Small towns, small markets, big hearts.

Farmers’ markets are the kind of place you could say are ‘naturally primed’ for random acts of kindness.

I remember one incident vividly from when I was a vendor at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. A young woman was chatting to me about my natural mosquito repellent and another woman joined our conversation, also interested. A nice exchange took place, smiles and laughter all around. The young woman went to purchase a bottle and realized she had no cash left. Flustered, she said she’d find some money and be back. When she left the older woman handed me enough money for two bottles. She told me that when the other woman came back, to tell her that hers was already paid for. The young woman did come back. She was incredibly moved, and so was I. Being the ‘vehicle’ through which this exchange happened felt like a gift to me as well.

Recently, I received another farmers’ market gift. I was at the final market of the season in New Ross this past Thanksgiving Saturday. I spent all my cash. And then I found a jar of strawberry jam I wanted to buy for my kids. I asked my friend Nancy if she had any cash left I could borrow. She had spent all of hers as well. Brenda Knickle, a vendor at the market, must have overheard me because 15 seconds later, I saw her quickly crossing the market towards me, waving a $5 bill. “I overheard you. So here’s a little wedding present from me.” I bought that jam with a huge smile on my face. Small towns, small markets, big hearts.

Michelle Summer Fike