The time has finally come: our Marietta, Vienna, Gahanna and Maple Ave. markets are the last to close for the year on October 31st. As a seasonal business and as a farm, the end of October means our markets will close until flower season in April 2021, with the exception of our Smith Market and Bakery.
This time of year is always bittersweet. I remember walking into the market on my last day, reflecting on the good times we had this season, but also feeling sad knowing it was my last time opening the market for the year. It’s always surreal knowing I spent the summer laughing with my coworkers, waving hello to my managers, and stacking corn piles, and soon it will come to an end. However, despite everything slowing down for the year, the last few days of the season are happy ones. It’s when we, as a Witten family, come together to remember what makes The Witten Farm such a special place.
We remember the joy of opening day, arriving at the markets with the endless possibilities ahead of us. We remember the first truck arriving, full of hanging baskets, flats of flowers, and vegetable plants. We remember Mother’s Day, where we helped that customer find the perfect hanging basket for their mother or grandmother.
When the season comes to an end, we remember the first produce that arrived. It’s those first beautiful, red, homegrown tomatoes. It’s the countdown we have to the first ears of corn we will receive, our excitement growing each day. We remember our produce meetings throughout the year, where we talk to Julie (co-owner, Witten Farm), our managers, and each other about all the good things to come at the markets. We laugh together, discuss all things Witten’s, and share a slice of pizza or two while we are at it.
As the season comes to a close, we realize all these good things would not be possible without the love and dedication of you, our customers. Justin Lough (Barlow Market), recalls his favorite memory of the season, saying “Our team worked hard on the Fourth of July. Several of the customers were fantastic that day. A lot of them were kind enough to bring us cold drinks. It was a hot day, but the memories of the customers and the fun we had together makes me smile.” His story is not unlike many of ours who work at the markets. The smiles and kindness you, our customers, bring to our days do not go unnoticed. When the season comes to an end, we are grateful for everything you have given us.
We remember the people in the office who work behind-the-scenes all year around to ensure our jobs at the market run smoother than ever. They work tirelessly, bringing you the signs you see at the market, building our website, and making sure we are equipped for success in all we do. We remember our team who picks our produce and loads the trucks so we have enough for our markets every day. Without them, the farm would not be what it is today.
The end of the season is bittersweet, knowing it will be another few months before many of us will see our beloved markets again. However, closing time also is a time of gratitude here at the Witten Farm. Everyone relies on each other here. If one part is missing, we would not have the ability to do what we love everyday: bringing fresh produce to the world with kindness and a passion for what we do. From our Witten Farm family to yours, we say thank you. We will see you in the Spring!