Nick’s Year in Reflection…

By Nick Szumowski

As I reflect upon the past year of working for the Tucson Farmers’ Markets, I realize more and more how much of a blessing it has been.  I’ve had the opportunity to network and become friends with the area’s best producers and growers, I’ve met a wide demographic of people from the community who love to share their interests and wisdom, and I’ve had more fun than I thought possible in a work setting with Manish, Roxanne, Sarah, Tony, Clayton, Justin, and the whole crew!

As many of you know, my dietary preferences are narrow by most people’s standards.  In choosing to consume a primarily raw-vegan diet, the markets have been ideal in providing the best organic foods, grown by individuals I know and trust.  There is something pretty special about handing your money to the very person who picked the produce just hours before!  In addition, my refinement of choosing to include more and more local foods has come as a direct result of seeing the markets flooded each weekend with the best of the Sonoran desert.

Working as a market coordinator allows me to meet and visit with a wide variety of personalities with one thing in common: they all love farmers’ markets!  As the months have passed, I’ve noticed certain common denominators among those who frequent the markets.  Many are locavores (those who take part in the local food movement) or health-conscious consumers, and many simply love to participate in a bustling social setting, a sort of live-interactive theater.  I’ve also noticed this intangible sense of heightened spiritual awareness in the patrons at the market, who appear truly invested in the present moment and conscious of their intentions.

As for my coworkers and associates, the crew I work with at the Farmers’ Markets and Maya Tea Company became my fast friends.  I’ve laughed more in the past year than the previous three years combined!  I cannot help but feel extremely grateful for the blessing and opportunity to be part of a family that loves unconditionally and supports one another without judgment or criticism in our collective efforts to expand and provide the best services possible.

I have been graced with a vocation that I cannot even call a “job” or “work” because it lacks all of the negative tacit implications commonly associated with their meaning.  I love the farmers’ markets, I love the crew that I work with, and I love to see your smiling faces week after week.  So, if we have not yet met at one of our markets, please don’t hesitate to stop by the market information table and say hello!