Sunday, May 15, 2011

Farmers Market Lessons Learned

Can you see all that rain in the intersection behind this table ?
Well take my word for it, it was WET !

Our first Farmers Market of the Season was a complete disaster. Pouring rain the first 3 hours which made set up of tents and tables wet and cold. Many items were rained on, labels were blown away and customers were scared away. I should've packed my herbs more professionally and most people thought my soap was food and walked away unhappy that it wasn't.

The biggest disaster; I forgot to bring coffee.

                                     Later, I decided our first Farmers Market of the Season
                                                   was an amazing success.

 Despite the pouring rain several Stewards of the Land members arrived  to help set up. Two tents and four plastic "walls" later we had built a nice little fort house. All we needed was a camp fire. I estimate 25 customers visited us in the POURING rain, including a good friend of mine who had worked a 12 hour shift the night before. She drove 25 miles to the Market and then had to drive 50 minutes to get home. She even bought soap, a bunch of soap. How special was that ?!

One customer was determined enough to drive up to the curb, roll down her window and call out her order. "Asparagus !" She cried. Her order was filled and money was collected. Fortunately the local police were not in the area because exchanging money curbside through the open window of a car, can be suspicious.

Kris Travis's display of products from Spence Farms.
  Now why didn't I think to bring some crates ?!

During the quiet times, I actually got to sit and visit with some other members of our group. We talked not only of farming but of kids, parents, grand kids, jobs, life stessors and health  issues. We also managed to talk a bit about dreams for ourselves. I discovered I really did not know these woman very well, the same woman l that I had known casually for some time, and I discovered that I really LIKED them.

If the weather had been perfect we would have missed that opportunity.
We also would have been WARM and DRY...oh well

Here's to next weekend's market ! What could happen ? A tornado ? No problem, we'll just put up a few  more plastic walls, AND START A RAGING FIRE.

         P.S. Special thanks to the Kupferschmids for loan of their business's yard
                                              for our Farmers Market
                         See them at The Antique Shoppe  301 W. Oak St 
                                           Fairbury, IL  815-692-3379


  1. Can't you just see the cops accosting this lady with a, "Okay ma-am, hand that over." Wanna smoke a stalk of asparagus?

  2. didn't need coffee. If you look under the Spence Farm table you'll see they brought bud light!

  3. Walt, you would not believe the number of folks who noticed that box. Man did we get teased about that one. Of course we shut everyone up when we told them it was BEYOND ORGANIC Bud light.

  4. Mybabyjohn, you crack me up. Come work with us next weekend OK ? Really we are worth the long flight

  5. Silly girl! Next week I will make sure you have a thermos of the good stuff! Coffee that is! Although - now that I know Kris had the Bud Light, we might need a little something extra in the coffee! Or try Mybabyjohn's idea about the asparagus! That would be quite the photo opp!
    Hope you finally warmed up - next week's market has to be better!right????

  6. Thanks John. Kris Travis did that one. She has a fun blog about farming as well. Be warned though, she's one of those goofy birds who names all her chickens. Can you imagine !