Heather Roszczyk, market assistant & volunteer coordinator
These post-holiday, pre-spring months of winter can be difficult for many of us. The joyful gatherings that dominate November and December are behind us, but the spring sunshine is still so far away. The good news is that there are alternatives to staying in bed until April.
One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is through volunteering. Research is continually showing that volunteerism positively impacts our lives. A study conducted by the Corporation for National & Community Service found that adults who volunteer regularly experience less depression, better general health, and even live longer. Talk about a wonder drug!
At the Countryside Farmers’ Markets, we are lucky to have a wonderful crop of regular volunteers, many of whom have been with us for years. They span all ages – teens to seniors and everything in between – and backgrounds, but something in common keeps them returning week after week. No doubt it is partly the aforementioned side effects of volunteering, but I like to think that it is also the market itself.
The Countryside Farmers’ Markets combine so many things that we know are mood-boosters: community involvement; social interaction; opportunities to learn; music; healthy food. Any one of these things can help drag you out of the winter doldrums, but together they create an atmosphere humming with positive energy.
Recently our market was voted one of the top five markets in the state of Ohio by our customers. While this in itself was an honor, perhaps the even greater joy came from reading the comments submitted by voters on the American Farmland Trust website. “Sue” said it better than I ever could myself: “There is no better way to spend a Saturday morning…It’s like dropping by for a friendly visit with the neighbors and coming home with a basketful of homegrown love.”
For more information on the Countryside Farmers’ Markets, or to learn more about volunteering for the market, contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org