If you know me, then you know that two of my greatest passions are photography and keeping it local. By “keeping it local” I mean local commerce, such as produce, crafts, services, and the community that is built from these exchanges. I’m sure you hear about it a lot these days, and for good reason. With everything at our fingertips, we begin to forget about where our “stuff” really comes from.
I moved to Abingdon, Virginia in March of 2014. At that time my contract was for 4 months, so I didn’t think too much of getting comfortable. My first week, however, I had a pang of anxiety and decided to take a long walk. That Saturday morning marked a big event for me, and it also happened to be Earth Day. Fitting. I walked over to the Abingdon Farmer’s Market Pavilion and started talking to folks. I was welcomed immediately, and that meant a great deal to a 23 year old who felt like she was floating aimlessly. Here was a tiny mountain town, laying beneath the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, full of such pride. The small size made me nervous, but I hadn’t experienced peace like this before.
That day I made acquaintances that led to friendships that led to an inter-connectivity within this town that I didn’t think I’d ever have. There is a lifeblood that flows through every successful town, and that includes support of one another’s business and life endeavors. Businesses and the individuals behind them rely on the loyalty of one another. I see examples of that here everyday. As a member of Barter Theatre’s Resident Acting Company, the support we receive is astounding, and I’ve begun to understand what it means to reciprocate that.
I’ve thought long and hard about how I could create something that used photography to showcase and support the folks who run the Farmer’s Market, and who run the local craft and produce businesses that grace our plates and our homes with beauty and the knowledge of hard work. That’s how Abingdon: Meet the Locals was born. A weekly blog showcasing vendors from the Abingdon Farmer’s Market. The friendly faces you’ve seen for months or even years, but maybe never really knew.
I hope you’ll join me on this venture to meet new people, and learn a thing or two about the incredible artisans that fill this town I now call home: Abingdon, Virginia.
P.S.- Here’s the homepage for our local market! And make sure to like them on Facebook, too!