As mentioned yesterday, businesses and farms present an image for passerbys—good, bad, or who cares. People are the same. Likewise, towns and cities large and small either welcome or discourage outsiders. The small Alberta village of Millet is a good example. See today’s photo as I approached,
With a few hundred residents at most, Millet had three blocks of active retailers—obviously catering to the passerby.
As an agriculturalists, millet is my favorite grain. Although I wrote two books about the crop (published in 1989 & 1990), I had no idea there was a village in Alberta named after the crop.
With antique grain drills and other old farming equipment displayed with fresh potted flowers or surrounded with perennials in every park and public area, it was obvious farming had been the lifeblood of this village. Likely, the crop millet was the major crop in the area when the village on Millet incorporated.
Millet grain is not native to North America and was only introduced (by outsiders) about 150 years ago by German Russian emigrating from the Ukraine.
For thousands of years a crop survived because enough producers and customers found it served their needs. Although small towns are dying daily as businesses close, never to reopen, the village of Millet survives because it’s image produces what attracts customers. It is an absolute pleasure to occasionally find a community as welcoming as Millet, Alberta.
My wife and I have been impressed with Canadians everywhere. For an example, a couple we had met and befriended vacationing in Mexico drove four hours to join us for a wonderful welcoming of socializing and meal after a long day’s ride. It is motivation in so many ways to be surrounded and encouraged as I bike north.
Businesses, farms, communities, and people have opportunities to feel welcome. We do in Canada. Thanks for making my ride even more enjoyable!