Yesterday, I was pushed out of my comfort zone by my wife. Again.
We went to a farmer’s market. To sell things. To real people.
Our garden has always been huge and when there were four of us at home, it worked well. There aren’t four anymore. It’s just the two of us at the “ranch” as my father says, and the garden really has not shrunk.
She went out to the garden to pick a few things for our daughter who we are moving from one spot in Ames to another. She came back with a huge pile of green beans saying, “We need to go to the farmer’s market.”
At that point, I had no logical answer why we couldn’t do this. I’m not sure why we’d never gone, but it has never happened. For me, a big part is my irrational fear of failure, which means I just don’t do it. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I know it’s a part of me. I need that person to push me forward or I can get distracted by something else and never even try the task at hand to know if it’s something I can do or not.
She returned with a small bucket of cucumbers, another large container of green beans, broccoli, and so on. I may the contact with the person in charge of the farmer’s market. She was thrilled someone was bringing produce and hoped to see us that afternoon.
At that point, what choice did I have?
So, we cleaned and organized and got labels for everything. We did a little research about pricing (how much does an eggplant cost??), and then loaded up.
As we drove over, I felt my own anxiety going through the roof because this was so new to me, to both of us, but my wife just talked along as if this were nothing at all. Ha!
I love to say my anxiety was correct and it was horrible. No, I’m glad to say that is was NOT horrible!
While we didn’t know the other families selling, we knew many of the people who came over, either to purchase items from us or the other vendors. We talked about recipes, gardening, “how are your tomatoes”, the haze of smoke that rolled in with the cold front, and many other topics. My wife is a very knowledgeable person when it comes to herbs (we had five there), so she was able to talk about various items created in our kitchen with the herbs we had for sale. One woman purchased so sage, so she and my wife swapped how they used in fresh and dry. She left saying how thankful she was we were here and she’d eat “happy food” tonight with all she’d purchased.
We made enough money to pay for the plants we purchased this year and told the person in charge we’d be back next week. For me, this was a huge win. All I want it to break even, not make this into a side hustle or second career or something else. My wife, she was pleased as punch that of our 8 zucchini, five were cold, including the big one (“the big ones make the best bread”).
Like I said, this was a big old push for me, but again, it was something that I need see, feel, and experience. I’ve always dreamt about making it work on our piece of heaven, and to see the money made pay for the plants we purchased. As we think about next week, my wife is thinking about the produce she can get off the land and I see another few dollars towards seeds or other supplies.
Either way, while we won’t be there every week, we’ll continue to go because it’s a way to connect in the community AND make a few dollars. It’s a way build relationships with community members AND pay for things in our garden.
None of these are bad things. And hopefully, we can find that place we’ve been looking for, and place where we belong to something a little bigger than ourselves!
Hopefully that starting point will be the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers that will come from our garden.
Wouldn’t that be funny, to find a home while helping to feed another?
Life is crazy like that! 🙂