November 2, 2023
It’s my favorite time of the year. The trees here on the farm turn beautiful colors and as the breezes of Fall begin to blow, the trees release their grip on the leaves and they become a blanket of color for the earth below it. We humans experience seasons too and for me it’s a season of change.
When Monte and I decided to explore being a vendor at the QC Farmer’s Market in Rock Island it meant someone other than Monte would need to take on this roll as he would continue at Freighthouse. That someone would be me. I remember Monte and Alyssa getting up in the dark many Saturday mornings to load our meat and take it to market, turn around and bring home what didn't sell, and do it all over again the next week. In the early days it was the best way to build our business and bring awareness to our regenerative farm. Never once did I wish that I could be the one hitting the alarm button at 5:00 am and doing market but in April of 2022 I loaded my first van of coolers and headed out in the dark.
For the next 99 weeks I was the one responsible for attending and building relationships at the Rock Island market. The Spring of 2023 brought about another team member change and Monte was back in the tractor planting all our fields so we were faced with the decision to pull out of the Davenport market. Unsure of what would happen to sales the reality was we could only be in one place at a time. Our customers did not let us down. We had a great market season with customers pre-ordering for easy pick up, new customers purchasing items at the market and familiar friends from Davenport following us across the river.
This Saturday the market season changes to its winter market hours. You will find us in Rock Island all winter from 10:00 to 12:00. Notice I said us, meaning Julie and Treyten will be at market this winter as I am officially retired from market duties! Some things we finish in life we are really happy about and have no desire to ever do again and some things we will truly miss being a part of. I will miss the market and I will think of you all often as I enjoy my coffee and a morning fire in the fireplace this winter.
I’ve met so many wonderful people at QC Farmer’s Market. It's gone way beyond market vendor and customer. We’ve talked about life and loss. We’ve shared our struggles and health problems. We’ve exchanged recipes and ideas. We’ve built real friendships and I will miss seeing each of you every week. But I know it’s the season, it’s time for me to move on to another part of our farm that needs my time and attention.
I hope you all know how much Monte and I genuinely appreciate the support we receive through your purchases, social media posts, kind remarks, and referrals. While we know without a doubt that raising livestock is the very best thing for the soil, for you and your family, it is not easy. Many days present unexpected challenges and opportunities to fix and improve processes. Honestly, some days are discouraging but if you know us well, you know it’s not over until we win. We will continue to get up every day and keep going. Keep educating. Keep telling our story. Keep filling your orders and coming to market. We just need you to do your part…stay healthy, keep ordering and keep sharing Grateful Graze!
Cheers to an unforgettable season!