Monday, September 28, 2009

Working the Market

It's been a while since I've actually worked a farmers' market by myself out of the big van. I've been doing a few markets out of our little Honda Element, but that is way too easy. The van carries hundreds of plants, heavy trays of well watered 5" herbs, six big tables, five small tables, a canopy, and an umbrella. In order to get ready for the Campbell Market, I get up at 4:30 AM. (Imagine that, those of you who knew me in a previous life.) I do a few chores are around here - feed the dogs, the cats, the chickens, release the geese, in the dark, and hope the dogs will keep any predators away during those dangerous pre-dawn hours. In the van and off to Campbell, enjoying NPR and the sunrise. I pull into my space on the corner of Central and Campbell Avenue at 7 sharp. Many vendors are already there and most all of the artisans because their spaces are first come, first served. The certified vegetable, fruit, plant, and flower folks have reserved spaces. It took me a full two hours to set up. I had forgotten the moves, the order, the outline of our space. I didn't really know what plants were even on the van, so I wasn't sure what went where. I was set up and ready to go at 9 AM, when the market opened, but by that time, I felt like I had been there for hours. Actually, I had. It was an OK market, a little slow for us, but typical for this time of year. Saw many, many old friends and that was good, and lots of people inquired about Shaun, where was he, the wonderful young man who had done that market for us all summer. That, too, was good. By noon, the temperature was rising and I was busy. Or maybe there were just a lot of people who wanted to stand inside the canopy, out of the sun. At 1 PM, when the market ended, I was totally exhausted and thanking my lucky stars for Gary (pictured) who sells newspapers on my corner and helps me load up. It's hot - 92 degrees, I am very tired, and Gary's help loading tables is greatly appreciated. A couple of people tried to purchase plants after they were loaded back into the truck. Sometimes that is possible, sometimes not. This week, not. Too hot and I was too tired. I am sorry about the lady who wanted dill, I thought I was being polite when she asked if we could unload the plants for her and I asked her to check back with us next week, but she said I wasn't polite and she would wait til that nice young man who was there last week returned. Oh, well.

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