August 07. 2005

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.

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