Customers save the day at Sisters Farmers Market
Last updated 6/7/2022 at Noon
A busy crowd, live music, and sunshine characterized opening day at Sisters Farmers Market last Sunday. So did wild bursts of wind, smatterings of hard rain, and a runaway booth tent.
Jessie Curry moved to Sisters about a year ago but has spent time here seasonally for a decade.
“My mom is visiting from out of town, and we decided to check out the farmers market after having lunch at the Saloon,” she said. “A big gust of wind came in, and a bunch of people lifted their hands up, and I saw a giant tent floating over another tent.”
The wind carried Seed to Table’s extra-large pop-up canopy into the air — complete with metal poles — then landed it on the next row of vendor booths.
People scattered to avoid getting hit, then they moved right back in, toward the looming canopy rather than away from it.
As the tent bobbed and puffed in the wind, the scene looked like a team of wranglers trying to herd a giant jellyfish.
With some leadership from Seed to Table programs manager Hannah Joseph, the jellyfish was eventually reduced to a heavy rectangle of poles and fabric.
“We just worked together and cinched it back into its tent form,” said Curry. “Luckily no heads were bonked or anything.”
Another market-goer watched the wind rip through the awning of Well Rooted Farm, threatening to topple cartons of eggs. He ran over to help the vendors safely disassemble the pop-up.
“It was about to take off,” he said.
Customers throughout Fir Street Park helped vendors remove tent walls, prop up signs, and hold down poles in the wind.
“There’s definitely teamwork and community here,” Curry said of her new town. “People don’t hesitate to pitch in.”
Market manager Michelle Jiunta said that vendor regulations require a weight of 15-20 pounds per leg of each pop-up; she also sends weather forecasts to vendors. She plans to send vendors additional information and check weekly with each booth to make sure they have weights.
The Seed to Table “veggie tent” was appropriately weighted.
“The wind gust still seemed to come at the perfect moment, speed, and angle to pull up the canopy,” said founder Audrey Tehan. “We are so grateful for the market shoppers who quickly helped us wrangle it in. And that no one got injured!”
Larger weights are planned for the future.
“Keeping Sisters Farmers Market safe is a top priority for us,” said Jiunta. “I’m relieved that the errant canopy did not cause damage or injury, just some suspense and drama.”
Curry said she was thankful no one was hurt by the incidents.
“Especially with tons of kiddos around,” she said. “It all worked out.”
Sisters Farmers Market takes place Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fir Street Park. Next Sunday’s market will feature live music with vocalist, guitarist, and mandolin player Linda Leavitt, who is influenced by classic bluegrass, country, honky-tonk, and swing.