Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winning Friends, Influencing People and Cheap Spinach


Today I learned a lesson over again. You can't please everyone all the time. You can only please one person at a time. Today was not my day.

I learned something else, too. Slugs will eat holes in your Wong Bok. They will also eat holes in your Romaine lettuce. Fire ants will take up residence in your raised beds, laughing at you because they know you refuse to use poison (diatomaceous earth slows them down and even makes them move, but then they come back and with a vengeance.) I hate slugs. I'm thinking of inviting them to an all-you-can-drink beer-fest. "Leave your keys at the door, boys and girls!" Heh heh heh.

When I price my spinach, Romaine lettuce, radishes (let's not forget the voles that take tiny, teeny little bites out of the radish JUST as it becomes ripe, the little twirps), turnip and mustard greens for market, sometimes I have to remind myself that here in America, we pay less for our food than most other developed countries. It seems bizarre that I would labor for hours, days and weeks over a few ounces of spinach only to practically give it away. Especially poignant is when people say, "oh, it must be nice to stay home and garden. I wish I could do that." But they forget that there are no acrylic nails here, the hair salon visits are years apart, and that hands are not Palmolive soft - they're more like #50 sandpaper and catch on any nice clothing you may have, but not wear, as it is too muddy, dusty, or you-name-it out there.

Today I learned that I really appreciate all of the things that Captain Strong Arms does to make our lives just that wee bit easier. Like the automatic chicken waterer. And the goat milking stanchion. And the list goes on. He was out there with me in the greenhouse tonight, until just a little while ago, holding the flashlight. Yes, you read that right, flashlight. An 8 am farmers' market in a county 30 minutes from here dictates an evening harvest. We'll see how everything holds up.

I'll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow.

Happy Farmers' Marketing everyone, 'tis the season! Support your local farmers, don't haggle them down on price, and ALWAYS WASH YOUR PRODUCE before you prepare it.

Cheers!

7 comments:

Uwharrie Heirlooms said...

Good luck at the market.

Jenny said...

We've not yet had the slugs and fire ants but we have had a lingering winter combined with the fact that we're still learning. Our spinach came up and is growing. I would be enough for us to eat, and probably enough for a market booth, but it isn't enough for the wholesale order to the co-op. And last night when I figured how much we could get for it top dollar, it was not really what I had expected. So I totally hear ya, all the way down to the sandpaper nails. Best wishes and good luck at the market! I'll be anxious to hear that you sold out. :)

A Daughter of the King said...

My chickens love slugs and snails! I wonder how much they would bring at market as chicken treats, maybe in a mesh bag, still moving? :)

Sheila Menendez said...

Thanks, Hugh!

Sheila Menendez said...

You have had the wind, Jenny, and that is a LOT! I did sell out yesterday, but then again, I hadn't brought a whole lot, either. It was just right. I could have sold a few more bags of spinach.... ;0)

Keep me posted on yours, I wish you all the best that learning can provide. It's the best teacher, this trial and error (the hard way) that we can learn from.

Sheila Menendez said...

Becky, I'll have to check the market rules and see if insects/chicken fodder are allowed!!!! ;0)

Fresh Eggs Daily said...

Ducks too. Our ducks go nuts for slugs, and especially those fat white grubs. Maybe a mixed bug bag?