There was a time long ago when a man followed the vocational footsteps of his father who in turn followed the way of his father and so on for generations. Men and women traded and bartered, bought and sold with other men and women in their communities. If anyone needed a pair of shoes, there was no question of who would make them. When a family was short on flour, they would head over to the neighbors mill. There was a maker and a place for everything, and there was no wondering about where a thing came from.

The Next Generation // Photo by Alexis Haggerty

But here we are, humans in the year 2018. The beasts of technological progress and global consumerism have made all things cheaper, less traceable, and far more transactional than our ancestors ever imagined possible. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with progress, but deep down we don’t only want convenience; we want connection. There is a phantom of nostalgia lurking in most of us, a longing for the days we never experienced but only read about in Steinbeck novels, the simpler times when our great grandparents were part of a symbiosis of people living interconnected communal lives.

Several months ago, the Fresh Harvest team took a bet. We suspected that our customers would be interested in the opportunity to meet the makers and artisans who fill their baskets week after week. We supposed that there might be a desire among our community of friends to connect with that ancient way of life that exceeds transactional relationships and enters into togetherness. But this was risky.

Malek and Majeda of Suryana Cuisine // Photo by Alexis Haggerty

Pulling together 25 of Atlanta’s busiest food-makers, caterers, and entertainers on a Cinco de Mayo Saturday isn’t a light task. There are plenty of other places and revenue generating activities demanding their time on any given weekend. Even after these wonderful people graciously agreed to bring out their tents, tables, guitars, and flutes we all knew it would be a bust if no customers showed up. But they were also in on the bet.

It started slow. Ten o’clock rolled around and I saw our egg supplier, Nick Ball from Wauka Meadows, literally kick a tire. Minutes later people started trickling in, then the trickle became a stream, and you just kept coming! Hours later, several vendors were stupefied to have sold out of all their products. Jenn from Good Foods Kitchen sighed an exhausted but joyful breath of relief after serving the last taco of the day. Some artisans enthusiastically told us that this market just felt special. They could tell that these market-goers really cared about getting to know them. There was a sense of mutual dependence in the air, and it just felt right.

Making New Friends // Photo by Alexis Haggerty

Each week, you choose to sustain your local artisans by going online and adding their products to your basket delivery. Because of you, artisans like Katie Athaide are able to build a foundation for a thriving business, and we all get to be Happy Campers with her delicious hand pies in our bellies. You are the proof that our common longing for connectedness does not stop at desire, but has the ability to move into action. Hundreds of you got in your cars on a cloudy Saturday and headed to Clarkston to meet your makers face to face. You are creating change in Atlanta. You are a bet worth taking.

Connection in Action // Photo by Alexis Haggerty

–If you didn’t get the chance to connect this time or are looking for more, join us at our garden for a monthly hang-out. Email to get more info–