Volunteering at the Market – The Parking Lot Is the Place to Be!

Erin Molnar, Assistant Markets Manager

One of the things that I love about the markets is the people. The farmers and food artisans, and the customers are the two groups that come to mind first. And both are awesome. But they are just doing what they do – the farmers grow their amazing produce, the food artisans craft their delicious goods, the customers show up and shop with enthusiasm and joy. There is another group – often overlooked – that help the markets function the best they can: volunteers. They help us set-up: they show up at the Meadow before it’s light and help us unload the truck and set up our tents. They stay with us in the information booth and watch the entrance to count customers, displaying a focus of which I am simply incapable. They are musicians and chefs/home cooks, sharing their passion and talents. They also stand in the hot sun or the rain, waving flags, to forestall the chaos of the parking area. I have no doubt that without them, there would be a lot of honking and my job would require spending a lot more time responding to complaints about the situation down the little hill. It’s not a glamorous job, or necessarily a fun job, but it makes a huge difference to the customer experience – it’s their first impression and their last of the market. We have had a bit of a struggle this year finding willing people to help us in this way. Bob, a dedicated parking volunteer (and I do mean dedicated – I think he has been to more markets than I have this year!), has a few words.

Special Contribution by Market Volunteer, Bob Sisson

A parking volunteer for the last five years… this guy must be crazy. Not really, although others may disagree. Especially when the rain is pouring down and I break out the florescent orange rain suit.

My weekday job finds me mostly indoors. So I enjoy spending my Saturday mornings outside at Howe Meadow, breathing in the fresh air, getting some exercise, visiting with customers, while at the same time, reigning in the chaos of the parking area.

We need your help! If you are a regular market patron (or not), please consider volunteering for a couple hours during the Saturday market. Even if only once a month, or once every other month, come and join us. Bring along a spouse, parent or teenager – you’re all welcome!

As a volunteer, you can shop at the market prior to the opening bell, and you get to wear a very cool orange reflective vest and be creative with flag waving techniques in directing customers where to park.

Please consider sharing a little of your Saturday morning with us. If you are interested, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at emolnar@cvcountryside.org.


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