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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rainy Afternoon 69

It's raining today which has messed up my plans to harvest most things today and pack them tomorrow for the Saturday farmers market in Oxford (which has a brand new website Oxford farmers Market dot com) . Sigh, it looks like tomorrow will be a long day. Picking lettuce, spring mix, kale, radishes, arugula, etc., early in the morning. Washing up what we have harvested mid morning than bagging in the afternoon. And opening the store at 11am and waiting on customers who stop by throughout the day. I am trying to avoid pulling 18 hour days on Friday so I have more energy to devote to Saturday.

Washing will take a while as everything will be super dirty and likely full of slugs. I always put a 1/2 cup of table salt in the water as this does two things:
1) Salt water keeps greens very crisp and re-hydrates wilted greens
2) Salt is a slug's mortal enemy and when they hit the salt water they release from whatever they were on, sink to the bottom of the wash tub and die. This is one of our slug controls.
And it means the greens are usually free of slugs when sold (but if you buy our greens, Please wash before use because you never know...)

I have the store open right now but, as usual, rainy days tend to kill farm stand business. Ah, c'est la vie. I would like to take a nice nap but the store is open so I cannot. Instead I sit typing and listening to the rain pour down on the roof occasionally picking ticks off my body and burning them with a lighter (we are still going chem free with the dogs so we get a lot of ticks. I am beginning to question this decision, as the poor dogs are getting scabby where ticks have been removed and seem to be avoiding Eugene and me now that quality petting time means tick picking and killing time).

I have seen Stewie the cat. He is living under the store and for the past week has allowed us to see him and even talk to him before he slinks away. I guess he is realizing he cannot stay angry at us forever and we feed him tasty food (some organic cat food we picked up at the cut rate grocery store B&D Grocery, in Richmond, IN for $6 a 6 pound bag). Yesterday he visited the store but quickly left when I came in carrying a crate of produce. I am happy he did not decide to spray the store.

So I wait till 5 o'clock rolls around to close the store. it is an easy task to close up now that we have a fridge on the sales floor. In the past I would put out things that really needed to stay cold on the unrefrigerated shelves and hope things sold quickly. By the end of the day everything that did not sell would have to be gathered up and put back into the fridge in the back of the building or taken into the house to be eaten ASAP or tossed in the compost. This took up to 20 minutes depending on how much stuff we had (melon season is the worst). Now I just have to shut off some lights, count the cash drawer and remove the money, bring in the "Open" signboard and turn the other open sign around so it says closed. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

The one bad thing is only one of the two fridges I bought on eBay works (and I am not too sure how long it will last) and it is already pretty full and we have just started the season. Though soon we will be getting more stuff that does not need to be in a refrigerator like tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, squash (though the zukes and other summer squashes prefer it cold), etc.. I gotta say the fridge has been a huge improvement on many levels. Maybe I will spend my gummint stimulus check on another used fridge as the Commercial fridge repair guy said we should be able to pick one up for around $800. A newer fridge (the eBay fridges are circa 1977) would use a lot less electric and be cheaper to repair.

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