Farm Market Report for November 29, 2016 Keith Helmuth
One year ago the downtown Business Improvement Association helped the Woodstock Farm and Craft Market give itself an early Christmas gift of a handsome new front door entrance. The BIA provided a $1000 grant toward the cost of the new entrance.
Now, they’ve done it again; another grant from the BIA has helped the Market replace the side door entrance. The original side entrance double doors were in rough shape and leaked a lot of cold air. We really didn’t want to go through another winter with them, but the cost of replacement was a problem.
The solution came when we contacted Rick Kirkbride of Speedy Glass. Don McDougal and Glenn Taylor had installed the front door entrance, and we first talked to Don about doing the side door as well. We wanted to have an electronic opener on the side door and Don told us for that kind of installation we should talk to Rick Kirkbride.
Rick came to the Market, looked over the situation and made a suggestion that put us on the road to a high quality commercial door that we could not have ordinarily afforded. He told us he had the doors that came out of the Civic Centre when the new entrance went in, and, if the Market would like to recycle them, they could be installed at a reasonable cost.
It didn’t take the Farm Market Board long to say “yes”, and the cost made it possible to add the electronic opening. The doors were installed last week, and the appearance of the new entrance, along with the light coming through the four windows on the doors, has dramatically brightened up that end of the Market.
Market vendors who continually carry in their products to resupply their stalls are delighted with the new entrance and its electronic opening. Paige Van Dine, who is a market volunteer on Fridays, can now roll her wheelchair in and out of the Market at the push of a button. Her smile brightens up the Market even more.
Market patrons are also pleased to see this major up grade. Many customers take a personal interest in the Market and over the last two years have put a contribution in the fund raising box for new doors. Many thanks to all contributors; without your gifts of support and the gift of your regular shopping, the Market could not have become what Mayor Art Slipp calls “an anchor institution” of downtown Woodstock.
I am reminded of the lyrics of Canadian singer-songwriter, Bruce Cockburn; in the song, The Gift,” he writes: “The gift / keeps moving / never know / where it’s going to land / you must stand / back and let it / keep on changing hands.” And then he sings, “In this cold commodity culture / where you lay your money down / it’s hard to even notice / that all this earth is hallowed ground.”
Now it may seem like a stretch to apply Cockburn’s deep thoughts to the life of Farm Market in downtown Woodstock, but I think not; It’s exactly this kind of spirit that has built up the Market, and which changes “business-as-usual” from being a “cold commodity culture” into a community-based enterprise in a community-minded town. This is what makes “hallowed ground,” and the gift of community that is ever more noticeable in Woodstock in many ways is something to be truly thankful for.