One thing is clear: farmers’ markets are not only a hobby, but a passion to me. I Iove to encourage people to visit markets. Markets have so much to offer: a large variety of produce, learning from the traders a lot about the produce and what to do with them, the buzz making it easy to have conversations with friends and strangers alike and a great place to have a coffee or a snack with some friends and enjoy the day. In short: markets are places where joy of life becomes real.
Talking to friends, colleagues and traders I discovered that there is a need to show rediscover the beauty of markets. This is how I started this blog, which covers markets I visited across several continents.
The starting point
Then came along Sascha Foerster from Bonn.digital, the company Johannes Mirus and him are running. Bonn.digital is doing social media consulting, community management and digital events. Sascha and I got to know each other through various social media and decided to meet over a coffee and chat a bit. Well the chat went well, and Sascha bought forward his idea with a charming smile: “Why shouldn’t we set up together a site, where Bonn people and visitors alike can discover the goodness of the Bonn markets?” He caught me a little off guard, even though the idea seemed very logical: if I wanted to make people go more often to the markets in Bonn, I had to do something about it.
One night of sleep and the deal was done. Sascha set up the infrastructure aka. website and I started to key in the first traders with their offering, contacts and trading hours on the market. I tried to contact some market managers to get the information on the stall a bit faster, but apparently without enough persistence. So I had to visit all 11 markets of the city, some of them for the first time, a pleasant discovery for me as well. To my delight this lead to many conversations with traders and also the discovery of many good food products.
Collecting the content
Contacting in person every stall is a cumbersome way of collecting all the data, especially since this task has to be done next to the “real” job in the free time. And not all traders choose to be on the market on days convenient for casual collection of details. But we are getting there. The good thing is not to work alone, Sascha always comes up with good ideas, improvements on the site, which keeps me going.
The whole job made me become critical of all my pictures I took of the stalls and their offerings. A good starting point to get more serious about photography. As such building up the site becomes a great learning experience.
Another good side of all these efforts is that I get to know the producers and traders individually. As I better ask them if they want to be published in our directory, there is always a chat beyond this topic, I get much deeper insights on how markets work. Great. So far we have more than 70 stalls with photos, contact etc. Probably there are 20 or so to go.
So what is it about?
Well, first and foremost a directory of all stalls at the 11 markets in the city of Bonn to help finding the right produce at the right time at the right location. So for each stall there is information :
- location incl. map
- trading hours
- contacts incl. web and social media presence
- some photos, a few from the traders themselves
- possibility to comment on individual stalls
Setting up and optimizing Bonn.market is one thing. Promoting it the other. So far Twitter has worked, but this is not enough. Let’s see what consumers and traders think about the site and improve it continuously. To make it easier for expatriates living in Bonn, there is already a possibility to get it translated on the fly via Google translate (check at the bottom of the page).
We are just at the beginning to get people more excited about farmers’ markets. A goal worth being persistent. let’s try to make it happen. I am very curious about the journey and about the ideas and activities coming along.
A little link list:
- The site we are talking about: Bonn.market
- The guys supporting and sponsoring it: Bonn.digital
- Sascha Foerster the guy who ignited it is on Twitter, Facebook and here as well
- The map we incorporated is from wo-ist-markt.de (where is market day) based on growing open data from German municipalities
- My posts on markets in Bonn
- A post which describes my passion for markets on Marjorie R. Williams blog