Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two New Markets

Went to two new markets this week. Royal Oak Farmers Market was Friday from 10-4. Was very slow with few vendors, but one of the vendors - the bread lady - told me that when the farmers come back it picks up a bit. Was the only one outside with plants and had a lovely spot in the warm sunshine. Wasn't bad sitting for a while but finally at 1:30 I decided to pack it up. Since it was my first time there I wasn't charged any rent for the space, so I did come home with gas money. I'll go back as the people I did meet there seemed interested and hooked up with a landscaper who wants a quantity of wildflowers for a special client. So a relatively promising market.

Saturday was the Old Winery Farmers Market in Farmington. Again, was the only person outside so I had my choice of space. I chose a spot by the front door which proved to be a wind tunnel facing into the east wind. Was terribly cold. I had neglected to bring my knitted blanket and just had the small down comforter wrapped around my legs. Despite wearing five layers and long underwear, I went home freezing. Was a good market, however. Foot traffic was light but the people who did stop by were eager to see the plants. I had brought a selection of herbs, trilliums and cyclamen plus a couple of flats of beat-up vinca and a roasted flat of pansies. Since I had put the pansies outside without any protection they have gotten a bit frost-nipped. Sold trilliums and herbs plus the occasional cyclamen. The real bonus at this market is that the vendors were so nice and welcoming. Made a trade with the wood guy and got a rosewood spindle for winding yarn in a special way. Bought lots of tea from the tea guy and saw jewelry I'd like and got some handcrafted pesto goat cheese. I think the herbs do well at this market as it is sort of a "foodies" market with organic produce and meat plus interesting breads, dips and other good things to eat. Nice cafe there too with very good food. Looking forward to the next three Saturdays for return visits.

Talked to Vicki about going to the Saturday Oakland County Market. She has a car with fold-down seats and could fit a few flats in there. Since we are harvesting so much produce this week we'll definitely have enough to supply two markets. I said I'd pay her for her time or a commission, whichever she wants.

Cleared out some seedling trays and a few herb flats out of the Oakland County greenhouse today and brought them to my greenhouse. My greenhouse is now filled to the top with trays of herbs and seedlings. Am not sure if I can pot up the seedlings and put them directly outside under some frost blanket, but think I may have to due to the constraints of space.

Gearing up for the OPEN HOUSE on Sunday April 28th from noon to 4pm. Hoping we get some nice weather to get out the fire on the grill and invite some people for good food, good conversation and a good time. Got to clean up all the debris in the yard before then and start bringing plants from Vicki's over here so we'll have something to show off. The plants in her greenhouse all look good - particularly the Raker's plugs - so green and healthy and just about filling the pots. The flats at the Oakland County greenhouse from seed also look very nice and beefy.

Ordered more herbs as I am out of cilantro (yuck!- I hate the taste!), catnip and I know we'll probably run short on basil. The plugs are a good size and are coming from Raker's - they said they had a big sale going on, I never know what price I pay when I ordered from them because they have a complicated code system and volume discount plan and the price is never apparent, but I know they have great quality at a reasonable price. Also ordered more stock from Bluffview Nursery and got a larger quantity of wildflowers. More Trilliums, goldenseal and a few other natives. There seems to be quite a market for native plants and people have been asking for them. The plants should be coming soon this next week so I have Vicki, Pam and maybe a new employee to us an old friend to me - Erin. All the ladies are broke - including me - but I'd like to get them all some money this week.
Puschkinia and Glory-of-the-Snow - Easter 2010

I'll finish with a picture of a spring past. The first bulbs in my yard are the pale blue-striped Puschkinia and the pink and blue Glory-of-the-snow or Chionodoxa. They form a naturalized drift under some Amelanchier and reseed freely. Potted up some Scilla and Grape Hyacinths but I don't know if I lost the bulbs as they are not showing yet. So we'll see. These pale spring beauties are just now starting to make an appearance in my yard and I think we have finally turned the corner and are welcoming spring.

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