I’ve been on the road for the last few weeks. This summer, I’ve made it my mandate to explore my own backyard, visiting various locations in BC, and writing about the local food scenes for my other blog. Part of my goal this summer is to visit as many Farmer’s Markets as possible.
I’ve been to quite a few so far, and last week, I added another couple to my list. There was one I went to that was less impressive than many of the ones I’ve been to so far. It was quiet. There weren’t a lot of customers, and a few of the vendors made reference to the fact that they had lost a bunch of their own, too. This farmer’s market was, in a word, struggling. I’m not sure why, as I’m not from that town, so I don’t know the inner workings or politics. But I did see quite a few posters for a different market in that town, so I’m guessing part of the problem was competing markets and the vendors not being able to create enough goods for both.
But that’s just the background.
As I was wondering around the market, I was taking photos, shooting video and doing Instagram stories. The instagram stories, of course, were of the moment, but the photos and videos I was shooting on my camera were for later, when I was home, to make videos and blog posts about my trip. In these blog posts, I recommend places I went to and enjoyed as a foodie, and encourage others to go there, too.
I was shooting one person’s booth, and they (politely) told me that they would prefer if I didn’t. I stopped shooting right away and backed off.
A little further down, I ran into another vendor, this guy selling chai. Now, I love chai, and he was very friendly and offered us samples. I didn’t shoot photos or video of his booth (I was feeling a bit self-conscious after being asked to stop by the other vendor), but I did do an Instagram story and posted it, tagging the vendor.
He thanked me on DM and then offered to send me some of his product. I accepted his kind offer, and got a box filled with 4 different kinds of chai. I’m not 100% certain what I’ll do with this yet, but at the very least, this chai will make it into another few Instagram stories, perhaps and instagram post, a blog post or a video.
The other person? The one who asked me to stop filming? They won’t be featured at all. In anything.
Look–I know I’m not a big deal on the internet (despite having a shirt that says so). But I do have some influence. It’s not much. But I like to use that small power for good by encouraging local folks to buy from good, solidly run local businesses. It’s by supporting local business, we strengthen our communities.
I understand that some people are nervous about random strangers taking photos of their stuff. I may be a poacher, trying to steal their ideas and profit from them. But in this case, I wasn’t. I was someone who, under different circumstances, could have actually helped out a business that was clearly not doing great.
It’s all about perspective…
Intersting as I had a very similar experience last week. It was curious to me the difference in business owners. My intention with both were simply to promote local. Very different reactions.