Monday, June 17, 2013

My Visit to the Farmers' Market

A nice short visit to the farmers' market would do anyone good--loading up on baked goods, rhubarb, and hopefully a few geraniums and tomato plants.  And I was really hoping the casual passerby would load up with geraniums and tomatoes, for my visit to the farmers' market was anything but short.

Thursday I had received a message from a friend who owns a nursery/greenhouse.  It's getting late in the season, so she was wondering if I knew anyone who would be interested in taking some of her flowers to a farmers' market and splitting the proceeds 50/50.  It sounded interesting to me, so we picked flowers up at the nursery, grabbed some rhubarb from our garden, and headed to the Eldora Farmers' Market which opens at 4:30 p.m.  

I was less than delighted to see a large selection of flowers already at the farmers' market, but my flowers were prettier (in my opinion) and our prices were very low; so I paid the $15 (per season) vendor fee and set up, selling a geranium or two in the process.

Geraniums sold for $2 per pot, Roma tomatoes for $0.50 a plant, and 4-packs of Huskie Red tomatoes, red salvia, (purple) evolution salvia, various colors of petunias, and dusty miller for $1.00 each.  

To our right were a couple ladies selling homemade bread.  We bought a loaf of their cinnamon oatmeal raisin variety--it was scrumptious!  The next vendor was a lady selling brownies and more bread.  My papa purchased a plate of brownies for us to snack on while we waited for customers.  Needless to say, it didn't last for long.
To our left was a lady selling Middle Eastern cooking.  I tried some of her flatbread, and that too was delicious!  If you're looking for good home-cooked food, look no further than an Iowa farmers' market!

We had a few customers who each bought 1 or 2 plants each.  Papa and I decided to set up our chess board and play a few games to pass the time more quickly.  Right in the middle of a captivating game, a lady came over and started choosing flower after flower.  She was our star customer of the day, purchasing about $30.00 of plants, so we stopped the clock and helped her load them into her pickup truck.  

When the farmers' market ended for the day, after paying the greenhouse owner's half and tax, I was just a few dollars in the positive.  We still had plenty of plants, so we decided to try the Iowa Falls farmers' market Saturday morning.

*Beep-beep-beep* is not the most pleasant sound to hear on Saturday mornings, but I heeded the message of my alarm clock, and we were soon on our way to the Iowa Falls farmers' market which opens at 8:30 a.m.  
After a rainy night, it was a pleasure to see the sun shining.  The only other vendors were the lady we had bought brownies from in Eldora and the man who sold flowers in Eldora.  This morning the lady had a nice selection of breads as well as brownies and zucchini bars.  We chose another plate of brownies and a loaf of banana nut bread, which was scrumptious.  

My sister and I brought a couple books to read to make the time go by faster.  We were able to sell some flowers and tomatoes, and by the end of the day I had just about broke even (after the entry fee, which will cover the rest of the season)

Thank you to my friend at the greenhouse!  It was a good experience, and I had fun.

 I learned that if you want to make money as a vendor at a farmers' market, it will take persistence, patience, and a good book to read. It's not likely you'll make a great profit the first time you visit a farmers' market, but if you come back for a second and third time, you should gradually make a small profit.

I'm not sure if I have the persistence required for success in this field, but should we have extra garden produce this summer (as we usually do), we now have a place to sell it--the farmers' market.  I also know that if I'm in the mood for delicious baked goods (without making them myself) the farmers' market is the place to shop!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When the Roof Leaks

There's an old story about a couple with a leaky roof.  The wife told the husband, "You need to fix the roof; it's leaking!"  "Honey, I can't fix the roof now," the husband replied, "it's raining."  After the rainstorm stopped, the wife asked the husband, "Would you fix the roof now please?"  The husband replied, "Why do I need to fix the roof now? It's not leaking."  The next rainstorm it leaked even more.  The scenario was repeated until finally not just a little leak needed fixing; the entire roof needed to be fixed.  I'm not sure if they finally fixed the roof or decided to move to the barn, but this story clearly demonstrates the evils of procrastination.

In Proverbs 24:30-34 Solomon relates, "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."

Yes, we have the instinct of self-preservation, and we try not to hurt ourselves; but often we fall victim to the vice of procrastination and hurt ourselves by missing out on much that life has to offer.    "Just 15 more minutes of sleep!"  we say as we hit the snooze button on the alarm clock.  We finally wake up a half hour later and realize we missed out on a beautiful, invigorating sunrise walk.  "Oh, I'll do my studying later!" we say, and we flunk the test.  "I'll make things right in a few days," we think after wronging a friend.  The days pass, then the years, and we find we have no friend.  "The weeds in my garden can wait!" we declare, and pretty soon we have no garden, only weeds.  "I need to conserve my energy, Why give my all at work? " we may think, and before we know it, we're fired.  

Laziness and procrastination are expensive habits; we pay for them in everything that is most dear.  If we indulge in these habits we lose time and money, hurt relationships, and fail in life.

Colossians 3:23 instructs us, "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord."  Put your heart into your endeavors, start with the little things, go on to greater things, and when the roof leaks....fix it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Truth

Jesus Christ said in John 8:23, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Pilate said, "What is truth?"  and condemned Jesus to be crucified.  

Like Pilate, many find it easier to lethargically accept lies and acquiesce to the mob rather than to seek the truth.  Even if the truth is plainly before their eyes, often they will reject it.  Winston Churchill observed, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

Why?  The truth is not always pleasant.  The truth is that life won't be easy.

The truth is that life will be hard, but God will give you strength and grace if you realize your own weakness and trust in Him.

The truth is that people will fail you, but God never will.

The truth is that you will have to work hard to find success.  Only if you realize this will you be free to rid yourself of the vestiges of lackadaisicalness which hold you back.  

The truth is that you can never be "good enough" to get to heaven.  Only when you realize this can you accept God's gift of salvation.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

Without the truth, all is anxiety, doubt, and obscurity.  Seek the truth in every situation you encounter.  Seek the truth in all you hear and do.  And accept the truth no matter how difficult it may be.

My prayer for today is, "Lord, 'send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.'"  --Psalm 43:3