To Market. To Market (The Self-Employed Reprise) and Hey, Look at all these Vegetables!

I’ve been thinking about trying to describe the rush of emotions I had at our first market on Saturday. There was the nerves, of course – anyone who knows me is aware that I can be a neurotic mess when prompted. Then there was the overwhelming excitement that comes with traveling to a market with food that you grew, which was a feeling I succumbed to every Wednesday morning at Keith’s Farm as we headed off to NYC.

But Saturday was all that and more. As Liv hopped up into my truck in Manayunk, pumped to come set up at market, I felt so proud to have something of my own like this to even be thrilled about. As my CSA-ers and friends came to pick up their shares and check out the stand, their energy and  their excitement for their food (and for some, even their surprise at how good the stand looked) was so invigorating.

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Liv, the world’s cutest market girl.

Stand 1

We set up right in front of my truck on South and Passyunk. It’s convenient and easy and a great location.

But the most overwhelming feeling of the day was gratitude. With every sale, with every smile, with every question and every customer that walked into the stand, I felt this leap of gratitude in my chest. My friends from college and my old office job and my running group believe in me. Strangers looking for good produce or just wandering Passyunk are intrigued at what this farm has to offer. Bob and Jana, the Farm to City folks, where impressed with the stand layout and the vegetables. The other vendors were all fabulous people, and we’re a good mix for a small market.  I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.

Stand 2

stand 3

Get your tasty spring onions and bitter greens.

stand 4

Market Girl Liv. At Keith’s Chelsea and I were the only girls last year, and we were often sent separately to fill the girl role at the stand (some say that people trust women with food more – clearly they haven’t had my cooking). It was relieving and cool to be able to restock and talk to people about the produce while Liv did the charming retail work.

stand

Who knew yard saled DVD racks would be so handy? Folks loved this display, and we sold an incredible amount of transplants at our first market.

The first market was successful in so many ways, and a great learning experience. I know more of what I need to be doing in terms of quantity, variety, and layout. I have a better understanding of what people are looking for and what they are willing to spend. And I have an interested customer base that, with any luck, will continue to grow in the area.

To all of you who have followed this adventure, or bought into the CSA, or will wander through the market some time this year, thank you. You are the people who make this whole crazy and exhausting life so rewarding. And I can’t wait to continue to bring you excellent goods.

Baby patty pan!

Baby patty pan!

All this good energy came out into the field this week, too. Suddenly we have squash coming on, some of the most beautiful lettuces, and all sorts of greenhouse babies ready to be planted into the ground. It’s a beautiful process, and I hope we can continue on this local food road together.

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This is what asparagus looks like when it ferns out and flowers!

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I can’t wait for Saturday, and all the Saturdays to come. And I can’t wait to show you the farm – come up and see this place. The rows are crooked and we’re starting to get into the weed wars, and I’ll probably try to put you to work, but I would love to share this journey with you.

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