posts tagged with 'farm stand'
Our farm stand is open again, and as always Harvey and I are excited to get the farm products up there to give away. It's always a bit of a struggle, giving away free vegetables, baked goods, and plants, but we had an exciting success this evening when the gentlemen trying to sell us on upgrading our internet service took a tomato plant.
Of course, we've made some changes for the 2014 season. I moved the stand up on to the porch, hoping to solve the problem of sun-damaged produce; it's a bit better than the roof we built over the stand last spring (visible covering the tomatoes in the right-hand side of the photo above). Of course, balanced against any shade advantages is the fact that having our offerings on the porch might make our shy customers even less willing to take something. I'm combatting any such reluctance with a program of sitting in the rocking chair next to the stand playing music on Harvey's ukelele: who could resist such a draw?!
Harvey is a great help as always, and it's exciting to see him take ownership of the operation. As Leah described on facebook the other day, he explained his choice to wear the Drumlin Farm shirt thusly: "Isn't this shirt so pretty? I'll wear it out at the farm stand. Then everyone will know I'm the farmer. Because I pretty much AM the farmer." As such, he's useful in the garden too, when the mood strikes; he pulled all the radishes, for example, (oh how he looked forward to that task, asking me daily if they were ready yet) and he's in charge of the cherry tomato plants for the season.
If you're in the neighborhood you really should stop by for a visit. Besides radishes right now we have garlic scapes, occasional cookies, and lots of plants. Act soon if you want tomato or eggplant starts—they won't be around for much longer! But there'll be something whenever you come by... at least through October.
We started up the farm stand again today. No vegetables yet, naturally, but we're well stocked with eggs and perennial plants. In our first couple minutes of operation we moved a daylily, and since it was only going next door we even provided full planting service as well! Harvey carried the shovel, and Zion brought the empty pot back home, so don't anyone say they were just there to look pretty.
Harvey advocated pretty heavily for cookies at the stand; I think there was a little bit of self-interest at play there. He also took seriously his assignment to tell anyone who came by about the eggs, but I think he was relieved that there weren't any potential customers while I was inside. Zion only dropped one egg carton, and none of the eggs broke completely: they should all be fine for family consumption.
We'll add some more things tomorrow. Maybe even some cookies.
Well actually we can, a little bit. But it takes some doing! The other day I made scones and put them out with a very attractive sign, but had no takers—none outside my own family, at least. Yesterday we added eggs, to no avail (though I was able to persuade a friend to take them at closing time). Today I went all out with the cookies and the flowers and all, but it wasn't until Leah was outside doing some direct marketing that we were able to move some cookies, tomatoes, and jalapeños. Who knew a free store would be so much work?!
You'll notice, by the way, that the stand has seen a number of improvements since its early days. The signs are particularly fun, and one neighbor mentioned to Leah that she was enjoying them, even if she hadn't actually taken anything. That's something, and I do admit that making them is half the fun of this whole enterprise; I suppose I'm at least as much designer as farmer. You'll notice that Harvey continues to help with them, and even designed his own, visible at the bottom of the pole. Truly this is a family business!
So Leah tells me that folks are interested in our little farm stand. As you can see, it's not much yet—but we're already thinking about how to expand!
As I may have mentioned before, I like to grow "crops" in my garden. That is, I want to plant enough beans that we can, on any given day, pick enough to serve for dinner. We've got the space; might as well take full advantage of it! The only problem, as you have no doubt already perceived, is that enough beans on any given day means that many beans, at a minimum, three times a week. We can't quite handle that much. In this particular case we don't have to because the beans aren't doing as well as they might—but suffice it to say that we have vegetables to spare. Here's a way to get rid of them!
At the same time, I don't want to discount the—what is it?—radical anti-capitalism inherent in this effort. It's early days of course, and we're not going to bring down the Whole Foods produce department or anything like that, but there's something very nice about sharing. I've always felt like I should be giving away food, but I tend to not be forward enough to visit with people and bring them things. This way I can share with more than just the friends who come to visit us.
In theory, anyways. One of the problems we're having with the stand so far is that sitting out in the sun all day isn't really good for tomatoes and peppers, so I don't want to pick tremendous quantities to display. On the other hand, if there's not a lot out there then people won't feel comfortable taking anything. A conundrum, but one that can probably be solved by a few weeks of steady operation—to get folks used to the idea—and a roof over the stand to keep out the sun. That's in process; we had an umbrella for a while but it blew into the street and got run over.
So there it is. I hesitate even to mention it here, so limited and insignificant is the effort thus far. But it's something we're doing, and I suppose advertizing won't hurt either. So if you're in the neighborhood, come on down!