As regular readers of this blog know, each Saturday morning I attend Kilternan Country Market, our weekly country market. Kilternan Country Market is a member of the Irish Country Markets Ltd., which is closely allied to the Irish Country Women’s Association.
Our Kilternan Market is featured this month in Panorama, a local community magazine. It was most exciting! This month’s issue was delivered to the Market this morning and each member received a copy. Photos of each of us had been taken a few weeks ago and the article plus the photos has appeared. There we all are.
The Market has grown over the years from its early days starting in 1964. It has become an institution, beloved by members and friends. It is a sort of Saturday morning club where producers and customers meet for their morning coffee and chat. And in its way, the Market gives a social history of the area. We have many loyal customers and they are as much a fabric of the Market as we the producers. Maybe there could be a sequel to the Panorama article and the customers could be featured.
A bit of history. I officially joined the Market in January 1984. My purpose was to try to sell some of my knitted and woven craft items. Not only has the Market served this purpose but it has also become an important centre for me socially. I have made many friends among the members and the customers. Loyalty is the name of the game. Loyal members and loyal customers who keep coming each week and get to know each other well over the years.
Inevitably in the course of time since I joined, some members have passed on. We miss them dearly but I am so glad I had the privilege of getting to know them. The same is true for many of our favourite customers. But new members have joined and new customers keep coming.
When we worked overseas and I was away for long periods of time, I was relieved that my Market membership was kept for me. It was such a feeling of homecoming when I would return after a period of two or three years away and be welcomed with open arms.
The emphasis in the Market has been on home baking, plants and flowers, jams and jellies, chickens and eggs. All items for sale in the Market are home produced, no bought in merchandise is allowed.
Crafts have tended to take a back seat – yet we are important and recently, in particular, sales of craft items have taken a great leap forward, I am happy to say. And hand knitting is leading the charge. There are several of us bringing hand knitted items and we are all selling very well. I have also been making notecards from my own photographs and those have been selling well also. So one way another, I usually manage to have at least one or two sales each week.
Here is just one example of some of the knitting I have been taking to the Market.