Saturday, 15 March 2014

Inspiration: Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Monster Carrots and Wee Sprouts

This past week I had the opportunity to go and hear Chris Hadfield speak at the Winspear. An incredibly brilliant man and a highly skilled, adeptly trained astronaut, he was funny, witty, personable, and thoroughly entertaining to hear speak. The most important message that I took away from his talk, was that everybody has the capacity within them to be inspiring.

No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter where you work, no matter what you do with your days, everyone has the ability and the capacity to inspire others. For him, it's about the way you live, the words you speak, the things you do, the kindness you show others, and your willingness to share yourself with others.

Volunteering at our farmers' market is one of those things for me. It's how I try to inspire others. And I am surrounded by people who inspire me in my volunteer work there.

Inspiration can also be found in so many places up at the market.
  • It may lie in a rainbow of brightly colored fruits and vegetables at a produce stand. 
  • It may lie in the vibrancy, imagination, bravery and creativity of the busking scene.
  • Perhaps it comes from the connections you form with your neighbors and friends while you spend time at the market.
  • It may lie in an outstandingly delicious food truck meal.
  • It may also lie in the creative flavors or smells or ingredients that are combined to make a particularly unusual and surprisingly delightful flavour of gelato, fruit wine, jam jar or bar of soap.
  • Perhaps it comes from the assortment of items that you pick up and put in your bag or basket that are an inspiration, allowing you to create amazing meals at home.
  • It may lie in the pride a vendor has for an item that they carefully crafted themselves.
  • It may come from a vibrant smile, a snippet of overheard conversation, or the sound of laughter somewhere in the crowd.
  • Or it may come from the beauty in the delicate lines, intriguing shape and beautiful form of a piece of jewelry or a turned bowl that an artist has crafted.
  • And for those of us who love the outdoors, it might just simply be that you can shop for amazing things out in the open with the sunshine and the warm air.

All of these things, these sources of inspiration, are just around the corner. Outdoor market season is coming.

For me, I find inspiration in all of these things. But I also find inspiration from working with a group of dedicated people. People who volunteer their time and energy and creativity to make their communities better places to live, work and raise their families. People who believe in supporting their community by helping to create a fun place to gather and a terrific reason to get together.

Generosity is one of the things that is most definitely an inspiration. Dr. Darcy Dietz, of Towne Square Orthodontics, has made a wonderfully generous financial contribution so that we can run our Sprouts children’s program, new to our market this year. Though I can't share details of that program yet, as we're still planning it, it is something that we are very excited about. It is going to be a fun way to inspire children, helping them to make their own healthy choices about their food, and to have a truly great time at the market each week. It is a program that will have your back, parents! There are so many ways that our children were steered off track in this world. Our Sprouts program will help you to help them make good nutritional choices in their young lives.

One of the other things that Chris Hadfield spoke about is that we must keep the arts alive. Music and art have been around since before we had the ability to read and write and record our history. It is one thing to be technically brilliant at something and to strive to continue learning throughout your life, but it is equally important to develop an appreciation for the arts, if not to dabble in them yourself.

I want to share with you a couple of artistic things are happening behind the scenes at the market that I have found to be tremendously inspirational lately.

Coming together behind the scenes, is our children's program called Sprouts.  Karli Anderson of Curbside Studio Inc  has donated her time, creativity and effort to create an outstanding logo for the program. Each letter is filled with the fruit and vegetables that we sell that our market. From Colin Dargatz's cute little watermelons to the mountains of carrots at Riverbend Gardens or the Holden Colony's stall... See?! There truly is inspiration to be found in fruits and vegetables! And I have to say that I am simply awed by the creativity and the talent that went into creating this logo for us.

As strange as it may sound, browsing Pinterest and building a Pinterest board is a great way of dabbling in the arts and experiencing and appreciating the creativity of others. Karen, one of our board members, found an image of a tree turned into a carrot on Pinterest. The talented and creative Sean Milne of Seanic Landscape Construction is donating his time and energy to make these amazing carrots, so that we can add them to our market scene this year. Using a highly technical computer program, a foam machine and sprayed concrete, he is working on crafting these gigantic, fun & festive carrots. Just wait until you see them!

These monster carrots provide us with an opportunity. We are always looking for community minded businesses and people to sponsor our market. And we are dependent on these sponsorships to help offset our operating costs. Should you, your family or business like to have your name on a carrot, please contact us and we'll explain the way it works. Our Contact Link

Soon, SOON, the snows will leave us, the ice will melt and market season will be upon us at long last. It's going to be a great market this year!

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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

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