The Farmer’s Markets are almost over for the season. Julia and my official duties of local markets (Bernardston and Northfield) have stopped for the season. The Farmer (Our Farmer) is still doing South Hadley (in front of the Odyssey Bookshop) on Thursdays and he has just started doing Northampton’s Tuesday Market behind Thornes’ Marketplace from 2 to 7. (We are hoping to be at this market next year every week.) Tomorrow, late in the day, we hope to all be at the Northampton Tuesday market so stop by if you are local.
We all have spent an enormous amount of time setting up our booths and sitting and trying to sell our pasture raised frozen lamb. I liken the whole experience to the trade shows I used to do when I worked for the yarn company….. set it all up, hope people will come, talk about your product you are passionate about and believe in and hope to collect orders or cash. There is good and bad about every week - mostly to do with the weather and how many people show up to shop.
What I didn’t think about, going in, was the relationships that we would develop with the other vendors and the customers. That has been the most rewarding part of attending Farmer’s Markets. Julia is really mourning the loss of the Farmer's Markets. She has so enjoyed talking to all the vendors. They have been incredibly patient with her and for that I thank them.
Most of the markets offer some kind of food for sale as an enticement to get shoppers to come to shop and eat a quick dinner. Julia seems to be constantly starved (growing girl, you know). After severe begging for a grilled burger every week, I decided to teach her where money comes from.... I told her that she couldn't have anything to eat unless we sold some lamb. I would say that this has been the lesson of the summer for Julia. She is beginning to know where money comes from and how hard it is to make. There have been market days where we have sat for 4 hours and not sold a thing. She hasn't eaten..... And she has not complained. She knew that no cash means no food. It has been a great life lesson for both of us. For her, she is starting to know where money comes from. For me, it has been that she is starting to pay attention to such things....
Here is the wrap-up of our local markets complete with photos of the vendors and some of the customers.....
Ervin and Gloria from Coyote Hill Farm grow the most amazing fruits and vegetables. Every market, I shopped for dinner knowing I was buying fresh, organic veggies that were unbelievably fresh and delicious. Ervin and Gloria came to their farm in Bernardston after careers in Boston. They grow an acre of veggies organically (although they aren't certified). They take such care with all their fruits and vegetables - from selling and describing them to packing them away into the neat brown paper bags they send their products away in.
Some of the delicious watermelons from Coyote Hill Farm....
Flowers also are available from Coyote Hill Farm....
Julie (not Julia) is a jam and jelly maker from Guilford, Vermont. Julie is incredibly witty and funny and a joy to be around. She sells plants early in the season and then moves on to her own canned products. Her stand is always neat and tidy and there are always delicious samples she gives away.
I love the colors in Julie's jam and jelly display.
Alexa and her mom Nola make delicious cakes and cookies flavored with lavender. Nola's mom Doris (who died at 92 a couple years ago) planted a large field of lavender which they both tend and harvest. Nola is a nurse by trade and a horsewoman in her off hours and Alexa is a bubbling font of humour and cheerfulness. Both Julia and I enjoy their energy so much.
Kerrie is a fellow "meat girl." She and her family run Wells Tavern Farm in Shelburne, MA. They raise pastured heritage breed pigs, rare breed cows, and heritage turkeys and chickens. She and her family also sell their meat through their website "Wells Tavern Farm." Her bacon is the best - maple cured from heritage pigs! Yum.....Kerrie also writes a nice farm blog...... Kerrie's blog link.
Robin Severance sells sweet maple products from the sugar bush she and her husband Milt farm in Northfield, MA. If Julia wasn't diabetic, we would be very good customers! But Robin loves Julia just the same.
And so, on to the latest Preview from Color By Kristin.... This is a Fair Isle Shopping Bag that is knit in the round and then embroidered after finishing. Although it is named the Knitters On the Go Tote, it would easily hold groceries from your local Farmer's Market. The strong and sturdy handles are from Homestead Heirlooms who I met up with at last year's Baltimore Stitches Market. I sewed them on after finishing and lining the bag. I have put a complete photo set of all the projects from my new book up on Flickr. Here is the Flickr Link. If you want to have a quick browse, it is the easiest place to do it. I will continue to write about my projects here, until I am done showing you all the fun projects included in my latest book.
You can order my new book here on my website. But by all means, please buy it from your local yarn or bookstore if they carry it. They need your support.