Well, a frantic summer is finally starting to ease off a bit. Last weekend was the end of the season for both the Tillamook Farmers’ Market and the Manzanita Farmers’ Market. The only remaining market we have now is a one-off event, the LNCT Harvest Festival. I expect it to be pretty fun; since most of the tourists have left for the season, this market is usually only visited by locals, and is a very social event. We’re also extra excited because this will be the first time we’ve had our own booth (normally, we sell at the community table, abusiness incubator). The lady in charge of the market, as well as the other vendors we know, are enthusiastic to have us as well. There is apparently a lack of produce vendors in the region, and most farmers’ markets are trying to increase their percentage of farmers vending (as opposed to craft/ baked goods vendors). It’s funny to think about what we were worried about when we started this venture: available market. Turns out, there are a lot more buyers than sellers for this sort of thing. And the other sellers are very collaborative, and excited to have us in the game.
This week was also Emily’s last day as in intern at R-evolution Gardens. After an entire season of helping Ginger on her farm, Emily is now a seasoned veteran of hippie farming. This spring we decided it would be a good gamble for her to work for free for 20 hours a week to get a lot of experience, and now we realize that we did the right thing. We’re tighter financially than ever before, but she picked up a lot of confidence and practical knowledge that will really serve us well next season. Farmer Ginger took us all out to pizza to celebrate, saying both goodbye to her intern, and hello to a new local grower.
Even though the market season is about over, we still have a lot of stuff coming out of our garden. At the harvest festival, we will be selling corn, squash, two types of pumpkins, onions, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, and potatoes. We are also going to sell some canned goods, like pickles and dilly beans. This June, the governor signed the Oregon Farm Direct Bill, a new piece of farmer-generated legislature that allows small farmers to sell value-added products at markets, within certain parameters.
Canning for sale is a sideline right now, the real reason to be canning is so we can keep eating all our tasty produce through the winter. In the last few weeks, we’ve canned blackberry jam, dilly beans, sweet pickles and spiced peaches. The peaches weren’t from our farm, they were a trade from a friend of ours at the market, so we can’t technically sell them… but that’s OK, we just want to eat those. Yum.