farmer’s market-ing

We have, approximately, 3′ x 4′ of baby salad greens, a host of summer-spicy radishes, and exactly nothing else.

We’re going to the farmer’s market, baby.

(Quick note: I recently moved this blog from blogspot to wordpress, so there’s going to be a bit of a glut of posts today. And, since I started this blog after we started the farm, there’s going to be some catch-up to do anyway… so for a while, a least, there will be flashbacks interspersed with current events.)

For a while we’ve been stressing out about when to start going to the farmer’s market. How much produce do we need to have? Will we look like fools if we only bring 10 bags of salad and a few radishes? Or is it better to show up and start building a customer base (perhaps a foundation of pity or sympathy), so that by the time we have — hopefully — heaps of corn, tomatoes, beets, winter squash and zuchs, people will be primed to buy our stuff? After much internal debate among the farm’s proprietors, Farmer Number One (Emmett) called the kindly Farmer’s Market Coordinator, who heartily advised us to start this Sunday. (This weekend, she pointed out, is some kind of garlic party for the farmer’s market, so there should be lots of customers. In honor of garlic day, Emmett’s advocating bringing a few of our garlic heads to round out our produce — but the garlic, which was planted six months ago before we knew we’d be starting a farm, was only ever intended for personal consumption. I keep pointing out that if we sell our garlic but then have to buy garlic later, we might end up losing money, because garlic won’t be in season and it might cost more than we sell it for. I’ll let you know who wins the garlic fight.)

For the past couple of weeks, as we debated the date for our farmer’s market stand grand opening, we’ve also been frantically looking around for other things to sell, to assuage our feelings of inadequacy. Rosemary from Emmett’s parents’ garden. Tarragon from Emmett’s parents’ garden. Ditto on their sage, until we learned that Mexican Sage isn’t in fact edible. (It’s a deer deterrent.) Prickly pear patties from a prolific cactus hedge, until Emmett’s dad informed us that you can only eat tender new growth, and have to cut the cactus back in order to encourage it. We’ve been praying that the blackberries, which run rampant along the Russian River, would ripen. (They’re starting to turn pink, but are in no way edible right now.) We even considered foraging for the wild garlic that grows in the vineyard, a blatantly silly endeavor because the cloves are t-i-n-y and usually buried in the dirt without an obvious stalk. I advocated buying chickens so we could sell eggs (and I want chickens, anyway), and Emmett’s dad advocated selling old grapevines for barbecue firewood. (Apparently it has a nice fragrance when burned.)

But I think, when push comes to shove, that we’re just going to be sitting at our little stand with some lettuce, radishes, a bit of rosemary, and maybe a garlic head or two.


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