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Monday, July 16, 2007

A Strawberry Crisis of Minute Proportions

We had a very busy weekend that was quite profitable for us. Kona Bistro in Oxford does an annual local/organic foods week at the restaurant and ordered a lot of food from us and he Saturday Farmers market in Oxford was busy as well. That mean harvesting double the usual amount of food and having no strawberries for Saturday's market which bummed a lot of people out.

Harvest started on Thursday, mainly for the store (which is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday 11am 'til 7pm) because we were short on some things, like strawberries (because I made jam out of the ones picked over the past weekend and early in the week that did not sell at the Tuesday market) and onions which are just starting to come in and beans because beans need picking every other day or so.

The store was reasonably busy Thursday. 6 people came in most wanting strawberries which has never happened before. Usually the berries are a slow seller. I didn't care because I had already sold 15 pints to Kona and any extras would sell at the Saturday market. Than I start getting emails from farmers market customer ordering large amounts of strawberries, Again, something that has not happened before. Than I go out in the late afternoon to pick more berries and find the patch that has been giving us 11 to 13 pints per day can barely cough up 6 pints. OH NO! We have hit he mid summer lull. So I quickly go back to the store and pull all the berries off the shelf, now realizing I will barely have enough to fill Kona's order and none extra for market if I sell any more at the store. I tell all the emailers that I will not have any berries at market so cannot reserve any for them.

Friday I go out late in the day to harvest more berries and once again find the harvest is low. But I do get enough berries to fill the restaurant order and all is good.

I should have gotten the berries in the morning but I had to harvest and pack a lot of chard, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, carrots, peas, green beans, beets, basil and other items for both Kona and the Saturday market.

At 6am Saturday Morning I load the van with a lot of food and we drive down to Oxford and set up and sell a lot of produce at market, despite having no berries. After market we stop at the Top O' The Hill Day lily farm and buy a couple of expensive lily corms (which we will pick up next Saturday). I had never been to this farm since it stopped being a horse farm. I was well aquainted with it as a horse farm as I boarded a horse there in the late 1980's.When I was a little kid all the teenagers in my neighborhood (the subdivision across the street) had horses and boarded them here. And that starerd my addiction o horses which is in a lull a he moment. After the day lily farm we picked up our raw milk and han went home. Took a nap and than got back in he van and drove back to Oxford for a pool/dinner party at our friend Chuck's. Had a great time swimming, eating and communing. It was good but long day and we will do a virtual repeat next week minus a big restaurant order-have to pick up the lilies, and milk and in the evening we go to Lisa Biales's CD Release party in Oxford

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