This year we did a lot of neighbourhood connecting! We made intentional relationships with those around us. Some of our most impactful moments were with folks in the neighbourhood who hadn’t learned about us yet. We invited them to collaborate and share the market space and resources. There’s so much energy in the neighbourhood. People who live or work nearby stop in to see if we need help or to ask about donating more regularly. It’s pretty amazing to watch how the relationships in the community are building and expanding.
In praise of volunteers
Our volunteer roster has grown exponentially. We partnered with the folks at Sojourn House this year, and they have been really showing up! They are always fixing things in the market, sharing ideas, and they’re so generous with their time and care. I simply can’t thank our volunteers enough, from the most senior of them who have seriously been through it with us to the folks who are ready and learning. Most of what volunteers do is something that’s often immeasurable in our capitalist system. Yet, I have the privilege to witness and feel it whenever I’m at the market. So, my highlight of the year is them and all they do.
Culturally appropriate donations
Focusing on culturally appropriate, vibrant produce always generates so much joy in the market. The Harvest Collective, which runs from Metropolitan’s urban farm, donated an abundance of rich, colourful, textured produce this summer. Community Members lit up at all of the different peppers, okra, and eggplant!
We believe strongly on shining a light on team care. At the market, we encourage one another to pace with intention and not to compare to anyone else’s speed or abilities. We check in with one another about needs and encourage those needs to get tended to, first. The toolkit for care is always in a place of evolution as humans’ needs change and grow. It’s essential to look back and say “okay, time to envision something different,” or find other ways to build on it. I’m inspired to work with a team that talks about their boundaries and capacity. It’s so valuable to create that in workspaces.
So, it’s been a busy year, one that may have included a few challenges, but all-in-all, we have rolled with it and continue to build and grow.
If you would like to support the work our community does, please click on this link.