"This is going to be one of the hardest things we do," I told the boys as we parked the van and made our way through the Saturday morning crowds towards the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market. "It is the journalistic equivalent of a "cold call", what I used to call a "cold interview" - where no one knows we are going to show up with a camera crew, a microphone, and lots of questions."
For me, this was old hat. Really old hat. It has been a long time since I went around interviewing strangers. For Ben and Matti though, this is a new skill to be worked on. They were a little tentative at first but still game. After all, you have to get used to drawing attention to yourself as well as utilizing a lot of important social skills: gaging who you think might be a good interview, politely introducing yourself, accepting the no's from people with as much grace as the yeses.
Luckily, as we made our way down the delicious alley of food trucks - donuts, burgers, gyros, falafel! - we found the vendors at the market to be exceedingly kind and generous towards the boys.
The Farmers Market has been around for over sixty years at its permanent location at 665 George St. It is open every Saturday from 6 - 1 pm, year round. This is not a couple of folding tables quickly put up in a church parking lot. "The Market", as its known by locals, encompasses 250 vendors in two permanent buildings as well as an outdoor space. You can buy everything from artisan breads and cheeses, through to local organic meat, fruit and vegetables and even New Brunswick crafts.
Our favourite was definitely Dalton's Orange Juice and Smoothies. The line for the freshly squeezed orange juice was long but worth it, especially as it was equal parts entertainment and food service. They have a human assembly line of teens manically chopping oranges, throwing them through the air, juicing and then handing out to patrons. They were moving so quickly it's a miracle no one lost a finger! And the fresh orange juice was pretty good, too.
The owner of The Black Forest Bakery gave us the best explanation of what the market means to Frederictonians. "For a lot of people, It's tradition. You come every Saturday morning, you get a cup coffee and have some breakfast, and you meet your friends."
Sounds like a pretty nice Saturday to me.