Here we are…the Friday prior to the OPENING DAY of the Staunton/Augusta Farmers’ Market. Long awaited and eagerly anticipated…it is finally here!
As we prepared for what should be our all-time record opening day, I thought perhaps a pictorial tour might be in order. I have written extensively about the Market…I even DREAM about the Market, so suffice it to say the Opening Day is a BIG deal in our lives and the viability of the farm. You can read my other posts here.http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2010/04/opening-day-2010.html http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2011/03/countdown-to-market.html http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2012/03/54321.html
Since we started growing and selling year ‘round, the “big push” of Opening Day is a thing of the past. We take a week “off” at the end of March to get caught up on the big jobs (planting onions, potatoes and the cole crops) and have little difficulty getting back in the “swing” of things. The picking/packing took a little longer, and there were signs to print…but, I am getting ahead of myself.
We work as a team around here in just about every facet of the farm.
where each leaf is picked individually. (yeah, there are faster ways, but I can assure quality this way) Every type of lettuce is checked for edibility…if we bring it to the Market; you can be assured it has passed my stringent taste test. No bitterness, I promise!
The Boss is in charge of the washing and packing.
He weighs each bag to make sure that each one is precisely the same. He runs another quality check and makes every attempt to rid the leaves of any “proteins” that may have decided to make the lettuce their own lunch. He is also in charge of radishes and green onions. He even designed a special tool to process his onions (although I failed to document this).
Working in tandem, we can knock out most of the picking/packing before lunch. On really big weeks, we go on into the afternoon. This was one of those weeks, as we ended up with over 140 bags of greens!
Once the packing is finished, the Boss moves on to making signs and entering the inventory into the computer. I head out to pick herbs and other small things that we sell by the “bunch”.
By chore time, we’re about done. The freezer is stocked with all sorts of meat, freezer jams and some produce from summer. All of the greens are chillin’ in the cooler until it’s time to pack everything up in the morning.
It’s time to relax…
Morning will come quite early. Five AM will find the Boss heading out the lane toward town, trailer of farm products in tow. I will be off to feed and water all the critters before heading into town for a morning of sales.
Opening Day…. #15! Here we come!