit it? 1981.
It is still going strong, unlike the downtown farmers market in Binghamton, New York, where I work. Sometimes I wonder: what will our future be, in Binghamton?
Binghamton, take careful notes. When I first worked in Fayetteville in 1981, its population was 36,600 and Binghamton's (which I didn't move to until the mid 1980's) was 55,860.
Now, in 2013: Fayetteville 76,900. Binghamton: 47,376. There are many reasons for this, but that would take an entire post (or more than one) to blog about.
One of the things Fayetteville is doing right is their farmers market, which was voted #1 market in its category in 2012. Fayetteville has a town square and this market went all the way around. (It's a 3 day a week market, incidentally, plus a fourth day in another location).
Peppers (not just as many colors)
We enjoyed talking to several of the vendors. And, what we found was, Binghamton has a lot to learn from Fayetteville, Arkansas.
It must, or it won't survive.