Interview: Janna Field
One of the great opportunities afford from living in Ann Arbor is the Farmer’s Market, which affords fresh food, an opportunity to contribute more directly to the local economy, and is open year round.
Recently, the wonderful Janna Field allowed us to interview her for our blog. A vendor at the Farmer’s Market, Janna is very enthusiastic about the Market and the city of Ann Arbor.
1. I noticed that you sell product at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market (AAFM) from May – December. What products are you selling at the market during this time of year?
I won’t be back to the market until November 26th. for the Christmas Market. I sell herbal soaps, potpourri, bath salts, bath bombs, catnip toys, essential oils. I also grow and decorate gourds which sell well for me. I only sell these products at Christmas market.
2. What, in your opinion, is important about the Farmer’s Market?
This is a jewel for Ann Arbor, and I wish the city would promote it more. You can find anything you want at this market – and they keep bringing in new and interesting vendors. The rules at our market are enforced, e.g., you must produce what you sell. We used to have vendors go to Eastern Market and bring it to our market to sell. Now we are inspected every 3 years to make sure we are complying.
3. Why did you decide to start selling produce? Why did you decide to start selling produce in 1994?
I drove a school bus for 16 years and I knew I needed to change careers before I got too old. I have always shopped at the Farmer’s Market, and I also was an avid gardener. I was already teaching aerobics, which I adore, and I was making money at it. I thought, how cool if I could make a living growing things? We decided to look for land and the rest is history. Not too many can say they make a living off what they love.
4. What is your favorite aspect of the Farmer’s Market?
The customers and vendors! I also love when I first unload at the market and I see people’s reactions to what I brought that week. I love the fact I can bring a full truck and be sold out by noon. I love the variety of products available.
5. Earlier, you mentioned that you also teach fitness here in Ann Arbor – does your employment (aerobics instructor and farming), which sounds very different in juxtaposition, but which all involve aspects of a healthy lifestyle, feel varied? Or does it feel interrelated?
Totally related! Teaching fitness keeps me fit for working in the fields. Even though I work hard in farming, there really is no cardio to it. I also get a big kick out keeping people healthy…whether I am teaching fitness or bringing in wonderful produce.
6. What is your #1 tip for leading a healthy lifestyle?
Make yourself a priority! No matter how busy; do it for yourself! If you don’t feel well, energized, ready to go…you aren’t going to be much good for anyone else.
7. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?