I had no idea how much of a privilege it would be to serve as Mayor before I took office. I wish all of you could go along for this ride with me. I don’t have any amazing powers as Mayor, I’m just one vote of seven on Council, but I do get to be a figurehead of sorts. So when the Simpsonville Farmers Market reached out and asked me to come on a Saturday morning to receive a donation I was glad to do it. And it was easy enough, since we go to the market almost every Saturday. The Farmers Market gave a donation of $1000 towards Harmony Garden for a new sign. Isn’t that interesting. They gave money to a cause that’s maybe a bit of competition, right? But that’s not how they think. They encourage everyone who is able to get into gardening. They give out advice. And recipe suggestions! The Simpsonville Farmers Market is such a great resource for our city. This is what ‘farm to table’ and ‘buy local’ means. Being able to buy produce that’s picked less than 24 hours before it’s sold should be reason enough to shop at the market, but it also helps our local growers stay in business. Most farmers receive less than a quarter of each food dollar spent at a typical grocery store. At our market they receive the whole dollar. I spent some time with Dianne Carson and Amanda Hudson Hernandez the morning I accepted the check. I learned that the market committee visits each vendor twice per year. They go out and check to be sure what the vendors are selling is truly locally grown or locally made. I am amazed. After thinking about it a bit, it makes sense. You don’t see little “SC Grown” stickers on the tomatoes or find watermelons in May before they could ever reach harvest size if they were grown here. Based on what I learned you can be confident it’s grown or made right here. In the Shewmaker family we have our own favorite vendors, and if you come out on Saturday mornings I’m sure you’ll find your favorites too. The City of Simpsonville is proud to sponsor the Farmers Market and extends its thanks to the market committee and all the vendors for giving back to the community.
Thanks for listening. Now back to work. ■