Pre-market thoughts for 9/20…

Good morning.  Just some thoughts before loading up and heading in…

Evidently the DDA (if they are the ones who decide this) are considering cancelling or shortening in its duration the Wednesday Sara Hardy Farmers Market–due to poor turn out.  This is all I have heard and how I have heard it.  It’s an interesting way of framing it.  My sales on Wednesdays are pretty awesome.  I think I have had what I would consider a poor or low-sale day twice this season–and both on beautiful, pre-Labor Day days.  I chalked it up to folks being out doing something else on such gorgeous days.  But there is a much lower flow of people on Wednesday.  However, I would also say that the percentage of people buying to just coming to the market is incredibly higher on Wednesdays, too.  They (you!) are determined.  You have your list.  You know what you want.  You might be willing to slow a bit and consider that thing or those things that were not on your list–but not for too long.  You’ve got places to be and have things to do.  This is the Wednesday market.  It’s a business–for all of us.  There are fewer vendors, too.  Maybe a half to a third of the number you see on Saturdays?  But everyone has to make their call.  They have to decide if that market or day is worth it.  Will I have the sales to justify it?  This may be a difficult presence to commit to if you are not providing staples or consistently sought after products.  But this idea of poor turn out is one I want to better understand.  By comparison, even though my sales and great–and even higher–on Saturdays, the torrent of people who saunter by staring–not even pausing–and filling that parking lot with mass IS much higher, but again, relative to actual sales a much poorer day.  So I guess my message is–as always–to invite you to please do all of your shopping–or the first stage of your shopping at your local farmers market–and if you are in or near TC then to do it at the Sara Hardy.  I want to be thinking about figuring out how to get into a winter market that is not at the labyrinth that is the The Commons.  Not to mention–I am not allowed there–or was not last year–because that market is executed by farmers themselves, and if you are new to the market and you sell what they do you will not be allowed to join it.  Maybe a problem with a few-farmer-run market?  I want to think about expanding the opportunities for more farmers and in a space that is not The Commons, NOT be concerned about a standing venue shrinking or going away.  Wrong direction TC.

So–I need to go but also wanted to share some Morganic Farm specifics with you.

Eggs are still low-ish, though duck eggs continue to rise (I got 14 two days ago!).  I am bringing about half the volume I typically bring–to both markets–likely from here on out.  So if you want eggs you best come early.  How early?  We’ll see but as early as you can–before 9am or 10am at the very latest?

For those of you missing the maple breakfast sausage that is still at least a month out I offer you this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/233007/maple-breakfast-sausage/.  Or you can Google “maple breakfast sausage” yourself and see that all you really need is some plain ground pork–of which I still have likely 30 to 40 pounds of.

I have signage coming this week for my table.  You won’t see it today but hopefully by Saturday.  It will list all of the items I have for sale, pretty much always.  Beyond the eggs I have all kinds of pork cuts available in the cooler to either side of my stand area.  This includes the last few packages of bacon, brats, bulk sausage, chops, ribs, smoked hocks, steaks, roasts, butts, loins, and cutlets (smaller, tenderized steaks that come in 4-packs).  I am also bringing at least one bag of soup bones and one bag of unrendered lard for those of you seeking out these products.  I have lamb left.  It’s in the cooler with the stewing hens–of which there are only a few left until next processing–which could be this weekend if the morning temperatures are cooler.  I do all of my processing outside and cooler temps make it much more pleasant.  I also have eight new jars of freshly rendered lard this morning. (juts checked–looks like it will be next weekend as this weekend will be near 90 both days and in the 60’s next…)

Folks have asked about turkeys.  I will return to raising turkeys next year.  I passed on them this year due to other work volumes but mostly because I some birds remaining from last year’s processing (six currently).  These are bigger birds (weights range from 14 to 20 pounds each).  They are on sale for $3/pound.  If you call or email me ahead I can bring them to a specific market for you.  I do not bring them otherwise because a product like this is not what you typically see folks looking for.

So–gotta load up and tend to a few more things before turning the key in the ignition.  I hope you all have great days, hope to see you at this market, hope you are patronizing the markets wherever you live.  This time of year is so crazy with harvest I simply do not understand how folks could even want to go into a grocery store.  I’m not sure, for the items you could be looking for and that are genuinely healthy for you, what you could NOT find at the Sara Hardy right now.

See you in a few hours.  Thanks for reading.

Stuart