Suddenly, half of the summer is behind us. Whoops, let me try that again. We still have half a summer to enjoy!! Either way, time seems to have gone particularly quickly recently. Hardly a dull moment since we broke soil two months ago. It’s as though we had been hit by a farm.
In addition to the vegetative fixtures of radishes and green onions, we have also put our small plums and some of Dragonfly Farm’s (Paul and Christina) oregano on the stand. We have one yellow tomato that is probably ripe now but should be picked with both partners present (and perhaps a photographer). The first tomato is special for some reason. Maybe it’s the long wait until the fruit appears (some people seed their tomato starts in early February). Maybe it’s because I like to eat them so much. And, now, to sell them. We couldn’t possibly sell the first one though.
Our first week of farm stand sales has been quite successful although neither of us really knew what to expect. We do know that the money spent for the stand has now been recouped (you know, without counting any input costs or labour or anything, just gross sales). We’ve met lots of customers and begun the process of understanding what they want. Pauline’s plant start sales have been robust and I think we will sell out before long, leaving quite a bit of cash on the table. But that’s ok. Assuming we’re still here in the spring, I think we’ll be able to ramp up spring starts accordingly.
We harvested probably 7 or 8 gallons of small plums on this property and Dragonfly’s and we’ve been making tons of jam for the stand. Value-added products are apparently what you have to do to make money in farming but, in our case, it was to provide farm stand filler as much as it was to be a profit centre.
Another popular product is the no-knead bread I bake. Last year Dayle at Haliburton said that farm stands with baking tended to sell more produce than those without. So last year I baked a lot of bread for their stand. I don’t know if it sold more produce but it sure sold a lot of bread.
This week we placed our first sell offer through Growing Up Organic which is basically a middle-man between produce growers and buyers on the island. We offered to sell 5 lbs each of radishes, Hakurei turnips and oregano. Apparently there’s not much demand for radishes at the moment but I’m hoping to offload some turnips … er, that is if they’re ready. On Monday, we find out what, if anything, the buyers want us to harvest for them on Tuesday. On Thursday, we submit a new offer for the following week.
In other news: our homespun sandwich board advertising our farm stand products was a victim of a hit and run this afternoon. I actually heard the crunch while lounging in my Lafuma (yes, I know I’m not a real farmer yet), when I heard something like the sound of a car crash but oddly different. Some yelling, then acceleration. When I got to the end of the driveway, there was a truck 500m one way and a car the same distance the other way. No witnesses. I assume it was a hit ordered by Indigo Farm. And you seemed so nice, Kim.