Market Day

Despite the fact that we’ve gone a month with almost no rain (3/4 inch in all of May) the White Flint gardens are doing well. Yields are down in the spring gardens but they’re still providing in abundance. We’re a month behind on our summer gardens now, but it looks like the drip irrigation system is going to save the day.

Yesterday was market day.  That means we spent all day Friday harvesting and preparing the produce (5 am to 9 pm), then were up at 4:30 yesterday morning to take it to the market.

We had plenty to offer:   turnips, dinosaur kale, Red Russian kale, Siberian kale, wood sorrel, Asian greens (mizuna, Tokyo Bekana, senposai, tatsoi, yukina savoy, komatsuna and our stir fry mix), collard greens, broccoli, arugula, freshly cut herbs (dill, oregano and lemon balm), eggs, spring onions (white and yellow), beets, Swiss chard, our gourmet lettuce salad mix (6 baby lettuces), green and red leaf head lettuce, Romaine lettuce, sausage, homemade granola and plants (cherry tomatoes, ornamental peppers and herbs).  

We couldn't fit it all on the sign.

We couldn’t fit it all on the sign.

It’s encouraging to see our community stepping up and getting on board with the food movement.  The parking lot at Food Lion is still full and there are still way too few people buying their food locally, but the food rebels (to borrow a term from EllaDee) are increasing.  We sold nearly everything we took to market yesterday. We’re getting repeat visits from folks who were first time customers the week before.  People are daring to try new things. People are discovering how good food is supposed to taste.

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We’re getting the kind of feedback that makes those long hard days feel worthwhile.

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35 comments on “Market Day

  1. Sue says:

    How wonderful to hear stories of people discovering the joys of eating good food. And many thanks to all of you that provide that.
    We’ve had the opposite of you (and totally opposite of our normal!)—we’ve had over 5 inches of rain this month–double (and then some!) of what we usually get. Strange strange weather patterns.

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    • Bill says:

      It’s the last day of May, and still no rain. I’m sure we’ve had one of the driest Mays ever, since we darn near had the driest May possible. Maybe June will be kinder. 🙂

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  2. BeeHappee says:

    Wow! You guys have a big table!
    “We Deliver!” 🙂
    5 am to 9 pm is not your typical 9 am to 5 pm.
    Is it just 2 of you doing the work without any help?
    Good luck. Our farmers markets here are crazy crowded, and there is one going on in a surrounding town every single day of the week. When my husband was growing up he says main food staples for them kids were angel food cake and twinkies. Your greens sound really good!!

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    • Bill says:

      You can’t see it all in that picture. Even with the other table (not visible) we couldn’t bring it all out until buyers started clearing some space. We’re fortunate to have such good production given how rough the weather has been.

      Farmers markets are very popular these days and increasingly so. That’s an encouraging sign. And a large segment of the younger generations are saying no to processed junk food. That too is encouraging.

      In fact, the greens are delicious. Come on over soon time and have some with us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeeHappee says:

        🙂 Yes, new trends are encouraging indeed.
        I had been researching some programs that allow people to travel and volunteer at farms for food and shelter, like the WWOOF program, which seems to be popular among young people. Even here in the suburbs, now we have a Resilience Institute that hold programs on foraging, permaculture, suburban permaculture.
        My kids are “in training” now, they fed and milked the cows yesterday, fed the pigs, as soon as they “graduate”, we plan to do some traveling and WWOOfing, we will see you then. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ain't for city gals says:

    So happy it is going well for you ! Our little market opened yesterday and it was so nice to see everyone…..I read that when you go to the grocery store you might speak to one person but when you go to a farmers market you have 16 conversations….Your prices look to be about the same that we are paying…

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    • Bill says:

      Cherie just recently told me about that statistic. No one goes to a grocery store to enjoy good company and good conversation but that is definitely the case at a farmers market. There is a great sense of community there. Glad you have a local market to enjoy. 🙂

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  4. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    A journey of one thousand miles begins with… One step at a time…
    An object in motion, tends to stay in motion (and momentum is contagious; )

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    • Bill says:

      I’m encouraged and optimistic. But even as I see more people coming to the farmer’s market, I know it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers going to grocery stores. But, as a friend of mine likes to say, we’re winning. 🙂

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  5. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, God blesses even without rain. I have been praying that the heavens would dump a bit more rain on your crops. Not too much but just the right amount to continue the food supply for the market garden. I say not too much because I’m sure that those folks in Texas did not have what they are getting in mind when they prayed for the drought to end.

    I’m glad to hear that you are getting positive feed back and repeat customers. I laughed at the sign you had at the market garden and wonder if you could deliver some greens to Nebraska. :O Yeah, I don’t think so either. My first round of lettuce is getting close to harvest and one lonely volunteer has supplied three salads of glorious fresh garden delightful eating. The first round of radishes have also supplied a bit of salad mix. The cherry tomatoes are getting closer to ripening and the potatoes are blooming along with the regular tomatoes. Green beans are slow in popping up through the soil but that might be from the continuing night time temperatures in the 40s. What’s up with that. It’s June for crying out loud.

