Our Farmers Market seems to be falling into a steady rhythm of commerce and camaraderie, many Floydians making part of the Saturday ritual. As the cool of the morning gives way to the heat of the day, all stays cool under the shade of the Community Market Pavilion.

I do wonder if the community fully realizes how much is available from our market and that one can shop for the whole week from our small group of vendors. We fed our extended family a local feast at our five-year old’s birthday party this past weekend: burgers from Highland Farm with corn on the cob from Idlwyld Farm, combined with green beans from Kester Clark and potato salad with new potatoes from the garden. Blackberries, super-sweet nectarines and goat cheese appetizers were around for snacking.

If the guest’s “oohs” and the “ahs”, the “yums” and the “more please” from the kids weren’t enough to make it worthwhile, the knowledge that our currency stays right here in our community supporting our producers seals the deal.

We’re starting to see more varieties of apples as the season progresses to add to the early summer varieties. Summer Rambo is a granny-tart variety great for prep. You’ll also find Early Gold heading toward a sweeter apple great for fresh eating. A mix might make a good apple sauce.

We are into the free-stone peaches that come off the pits much easier than the cling peaches – hence the name. These are yellow peaches and they are in abundance just now. Let Tenley know if you want bulk for canning at a great bulk price. Call the Greens Garage at 745-4347 and they can bring them to the market for pick-up.

Friday evening was really bustling downtown and the Artisan Market had another good night. . All along Locust Street, the crowds often bellied out off the curbs into the streets listening to some fantastic, top-notch street music.

We’ll be welcoming a new artisan this week. His name is Steve Kalb soon to be of Wills and he makes hand-forged camping gear and garden art. “Upcycled” and environmentally themed as he describes it. Look forward to checking that out. And of course, you’ll find everything from hand-made furniture to soaps and body products, primitive, functional pottery and one of a kind jewelry from our local crafters.

Between the two markets, I am confident that we will keep tens of thousands of dollars – possibly into six figures – right here in our community, money that recirculates that has been shown to increase the value of that money seven-fold. (Trust me, I know these market vendor-types: they are not prone to shopping L.L. Bean on-line.)

From the Did You Know Department: The word “market” comes from the Latin mercatus “place of trade,” as does mercado (Spanish), markt (German), and marknad (Swedish). What we find each week in downtown Floyd is not just trading money for food and goods but a different and deeper trading of words, conversation, information, stories and goodwill.

See you at the Market!

Mike Burton is Director of SustainFloyd