Life Never Goes as Planned

Today when I woke up, I groggily walked to the kitchen with the house lambs under my feet demanding their breakfast. It’s the same routine—run water into the kettle for my morning infusion of Zeke’s coffee and then make fresh bottles for them. They eat while the water comes to a boil and nap on full bellies while I enjoy a peaceful start to my day. But when I turned on the tap nothing came out.

As a livestock farmer with hundreds of animals, many of them being lactating mothers, losing water is a daunting prospect. It requires a full-stop to any plans for the day other than the most pressing matters. Despite plans for a trip to town to run errands, a visit to Mom and a much-needed pedicure, I had to remain on site for when the well company and backhoe operator arrive. These are logistics of necessity, something every farmer and small business owner must learn to embrace.

That’s why after six years of running a successful farmers market in Merrifield, Virginia, Central Farm Markets is moving a new location. We didn’t plan on making this change, but something akin to turning on the tap and finding no water occurred earlier this spring.

Wasting no time, the management of Central Farm Markets got straight to work finding a new location that has also precipitated a new name. Only four miles from the former site, the market will now be located at the George C. Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA and called NOVA Central Farm Market.  An event that first garnered frustration has resulted in a market location closer to 495 with better parking. The new location will also be more accessible for the McLean, Falls Church, Fairfax, Vienna and Arlington customers.  Starting April 7, 2019, the new market will operate every Sunday April to December from 8:30am-1:00pm and January to March from 9:00am-1:00pm.

Just like my waterless spigot, to rectify this matter in order to keep everyone happy, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that must take place. Recognizing how much both farmers and customers depend upon the Central Farm Market family, founders Mitch Berliner and Debra Moser got to work to ensure a regular season market would open with the close of the winter market at its current location.

Dedicated to the communities in which they operate, Central Farm Markets will donate 5% of the market’s proceeds to the Booster Club on April 14, 2019 for Marshall HS Griffin Day, host local non-profits and continue the gleaning partnership with Food For Others.

Is it a hassle? Sure, unexpected change always is. Both market management and vendors will have to adjust websites and social media as well as create new literature and signage. But there continues to be a bright side—room to grow, new vendors.

However, unlike the opening of a new market location, when the water starts to flow again there will be no live music, balloons, prizes and fun—only a bunch of thirsty animals crowded around several empty stock tanks. And when the dust settles from all this then I’ll really get to dish some dirt.

NOTE: The location of the Bethesda, Pike and Westfield markets will remain the same.


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