So it is rolling around 100 degrees here in Reno this week and we’re supposed to actually hit 105 later in the week. I have set up markets in the rain, snow, heat, smoke, and bitter cold. It got me to thinking about how other market managers deal with interesting weather. I have travelled a little bit around the U.S. and have been in places like Houston and Savannah in the summer time and was totally amazed at the heat and humidity of the deep south. I can only imagine what it is like to set up and work a market when the temps are in the 90’s and the humidity is up in that range as well.
I’ve said it before but overall, we are fairly spoiled here in the high desert. Summer temps generally don’t get much higher than 95 and it always cools down at night. What we do have that is challenging though is wind and summer thunderstorms. So far this season, we have had some tough days where the wind beat us up. When you work inside a building, you don’t really think about the wind but when your “office” is made up of a canvass canopy, any wind over about 10 M.P.H., can not only be a pain in the ass but can actually be dangerous. Add to that, there are quite a few vendors with product that can blow away. Since it’s my job to make sure everything is running smoothly, on those days, I spend the whole time running around making sure that the tents aren’t blowing away or breaking. About a month ago, we had a couple of very trying days with winds gusting to around 40 M.P.H. Canopies flew away, frames bent and broke, vendors lost product, and I pulled a muscle in my neck. Eventually, it worked itself out but for the last few weeks, I’ve been dealing with a literal pain in the neck. I wasn’t able to sleep very well since every time I moved, pain screamed through my neck and shoulder and I wasn’t able to turn my head very much when I was awake so that made driving and working very difficult.
Which brings me back to my original thought. I know that we all acclimate to where we live but I just cannot imagine being outside all day when it is crazy hot and humid. Personally, I don’t do heat very well, especially when it’s humid too. I just don’t know how folks in the South and on the East Coast do it. I applaud them though and I just hope that their summer is brief and mild.
And that’s just Summer which is, of course, the bulk of our season. I know that in a lot of areas, they are able to produce year-round markets but, here, we only go until the end of September. Now we do have a “Holiday” market in December and that has its own challenges here in the mountains. Since our growing season is finished up here at time of year, we have to rely on California farmers to come up and participate. Fortunately, that has not been an issue so far and they have been able to get over the mountains without issue. Of course that’s only the first hurdle. The past three years have been very interesting for us. Three years ago, we had rain storms that lasted the entire time the market was going. It got so bad that our Mayor went on TV and told people to stay home unless they absolutely needed to go out. When you’re setting up a market, that is the absolutely last thing you want to see on the news. The next year, we only got snow in town one day. Guess which day that was. Yup, it was the night before our market and we got about two feet of snow at the location of our market. Last year it was actually pretty nice. We didn’t get any snow until we were closing up shop and tearing down and then it came down with a vengeance. I drove home at about 10 M.P.H. that night in a blizzard. Good times.
Remember that we are always our there to provide goods and services to you. We are there in the heat and the cold, the smoke and the clear air, the wind, rain, snow, and even the bright sunny days. So keep that in mind when you are thinking about whether or not you want to go to a market. We will be there for you, all I ask is that you continue to be there for us and I thank you for coming out to support your local markets. Your local market is basically the backbone of small business and it takes all of us to keep it alive.