(Re-posted from my original blog on Blogger). Nate and I have signed up to be volunteers at the South Durham Farmers’ Market (http://www.southdurhamfarmersmarket.org/). We helped out for the first time this past Saturday by setting up before the market opened – 7AM. I am sure that people think we are crazy for being up so early, but honestly we are up every day around 5:30 or 6AM because of Deacon. Setting up at 7AM works better with our schedule than taking down everything when the market closes at 12PM.
The other nice thing is that the market is literally just around the corner so we can leave a few minutes before 7AM to get there on time. Nate contacted the South Durham Farmers’ Market Manager, Elizabeth, to ask how we could help out. The morning set up involves setting up several tents, tables, cones to block off the parking lot, etc. We helped by moving tables from storage over to the parking lot. It’s amazing how fast set-up can go when you have several hands to help out! In addition to Nate and I, there was another woman there to help out. She, coincidentally, also lives in Parkwood 🙂
We set up the kids’ tent, which is where kids can come and do arts and crafts and play while their parents are checking out the produce. The tent was actually really easy to set up – you just pull apart the four posts (helps to have 4 people!) and they lock in place. The backdrop was painted with a barn, tree, and some farm animals and was attached to the top with Velcro. Very cute.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also signs and cones used to block off the market so that cars don’t drive through – apparently that has happened in the past!
Unfortunately, they do not allow pets in the market so we couldn’t bring Deacon. It only took us about 30 minutes to set everything up including a table where they sell Farmers’ Market T-shirts. Naturally, we both got a t-shirt to support the market!
I think it would be neat to be a vendor at the Farmers’ Market in the future. You pay an annual fee of $75 as well as a $15 daily stall fee for when you are there. That would mean we would need to be able to sell enough to cover those costs. Of course, right now we do not have any excess produce to sell, but it is fun to think about. Nate also sent me a list of the top most profitable specialty crops to grow. This includes Bonsai trees, mushrooms, Ornamentals, gourmet garlic, etc. (http://www.profitableplantsdigest.com/10-most-profitable-specialty-crops-to-grow/). I’m just taking it a day at a time to see what we can grow with our current set up of raised gardens and eventually the greenhouse.
I also came across this neat site that describes 8 foods you will never have to buy again (http://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2014/08/8-vegetables-you-only-need-to-buy-once.html). We are already growing garlic, and I plan to keep one bunch from the ones growing now to use as future garlic! I thought it was interesting that you can regrow carrots just using the tops. If I can get this new crop of seedlings to be successful, I will definitely be trying out this trick. The last one that I thought was interesting was that romaine lettuce can be grown by reusing the bottom of the head. I bought a bag at the store today (sorry Farmers’ Market) and once we eat a few of those, I would like to try regrowing the lettuce.
Support your local farmers! Go to a Farmers’ Market near you – the produce is fresh and delicious and usually about the same price, if not cheaper, than your grocery store.