2013 Harvest Market was a Topnotch Affair!

The view from the front porch of Grinder’s Switch Winery at last Saturday’s Harvest Market was just what we hoped it would be. Folks of all ages, from near and far, strolled in small clusters down the gravel drive lined on both sides with cars, bumper to bumper. Autumn was in the air and the pale grey sky, which caused a bit of anxiety when it rained, but provided the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous pallet of multicolored leaves on the overhanging branches and surrounding shrubbery. Nestled among the natural features of our county’s award winning winery was a joyful patchwork of festively decorated booths representing the talents of our local artisan and farming community.

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Trish Lingo of Beaverdam Creek Farm greeting two young customers

The quality, craftsmanship, variety, creativity and bounty of handcrafted, homegrown items on display at the Harvest Market was topnotch, and not just, “for around here,” either. In fact, that’s a phrase Arts & Ag is on a mission to see eliminated from the thinking and speech of our county’s citizenry! This region, which has long been a haven for farmers, artists and musicians, is on the cutting edge of the sustainable farming movement and has simultaneously created a niche for other cottage industries and crafts such as soap making, quilting, blacksmithing, pottery, woodworking and many others that were on display at the Harvest Market and that often go hand in hand with agriculture. ALL of this (the arts, crafts and abundance of small, sustainable farms) is fast becoming a source of pride for our locals and we at Arts & Ag couldn’t be happier about it!

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Gabriel New of New Eden Farms selling his famous homemade pickles.

A gigantic THANK YOU to everyone involved with the Harvest Market, including the fine folks at Grinder’s Switch Winery for being such gracious hosts and for supporting our marketing efforts. Over 800 people (according to our closest estimate) came out to shop, to enjoy the tasting room, have a bite to eat and listen to some fantastic local, live music– while spending in the ballpark of $15,000. We couldn’t have been as successful without our dedicated, thoughtful, enthusiastic volunteers!  We are deeply grateful to our Bakery Team for keeping the coffee flowing and selling all the home baked goodies that were donated to the Arts & Ag Bakery. Thanks to you and all who contributed baked items (and those who purchased them), we were able to generate funds to jump start our PR budget for the 2014 Arts & Ag Tour. Our thanks also goes out to our amazing Street Team, all who helped us spread the word about the Harvest Market, emailed their contacts, passed out rack cards and hung posters. We also want to thank our fabulous Loading and Layout Team who staked out booth spaces Friday night and helped load and haul items throughout the Market. Thanks to all the musicians that entertained at the Harvest Market: Gloria McCord, Billie Joe Sawyer, and Mark Meadors with Martin, Trei and Miranda Louise, and many thanks to County Mayor Steve Gregory for doing a very fine job DJing and MCing!

We look forward to many more events like this year’s Harvest Market.

Sincerely the Arts & Ag Trio,

Antonia, Nicole and Vanessa

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