Market Day

It is 4:33 a.m. as I am about to click on “Publish.”  That’s early, even by farm life standards.

Today is market day, so we have to rise extra early to get ready.  Fortunately the market is only a half hours drive from here, but we have to pack up everything then set up when we get there. Before leaving I have to feed the pigs, chickens and bees.  I also have to shower and shave.  To make all that happen and be ready when the bell rings at 7:15, we have to get an early start.

Cherie has the signs ready. We couldn't fit everything on them this week.

Cherie has the signs ready. We couldn’t fit everything on them this week.

I was delayed by weather last week and by the video shoots this week, so here it is May 9 and I still haven’t planted our summer gardens.  But some may recall me fretting about being delayed in the spring planting season, and here we are in early May with plenty of fresh goodness for the market.  Nature is forgiving like that.

Last week we sold out.  We probably will again today.  It’s encouraging to see our community slowly but steadily coming to embrace the local food movement.

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25 comments on “Market Day

  1. DM says:

    feed the bees…what does that involve? knowing there is a pretty good chance you will sell out, is a good feeling! I had a stand @ the farmers market locally for a handful of years, with our apple crop. I enjoyed the social aspect of it, but eventually decided there had to be other ways we could market our produce and still allow me to get done what I needed to get done on that day of the week, so we have used our self serve stand, and ad’s on craigslist to move the bulk of our crop now. One of the other vendors does sell some of our apples for us, but it is more of a service for the elderly than anything else.

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    • Bill says:

      We have two newly installed packages of bees so we give them sugar water as a supplement until the queen starts hatching eggs. I noticed last night that they were out and is was too late to make it (you have to let the water cool down after the sugar is dissolved in it). So I made it last night and put it in their feeders this morning by flashlight.

      The farmers market isn’t the only way we sell our products but it’s an important one for us. In addition to sales it helps us meet new people and spread our message. Great camaraderie among the vendors too. It makes Saturday a long day but it’s actually kind of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. daphnegould says:

    Wow 7:15 is also early for a farmers market to start. At least around here. I think 9am is the earliest in the area, but our town has an afternoon one that starts at 2 and goes to 6:30 so people can stop after work since it is a weekday market. Sadly it isn’t open yet. I’ve got another month before it does.

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    • Bill says:

      There are people who show up even earlier than that, looking to grab the best stuff. Our big rush is over by 9 and the market is dead by 11, even though it’s technically open till noon.

      Like

  3. Sue says:

    I’d LOVE it if our Farm market opened up that early. Around here, no one seems to get going very early .
    I sure wish you were closer. I’d LOVE some of that asparagus!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Maybe because we’re a traditionally farming community, there are plenty of early risers here. Although I’ve talked to some people who complain that Saturday is their day off, they like to sleep in, and all the best stuff at the market is gone by 8. We deliver on weekdays to help out people like that.

      Asparagus really is amazingly good this time of year. 🙂

      Like

  4. BeeHappee says:

    Awesome, had a sellout day!!! We are usually on the other side of the table on Saturdays, buying at our great farmers market here which opens at 7 am. 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Good for you Bee. If it weren’t for families like yours, farmers markets wouldn’t exist. Thanks for supporting community-based agriculture!

      Like

  5. shoreacres says:

    Good gosh. Our market doesn’t open until 10 a.m. There is one that opens at nine, but it’s not so popular. Even the big farm I sometimes visit doesn’t open until nine. The picking farm does open at 8 in season, so that people can get in and finish picking before the heat rises. Some of the markets in Houston are weekday markets that are open in the afternoons, usually from 4-7.

    Some of the markets tried opening at 8 when they first started, but the vendors griped — quite rightly — about having to just stand around for an hour. No one started showing up until nine. Everyone seems to like the routine of going for a bike ride or reading the paper, then going for breakfast, then going to the market and picking up produce and taking it straight home.

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    • Bill says:

      It probably varies by community. Here we’re largely rural and traditionally agriculturally based so folks probably tend to get up earlier. There are always people there before 7 trying to snag the best produce, and the big rush is over by 9.

      A farmers market just opened across the border in North Carolina that will start at 4pm on Saturdays, but part of their reasoning was they want to get vendors who sell somewhere else in the morning.

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  6. bobraxton says:

    headed over to Saxapahaw (NC) from Gibsonville – family funeral

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  7. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Wow, 4:33? That’s horrendous! But…
    Huzzah to Markets, to growing Locally, to eating well but, most of all, to adaptable Nature… To our health – all who have life – on this green Earth (and beyond; )

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Well, it’s only a half hour earlier than I normally get up. 🙂 But I don’t feel rushed in the morning any other day of the week.

      I second your huzzahs. 🙂

      Like

  8. Dani says:

    Ooooh, asparagus. Wish you lived closer too… “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” I wish you all three 🙂

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dani. Our asparagus is really good this year, but I think it’s a little too far for you to come. 🙂

      As for the old saying, I think farmers can only reasonably hope for 2 out of 3. But those 2 are practically sure things.

      Like

  9. ain't for city gals says:

    Our little (5 vendors) farmers market opens the end of this month and we can’t wait !!

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    • Bill says:

      My sister lives in the city in northern Virginia and there is a little farmers market like that in her neighborhood. Glad you have an market and good for you for supporting it!

      Like

  10. Joanna says:

    Ooooh! That’s early! It is one thing that kind of puts me off doing markets. I’m hoping that we can eventually get better at organising produce to be ready in time for a nearby camp. That way the food doesn’t have far to travel and we won’t have to be up so early either.

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    • Bill says:

      It’s really not bad. Some farmers travel a couple of hours to reach farmers market in affluent areas, so they have to be up and working at 3 or so.

      We’ve developed a good system that permits us to harvest on Friday and still have fresh produce the next morning. When we first started I’d pick the veggies before sunrise, using a headlamp.

      Like

  11. Zambian Lady says:

    I hope you sold out again today and wishes for successful future trips.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Thanks. I was overconfident. The market was surprisingly slow today, perhaps because it’s Mothers Day weekend here. But we nearly sold out. We brought back some stir fry mixes which we’ll be enjoying this week,so we’re not losing anything. We had one for supper tonight and it was delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Leigh says:

    This is what it’s all about. This is success. This post made me happy!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      We’re seen a dramatic change in public appreciation of not just local food, but food raised the way we do it. I wondered if our rural conservative community would ever get on board. We still have a long ways to go, of course, but things have definitely improved and I think the future is bright. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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