The Clemmons Farmer’s Market opened on Wednesday August 18th but that’s not the day it started. In 1995, I became Flowergardengirl and she was learning all about the online world of gardening. It wasn’t until February 2008 that Anna started this blog. All along the way she gathered friends and cohorts who loved gardening, decorating, and talking. From 1995 to 2008 she just chatted on message boards and got to know some very special people. One of them was Shirley Bovshow of Eden Makers blog who now runs Garden World Report.
Shirley was and is a valuable friend because Flowergardengirl would not be who she is if Shirley had not told her to go start a blog. Shirley also introduced her to Blotanical.com–an online forum where garden bloggers and non are housed under one roof. Being able to get in on the ground floor of that forum was key to how she became so popular in this arena.
Lots of connections were made and now the Flowergardengirl name is recognized pretty well in the garden community. Some of the cool quirks that go with the name are being able to gain trust in those who follow this blog and they in turn trust her to try their product—or grow their plants—or buy her pictures and huge opportunities are born.
Anna is going to be in a few magazines come early Spring and that is going to thrill her beyond words. Her blog is all about the new gardens surrounding the home she designed and had built in the Piedmont of North Carolina in 2008. It’s a zone 7a climate which affords loads of varieties to try. She photographs them all and sells quite a few to different agencies.
Flowergardengirl loves all things made NC. Her passion is to document the South and those who live here telling colorful stories along the way. Some of those stories are also going to be in print in the near future. She is an amateur photographer with a good sense of getting the story through the lens and helping the interviewee enjoy the interview. It just works and all are blessed in the process.
In the back of her mind, she wants several things to happen as result of all this writing, photographing, blogging, and investing time and energy. One of them was to bring the farmer to town and meet the city folk. Get to know those who grow. Things being how they are in networking community it was pretty easy for her to find the right quality farmers and vendors to get a Clemmons Farmer’s Market off the ground.
Kevin Campbell at Campbell Family Nursery in Harmony, NC has nudged her along. He’s asked politely how the process is coming along and dropped a few hints about who would be a good member of the group. Anna takes forever to make a decision carefully considering every angle and valley. Kevin is super connected as his family goes back a long time in this area as does mine. We wanted to see this market done right.
Anna really wanted a year round market and started looking for places that had AC and heat. Well the main stretch of town comes at too high a price. So the search continued for a place to set up. Months went by and then one day….the director of the Jerry Long YMCA ask her about helping out with the garden plot out front. She went armed with books of grand ideas–a potager like none other—huge ideas. Well…..they didn’t need that and all her books never even came out of the bag. They wanted a volunteer to coordinate weeding–etc–and get the garden in good working order.
That’s just not her because she knew it would frustrate her if it was sitting there with such potential and all they wanted was a small garden. It is a nice garden and well kept at present. Someone did come along and offer what they were desiring. In this initial interview where she came loaded with books and ideas—-and when the manager thought she was gonna be the garden mananger—–and while ideas were being thrown around about how to manage the garden—-Anna mentioned –how would they feel about hosting a market.
The manager, Lynn, smiled real big and said—you go for it! We will give you the space you need and you can bring in who you want. Flowergardengirl forgot all about the garden and moved on to planning the market. She no more than got out of the manager’s office than she was networking to get it done.
It took a few weeks before I called Lynn back to make sure they hadn’t changed their minds. There were a few farmers that had come along earlier at the Y but did not find much success —well they weren’t Flowergardengirl. So she, Kevin, Stacy at Yellow Wolf Farm, and Randy from Rolling Hills Farm set up for business and service at the Jerry Long YMCA on August 18th, 2010–and we SOLD OUT of produce by lunch.
The Clemmons Farmer’s Market is dedicated to the vendors. They make it special. Everyone will have their area of expertise. Each season will be represented and the market will run year round. Such a market that is quaint and not overdone promotes vendor pride and dedication. This is Anna’s goal. Keep it personal and let the customer come to know the farmer—-know the farmer/vendor will always be in their place on market day. It’s comforting in this hectic world to create such an environment for people to come and socialize.
The Jerry Long YMCA is dedicated to this project. They are grateful for the community service this group provides. It is and will always be for the community.
So the vendors got their wheels turning that day and talked of what they wanted that market to be—-and Tim the director stopped by to show support offering more good news!!!! They Y will expand in the near future and there will be plans for a nice covered area where we can make the market look nice and clean. And—in that area is going a classy shopping center, new elementary school, expanded YMCA, beautiful lake with walking trails and park, and huge hospital. The whole place planned to be landscaped beyond my wildest dreams.
So this Saturday produce and goods will be brought to the Clemmons Farmer’s Market and the farmers will educate the city dwellers–selling their goods—and all of it supporting a wonderful community called The Village of Clemmons in the lower foot hills of the Appalachian montains.
Flowergardengirl sees special events planned and everyone in the village looking forward to—Market Day!
Me and my new haircut. Thanks for reading my story. Big hugs.