We find inspiration in strange places and often when we least expect it. Of course one can get inspiration from listening to a Martin Luther King speech or a poignant political address. Some clearly found inspiration from the Million Women’s March or other rallies held around the globe. Believe it or not, I found inspiration standing on a curb talking to a woman outside of her green truck parked near the common of a small New England Town.
Saturdays, when I’m not working, are both family time and errand time. On occasion I get to combine the two. This past Saturday my lovely wife and I headed out to run some errands. Even though the prices are a bit higher, I am more than happy to support the vendors that come to our town’s Farmers Market. Being a small business owner, I like to support other small, local businesses and honestly I think the food tastes better. I like being able to talk to the folks that actually grow, raise and harvest what they are selling and what my family is eating. When I go to the Farmers Market in Natick Center I expect to get some veggies, perhaps a few baked goods, and maybe some meat or seafood; what I don’t expect is to find someone that really inspires me.
For at least the past few years, Chestnut Farm has been a staple at the Farmers Market. Usually 2 different people staff the farm’s stand but today we met Kim, the owner. For about a year now, my wife and I have toyed with the idea of getting a Meat Share, something this farm offers, but we had questions. Usually the Market is too crowded to really be able to stand and ask a lot of questions, but we were there early on a winter’s morning and the opportunity presented itself. We ended up having a really nice conversation with Kim. In 10 minutes we learned a lot about her. She is the proud owner of the farm and usually doesn’t do the Farmers Market stand but the crew that does had to attend a funeral. When she bought the farm she was a single mother with 2 small children. Which, to me, points to an individual with an incredible work ethic who also has a lot of confidence and intelligence. Like many business owners, she is very proud of her products and seemingly has phenomenal customer service. While we stood there and chatted I became more and more impressed with her, her story and the way she runs her business. Honesty is not something she shy’s away from. When we asked about trying certain products she said “I don’t pack the truck so I have no clue what is here, let me check.” We asked if she could give us any information on enrollment for the Meat Share, she explained to us that there were usually two enrollment periods, with the December one having just passed. However, she continue to say that we were in luck because they have a few spots open from people who have moved on and that we could join immediately if we wanted. We have purchased meat from them in the past, which has always been good. We also own several CSA shares (Community Shared Agriculture) in various farms, so we support local farms, but even if I had never tried her product or owned another CSA, I would have given it a try just to support her.
From this conversation, along with some excellent meat, I took far more away from the Farmer’s Market than I expected. When people ask me what I do, I need to be a lot more excited and passionate in my description. It is my firm belief that FUN Enterprises is very good at what it does and the folks that work at FUN are some of the best. I’m not sure I convey that message strong enough when I’m asked. I realized that there is nothing wrong with singing our praises. Kim’s boldness and candor reaffirmed for me that this passion is what people often want to hear. That being aware of and embracing who we really are is inspiring. Remember that challenges, large and small, make us who we are and that people like to see others succeed.
Maybe the biggest thing I took away from our interaction was that you really never know the impact that you have on people, regardless of how mundane the interaction seems to be. In simpler terms, we never know what kind of an impression we will make on someone on any given day. Today in our PC world where sound bites and texts take the place of information and real communication, we need to remember that and be passionate and proud of who we are and what we do. So remember inspiration can come in many ways and at any time all you have to do is be ready to see it and hear it.