    Have a blessed day of rest? Yeah, my Sunday’s are filled with activity as well. Church, lunch with daughter, cards with mother in law and the day is done. 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      We appreciate your prayers and concern Dave. With irrigation and deep wells we’ll be fine. I feel guilty about complaining when I read what the weather is doing to people elsewhere.

      It’s funny how the growing seasons differ. We’re already wrapping up the spring season with things that are just now coming in for you. Meanwhile, you’re actually ahead of us on some of the summer crops.

      I’ve found myself a little bit behind the proverbial 8-ball (easy to do this time of year) so after our weekly business meeting, I spent the rest of the day driving t-posts in the tomato gardens and preparing to plant sweet potatoes. Oh, and we didn’t get any rain. 🙂

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  6. daphnegould says:

    I can’t wait for our farmers market to open. I stock up on chicken in the fall before it closes and hope that I have enough to last through the winter. Or course what I really need are plums as my plum sauce is almost out, but the plums won’t show up until July.

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    • Bill says:

      Good for you for stocking up on winter food at the farmers market! That’s what we encourage people to do here. More and more people are starting to do it, so that’s encouraging. Your comment reminds me that my attempt to grow plums here 10 years ago was a fail (because I wasn’t around enough to tend to them). Time to try again.

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  7. shoreacres says:

    Yesterday was a banner day at our market. I came home with shelled fresh pintos and lady cream peas, blueberries, romaine and red leaf. Then, I went out to the local picking farm and waded through sloshy rows to pick pluots, yellow and white peaches, and blackberries. I’m going to have to get eating! The tomatoes are almost ready, but they’re hoping for an end to rain so they don’t all split.

    I’m freezing the blueberries and blackberries (save for a pint of two for fresh eating) and probably will freeze most of these peaches, too. Then, I can gather enough each week just to eat fresh.

    Renee told me there was a couple in their nineties who came out last week and picked $300 worth of blackberries. Lots of cobblers? Nossir. Blackberry wine!

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    • Bill says:

      Sounds wonderful! I admit that I had to google “pluots” but now I want to eat some. 🙂 You’re fortunate to have a good market and (especially) a local you-pick farm. The best food is food you picked yourself. 🙂

      Good for you for putting away the blueberries and blackberries. As I just mentioned to Daphne, we encourage people to do that and it seems that more are starting to try.

      Our blackberries are still green, but Cherie is using up the ones she froze last year. So I enjoyed some delicious cobbler today. But now you’ve got me wanting to make some blackberry wine! If only we could add a few more hours to the summer days….

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  8. avwalters says:

    Dinosaur kale?

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  9. Joanna says:

    What a great table and great work! Your list reminds me of the salad we had tonight, it had 12 different types of leaf in it, mizuna, rocket (arugula), chinese cabbage, Tokoyo Bekana, chickweed, fat hen, spinach, carrot leaf, beet leaves, spring onion (scallions?), lettuce, shepherd’s purse – so a mix of weeds and sown plants 😀

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  10. EllaDee says:

    I’m impressed with the volume both individually and collectively you offered. It looks abundant and enticing. Supermarket offerings literally pale, and shelf-lifeless by comparison.
    It’s so rewarding even though we all live so far away to be part of a likeminded community, and yes, a rebellion 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Much of what we offer isn’t available at a supermarket at any price.

      We’ve had several people this year comment that they’ve been surprised that the lettuce they bought from us was still fresh two or three weeks later, while the grocery store lettuce goes bad in less than a week. We tell them that’s because our lettuce was picked the day before, while the grocery store lettuce is probably 2 weeks old by the time they buy it.

      And our lettuce mix, ready to eat, has 6 varieties of baby lettuce in it. Try to find that in a grocery store!

      Keep on rocking the rebellion down under!

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  11. how “sweet” it is

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  12. Awesome!!! Love to see you two slowly but surely changing the world out there!

    Our weather in Oregon has been in near-drought stage for too long. Very weird for our state that is known for rainy springs and summers kicking off closer to July! Our rainbarrels are all empty and our cistern is getting very low – ugh!

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    • Bill says:

      We’re desperate for rain here. It rained a little last night and today but barely enough to settle the dust (it didn’t even register in my gauge). Hoping that changes soon…

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  13. What a beautiful and impressive spread! I’m taking notes on your presentation style. 😃

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  14. farmerkhaiti says:

    way to rock it you guys, your stand looks so alluring and bountiful!!!

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Khaiti. Cherie has done a good job, I think, of making things look nice. Today she’s been working on a skirt for the table. I’m just the unskilled labor/fieldworker. 🙂

      Like

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