As communities are coming together and spring is in the air, I anticipate many will be venturing to their local farmer’s and flea markets. I spent my weekend at the fairgrounds selling the last of our hoarded honey stash and some sweet reads. It was a perfect way to celebrate the first birthday of The Bird and the Bees! Shameless plug? Perhaps. I blame it on being bitten by the flea market bug.
There’s just something about sunshine and a cool breeze blowing between the booths of antiques, tube socks, and handcrafted pieces. After a year amongst masked, mystery people, I appreciated seeing my smiling neighbors, the mouthwatering smell of Amish donuts, and even the whiffs of livestock. It took a ridiculous amount of restraint for me to not buy every baked good and fuzzy lamb, but no fear, I’ve already decided to not be so responsible next time.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been roaming the seemingly endless aisles of knickknacks and trinkets. Popular decorating shows and the Age of Information may have ruined many hopes for a diamond in the rough, but treasure hunting is as much about the sport as it is the trophy (well, almost).
The origins of the name “flea market” are traced back to Emperor Napoleon III’s day, when architectural plans for Paris pushed people out of their dwellings to make way for the army and the long, straight boulevards. It’s funny how the l’amour of flea markets has spread across the world. Today, there are over 200 flea markets in the United States. Maybe it’s because the benefits of bartered goods go beyond a good time. Purchasing second-hand or vintage items for repurposing saves those items from filling our trash dumps. Maybe flea markets are beloved because of the economic opportunities they offer entrepreneurs. Booth rental is largely more affordable than brick and mortar, a savings many sellers can pass on to their customers.
Or maybe, just maybe, flea markets are awesome because they’re one of those events where we can go without much worry. After a year cooped up, I’m ready be a part of my community, sampling homemade goodies and comparing sheep stalls and cast iron skillets for sale.
Thanks to everyone who came out and purchased our honey and books this year! Better yet, merci beaucoup and au revoir, ya’ll.