OH BABY IT’S HOT OUTSIDE

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.

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HAPPY 4TH EVERYONE

Hello my friends.  I know that it has been a while since I have written and I know that I promised to write more but, I have to say, it’s been a busy Summer so far and this is the first time I have had to sit down and collect my thoughts in a while.  Running multiple markets, working on a new app for vendors (VendorFerret.com and Vendor Ferret on iTunes and Google Play by the way), obtaining my state insurance license, working a bookkeeping job, and attempting to have a life at occasional points has somehow taken up all of my time.

So that brings us to last weekend which was the markets before the 4th of July.  In the week before the Saturday markets, I had vendors calling and asking if they should bring extra product because of the holiday weekend.  I hate to admit it but I couldn’t be much help to them.  I explained that I have seen holiday markets where everyone sold out and I have seen holiday markets where we are just staring at each other and wondering where in the hell all of the people are.  It’s one of those damned if I do and damned if I don’t situations.  I asked them to see it from my position and why I had to be vague.  If I told them that it was going to be busy and to bring extra product but then the market was slow, it would be my fault that they brought too much but, on the other hand, if I told them that they should bring less because the market would probably be slow and then there were crowds of shoppers, it would be my fault that they ran out of product and didn’t make as much money as they could have.  So I just told them to use their best judgement and not to blame me either way.

 

A great market day is a wonderful thing.  The weather was really nice, a lot of people came out to shop, and It turned out that everyone should have brought more product.  My strawberry vendor ran out by noon and my veggie farmer ran out soon after that.  Overall, the majority of the vendors had a great day which always makes my life a bit easier.

The next day there was an incident that made me very grateful that we have not had any serious problems at our markets.  You can Google it if you want to read the story but, in a nutshell, there was an event going on downtown and some jerkoff decided that he was going to drive through the closed event and when the people didn’t get out of the way fast enough, he made the brilliant choice to shoot a gun into the air.  It was then that our local police fired back and killed the guy.  I am so proud of our local PD for the way they handled this situation and that they didn’t let it continue or let the asshat take a hostage or something else horrible.  It was over in a matter of moments and they did a great job protecting the people who were there.  As a matter of fact, what could have been a situation where multiple innocent folks could have been seriously hurt or killed, ended with just a few bumps and scrapes.  I received some text messages asking me if this was my event and I was happy to say that it wasn’t.  However, it caused me to think about how I would handle this sort of thing if it happened at one of our markets and I’m still not exactly sure what my response would be.  I know that I would do my best to get our shoppers and vendors out of the way but knowing that it may not be possible and that someone could get seriously hurt is something that I may have to deal with.  I hope that it never happens but there are some crazy people out there.

Now even with all of the insanity that is happening in the world today and all of the nutjobs out there, we cannot stop living our lives.  You cannot live in fear and, I think, it’s a responsibility of all us to continue to go outside, participate in events, concerts, fairs, sports, markets, and the like and to live life.  As has been said many times and in many ways, Don’t Let The Bastards Win.  I think it’s appropriate to bring up the Founding Fathers and ask, do you think they would have stayed inside and hidden themselves away from the world today?  I was able to watch a documentary on them over the weekend and I can say, without a doubt, there is no way they would have done that.  They didn’t do that.  So continue to do the things you love to do during the warmer months.  Go to a concert, shop at a farmers’ market, participate in sports, and take advantage of all the fun things there are to do in the Summer months.  Be aware and be safe but get out there and Don’t Let The Bastards Win.