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Farmers' Market

Our First Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ Market or Bust

Well, it’s been a long trip over the last two weeks or so to get to this pinnacle in our journey to the local Farmers’ Market. Well, on Thursday it finally happened and I must say we were quite excited about how well it came out.

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi

It was a big opening for us, but small in size because we only had one tray of microgreens ready to bring with us. It was a batch of Purple Vienna Kohlrabi, a member of the cabbage family. Since we had only started getting into growing microgreens two weeks ago, we were actually trying to see how long it took for them to be ready. Luckily, for us, we guessed close enough to be right with the kohlrabi. We hope to have more variety for the next market, but only time will tell as we experiment with growing times.

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi Microgreens

At the Farmers’ Market

Here in Arizona, it gets hot during the summer months and Thursday was no exception. When we arrived at 8:30 in the morning to setup our little booth area, the temperature was already hovering around 95. By the time the market officially started at 10 o’clock, it was already 97.8 degrees outside and there was no shade at the market other than the shade created by our canopy. The day finally reached 104 degrees by the time we took down our canopy and headed back to the ranch.

That didn’t stop us as the kids happily helped put together our little part of the market. I was somewhat surprise to see people already milling around to look at the various booths under construction at the time we arrived. It was a first for them getting into how everything should look. I left the display up to them. After-all this is there growing project and their first outing at displaying it for the public.

We wanted to make an educational experience as well as a business display. We brought along educational literature about microgreens in general and about Purple Vienna Kohlrabi specifically. I brought along a laptop with the intention of showing some of the videos we have made showing the kids actually demonstrating what they did to get the kohlrabi ready for the market. Unfortunately, I forgot about laptop screens in outside use being almost worthless without sunshade and minor adjustments. I will not forget for the next outing.

We also brought along a tray of radish microgreens that were only four days into growing just to show how the growing greens compared to their ready to harvest kohlrabi we were selling.

Four-day old Colorful Radish Mix Microgreens

Once we were setup, we could relax a bit, we hoped. It didn’t exactly turn out that way. The crowd was already growing in size and since we were the new kids (no pun intended) on the block it seemed many of the lookers wanted to come by just to see what we were offering. The kids, collectively jumped up to eagerly engage the people with their new found knowledge of microgreens. It was cute, because each of them had their own angle on what to tell them, sometimes all at once. I was there just run interference when they got off track. All in all, the kids did great. It was a learning experience for them. Even as the day went along, I heard them interject things I had said earlier to someone, into their teachings.

How We Do Microgreens

Now the way we grow microgreens is to spread seeds densely on pure Coco growing mats and place them in food safe trays. Spray them for 30 seconds with pure water Ph balanced to between 6.0 and 6.5. The tray will hold eight of these mats at a time, so we only brought one tray of microgreens or eight full pads.

I had tried to emphasize that we may not sell any of them the first time, but I was just as inexperienced in this new project as they were. I didn’t want them to feel bad and lose heart if nothing sold the first time in the shoot. To my surprise and the kids great delight all of the pads were gone within the first hour of the market.

The faces have been changed to protect the innocent known only as J1, J2, J3 and I’m the R

At The End of The Day

We had one pad left that a lady had already asked us to hold for her. With three hours to go before the end of the market, we could have packed up and left, but we all decided to stay and provide exposure for anyone stopping by. We did our show and tell project as many people stopped by just curious as to what we had. We explained about microgreens and passed out business cards and brochures. Many asked if we were coming back next week and we assured them we were going to be in residence from now on.

All-in-all, the day was a fantastic first for all of us and a definite keeper. We had fun, even roasted a little under the ☀, while learning a little bit about the Farmer’s Market and how it goes. The people were great and very friendly. They seemed to be fully engaged in the learning experience right along with the kids.

I would give it a big “Thumbs Up” and we’ll be back again for the Farmer’s Market next Thursday, same time, same place. Until then, see you again!

Happy Growing!

Uncle Ralph

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