July 12, 2006

The Farmer’s Market is a fickle and unpredictable entity. At the last writing, sales for our first Tuesday market attendance were a dismal less-than-forty-dollars. Quite possibly our worst sales day ever! Last night we attended our second Tuesday market, and decided to only sell blackberries on account of logistical constraints. We set a record for sales, coming very close to two hundred dollars! We went to the market with between 60 and 70 baskets of berries, and sold about 2/3 of that. Some baskets we traded for other goods at the market, and the surplus has been brought to my regular workplace today for discount sale.

Recent events have also settled the "Is Hired Labor Worth It?" issue. There is just about no way I would be able to harvest and sort the 50-60 pounds of berries that were picked on Friday. Hired labor did all the picking and half the sorting, and even then, I was still working until 10:30 Monday night to have all the cartons and boxes ready to go to the market. The laborers are fast and efficient, and do the job 85% as well as I would do it myself. From that standpoint, they are actually better, because when time and your aching back are an issue, there is such a thing as doing too good of a job. I fuss too much over the baskets, and past a certain point it isn’t worth it. I’m slower, too!! So we’ve learned a valuable lesson– it is cost effective and time effective to hire help.

And, a recent miscommunication has settled my decision to have Drew teach me "Farm Laborer Spanish." One of the gentlemen was at my house Friday morning, asking me (I thought) if I had seen the troublesome fox running around. I had not, and I answered "no". Well, what I had actually been asked was whether I wanted the berries picked! Ooops, that wasn’t good. The mistake was fixed before the end of the day, but that was almost really not good. It has occurred to me for some time that my years of learning German, Greek, Latin, Armenian, smatterings of Romance languages, and bits of Chinese are not doing me a lot of good when it comes to communicating with the aforementioned hired labor. It is a fact of life here that if you are going to work with laborers, you’d better learn the lingo. And I say "lingo" because this isn’t the Spanish taught in school. The words are different, everything is a sort of slang. But if it gets the job done, that’s fine with me.

Speaking of the fox, new pups have been sighted in the neighborhood. I am feeling rather glum about the animals, which someone is going to end up sending to the Great Beyond. The adult fox was barking the night before for some time….awful sound. I wish they would move somewhere else.

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