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how I started working at a farm market

six minutes to one of the the nicest Kroger's, thirteen minutes to a boujee Fresh Market and maybe another four minutes to just about any other kind of store I wanted. before we moved I had all the options I could want without really thinking about it. the beauty of suburbia. not the case here by the lake.

we're still pretty close to our grocery store, just ten minutes and I'm pretty surprised at how many of the brands they carry that I prefer. I'm pretty particular about my food and that was something I checked out way, way before we had talks of moving to the lake. side note, I love that there is not a self-checkout option in the store. every lane is a real life human waiting to help. the downside is the fresh produce.

our lake life grocery, finding fresh veggies, working at a farm market

the quality of the produce are kind of a let down. and part of my particularness with food is the amount of fresh, whole foods I like to have in our diet. so I tried a few different places, within reason, because driving forever for my food is not high on my list. lo and behold about ten minutes in the opposite direction there was a family farm, kinda out in the middle of no where. adorable.

what I liked about the family farm market

they have plants and veggies and jams and syrup and meat. it's an open air kind of market where the overhead doors invite anyone in and there's little transition from outside to inside. my kinda place. I quickly signed up for their CSA, community supported agriculture share, to get fresh, tasty veggies each week. the ladies working the market were fun to chat with and I found this becoming the highlight of my week, to stop in and see what was new at the market.

so one day I asked if they needed extra help because I'd love to spend a bit more time here, keeping the place cute and chatting with other people shopping for veggies. small mom and pop stores are my absolute jam...I grew up working in them [bike shop, flower shop, office supply shop, quilt shop] and I dream of having one of my own in some form, one day. I'm thinking pollinator garden meets farm market with a splash of local bar/coffee shop vibes. it's still formulating.

turns out they were open to more help and I started working in September 2023.

what I'm learning working at a farm market

I have a lot to learn about the farming world but what better way than hands on. one thing that was surprising is that each morning and every evening, almost every single produce item gets touched to assess quality and freshness. and if something was picked more than a few days prior...out it goes...because the freshness and flavor deteriorates quickly.

working at a farm market, fresh local veggies, farmers hat, gardeners hat, support local farmers

I started learning the difference in the kinds produce varieties, how to sort and display them and when the growing season is for them all. I was keeping the flowers and plants watered and moving so many things around to keep the displays cute and interesting. but my favorite part is definitely meeting and chatting with everyone that stops in. I love to hear the different ways they're preparing their veggies, what brought them in and how their day is going. this is how I got into making candied jalapeños and stocking our freezer full of fresh veggies for winter.

the farm closes for the season at the end of October which definitely fits my style. I can enjoy the market for a bit and then I get a change for the winter months. plus it was getting cold and long being in outside air temps when it was snowing out. there's no heat or a/c at the market and no indoor plumbing. just a barn with some cute displays and a porta-john out in the field.

planting in the greenhouse starts in February and the market reopens late spring. I'm looking forward to getting some different events started at the market again. they had events years prior but as their client base has grown they've started spreading themselves a little thin. so me and Pam, the store manager, will be seeing what we can implement this next year. It'll be a learning experience and beyond inspiring for the future barn-farm plans Bob and I have.


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