We made it! A whole winter without the farmers’ market.

This Saturday morning, Reno County welcomes everyone back at the season’s reopening of Market at the intersection of 2nd and Washington!

As per usual, the dearth of winter has been long, yet also as per usual, things are finally growing again.

We made it! A whole year in this column.

You might not have lasted all year; actually, I assume you haven’t read this every week. If you’ve somehow slogged through every article, though, you deserve a medal of bravery and endurance. [Trust me, I’ve read some of them.]

Last week was the 52nd article -- today marks the beginning of the second round of seasons.

Since market hasn’t had its inaugural day yet, it’s hard for me to write about what treasures await our discovery there. So instead, let’s look back on the year—grab your box of tissues if you’re prone to emotional sentimentality.

While I might get a little sappy, I don’t expect much eye-watering from you. Unless, of course, those tears are genuine sorrow--for how much trauma you’ve experienced at the hand of my terrible puns; my swooning descriptions of vegetables; and my, how do you say, “unconventional” recipes.

If I get teary, though, it’ll be because I’m incredibly grateful for this chance to share with you.

Writing is good for my soul in ways that only sun-warmed tomatoes relate, yet I don’t ever sit down and type unless I have to.

And now I have to. Every. single. week. My deadline rolls around and I’m staring at the computer screen late at night and I love it.

This column is good for my taste buds, since obviously writing about the Farmer’s Market and local harvests tends to have an emphasis on fresh produce and quality-produced ingredients. I love the excuse to try and work with more and different local options; the more I focus on seasonal fruits and veg, the more I learn about them, the more I love them.

Some might say it’s a vicious cycle, but I say it’s a delicious cycle.

But most of all, this has been good for my heart. Over 50 weeks of sharing a bit of myself, I’ve received so much more back from you.

I seriously can’t go anywhere anymore without someone recognizing me from that silly little headshot. Half of my conversations now start with, “Are you the one…” I can spot those narrowed eyes and ensuing moment of recognition from a mile away. You spot me at the store, community events, street intersections. Nowhere is safe.

I completely love it.

When I talk about how often people compliment me on my writing, I’m not bragging on me--I’m bragging on you.

I’m blown away all the time by the encouraging responses. I’m not a writer; I have no idea what I’m doing. Every Wednesday I’m nervous, but then I receive an email or kind words, from someone I might or might not know.

Writing about the value of local community for a community as legit as ours is super gratifying and just feels right. You people are awesome; thank you.

Amanda Miller writes a column about local foods for The Hutchinson News. She teaches classes at Apron Strings and makes cheese on her family’s dairy farm near Pleasantview. Reach her at hyperpeanutbutter@gmail.com