This is the time of year I mentally call "the summer doldrums". It’s when the heat, the weeds, the bugs and the problems have done their damnedest and I’m not sure I care. The weeks on end of hundred degree temperatures have left their mark. It’s hard to do much work in that kind of heat. When I hear the reports on the radio concerning that laws are needed to make sure farm workers get shade and water, I shake my head. I believe that if 99% of the people tried to do this kind of labor in the summer sun for an hour, they’d collapse and swear off fruit and vegetables forever. I know that I can’t really do it, and I do it a lot more than most people. Did that just make sense? If not, blame it on the summer doldrums too.
This stupid computer ate my post, so here goes AGAIN.
Yesterday’s Farmer’s Market accomplished a lot! We sold out of our flowers in 90 minutes. In some ways I am a lousy farmer. An elderly gentleman in a wheelchair wanted some flowers for his wife’s birthday. He told me “Three things happened on this day. My wife was born, some good friends of ours were married, and they dropped the atomic bomb.” I gave him for two dollars a bouquet that, according to my stated prices, was about $6. I tend to be generous to the detriment of the daily earnings. In some ways, I just feel silly charging the money. I planted my zinnias at a cost of nothing whatsoever. The seeds were saved from last year, all I did was sprinkle them on the ground and start watering. Some slight weeding and fussing later, I have a patch of incredibly showy flowers. I know that florists charge a lot more, but it feels nicer to see people go away with a big smile, thinking they’ve really had a nice deal. This is something I really like about the Woodland Farmer’s Market. Folks are friendly and like to converse, and it has an atmophere of community and mutual support rather than the coldness of commerce. Besides, word of mouth means a lot, and those same people may come back over and over as a result of generosity. Next week I will be sure to cut more flowers, since they seemed quite popular all of a sudden.
The market was more worthwhile because we met a local beekeeper, who very nicely agreed to help us get started in apiary. Hopefully we will meet with her soon, and can get some hives going before autumn begins. Also there were UC Master Gardeners present at the market, and they imparted the wisdom that we are overwatering our tomatoes. I am not watering differently than in ther years, but given the poor showing thus far, I’ll try their advice.
Also the week before I attended a very scaled-down egg sorting class given by local agricultural officials. I learned more about candling, and was able to ask a lot of questions about grading and packaging for the public. Mostly I sell to private parties, but it was informative and good information to know.
The last post sat around for more than a week while I didn’t get back to it, so all that’s left is to add the update. Having investigated and bidded our way through most of the last calendar week, we seem to be in good shape concerning most of our improvement projects. That is, as long as our loan/refinancing is funded (at the end of the day, the bank still owns everything, right down to the thorns on the boysenberries).
I haven’t written in awhile! But excuses abound. The 10th through 17th were spent improving the Neilsen ratings for Star Trek: TNG reruns on Spike TV. In other words, I had the cold from hell and was down and very out for an entire week. The "optimal sick" is when a person ails too much to be at work, but not enough that reading, writing, crafts and light housekeeping are still reachable goals. Unfortunately, this was "abysmal sick", oh well.