Organic growth: the long road

The following anecdote illustrates why the market is allowed to grow at its own pace as circumstances allow, and why I am not attempting to unveil in one shot a fully operating farmers market.

A few years ago the DC area was socked in by one of those blizzards that sometimes descend on Shabbos. I headed out to the Silver Spring Jewish Center.

I was plodding down the middle of Monticello Avenue between Lamberton Drive and Kersey Road etching a path on the untouched snow. The flakes were blowing right in my face, so I kept my head down, every once in a while lifting it to get my bearings. At one point I had veered so far off from a straight path that I ended up going sideways. I made a course correction and carried on.

A few hours later the snow had stopped and I was returning from Shul. To my horror and chagrin, a number of people who followed me that morning, or who were going in the opposite direction on Monticello after me, had used the zig-zag path in the snow I had made. I guess it was easier to just follow in my footsteps than to pioneer a shorter and more direct path.

By walking in a lost and roundabout way I had inadvertently led others to walk in a lost, roundabout way.

I have had to hack a path through a confusing jungle of County departments and regulations to get the market rolling. I want to keep it on the straight path. Any initial crookedness may get perpetuated down the road. So I’m going slow and steady.