Plans in motion

The strawberry transplants in the last post aren’t just one task on a never-ending list of farm chores.

They’re part of the tentative plan that’s hatching in my brain for next year: I’m thinking about opening a tiny roadside produce stand! Maybe just a couple days of the week on the honor system (wish I had a mail slot, oh well) with a billboard saying what I have available & leading people up my short driveway to a laden table. You don’t need a license or permit to sell produce where I live, so this sounds pretty feasible.

I have a three-part plan:

1) Plant lots of what has done well for me in the past. My plans include fancy lettuce mixtures, flats of seedlings, strawberry plants in pots, peppers, basil, heirloom tomatoes & cucumbers, wildflower bouquets. Maybe I’ll sell seasonal stuff too like broomcorn – who knows!

2) I won’t bother too much about trying to plant & sell crops that have failed repeatedly for me in the past: broccoli & cauliflower (damn caterpillars), squashes (damn vine borers), corn (damn groundhogs & raccoons), fruit (damn deer).

3) Steering away from labor-intensive crops like peas & beans & potatoes. Lots of labor – hours of picking – for the price of…. well, beans, literally. Of course I’ll still grow some, but just for us.

4) Upselling the seconds. I plan to set everything I harvest out in the morning. I don’t have fancy fridges, and stuff hidden in coolers won’t sell well, so most likely it will be all wilted by the day’s end… but that’s ok. I’ll bring them all in and can them up. Those wilted tomatoes = spaghetti sauce. Soft strawberries = jam. Cucumbers = relish… you get the idea. Canning skills for the win!

First steps first though – step one should really be FENCING! We have GOT to put up a real fence. Even if at first it’s just a trenched, 3′ high fence to keep the groundhogs out – because they’re an even bigger pest than the deer, believe it or not! – I refuse to plant anything more until the garden’s better protected. (Why is it that any plans I have for the farm always begin with us spending a whole bunch of money???)

So those are my dreams for the future – plenty of fodder for me to muse on all winter long as I’m cooped up inside. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited, though I know that it may not actually happen. Really we’ll have to see how the farm does next year to see if this is even feasible! Cross your fingers for me.

One Response to “Plans in motion”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Mail slot…I have seen a cash box bolted to a table with a combination lock on it and a slot cut into the top.

    Squash, I had much better success this year with yellow squash! I planted the yellow and zucchini side by side…I’ve only seen 2 zuchs but have had a ton of yellow squash. I did have a few vine borers but I cut open the vines early and they mended well.

    Wilted seconds, also seen honer system stands have a bunch of Ice under the veggies. If you have room in a freezer, keeping a bunch of filled h20 containers freezing them every day when you bring in the produce might help. Also just having them in the shade helps a great deal.

    I’m a regular farmers market shopper;)

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