What I learned:
- produce safety how-to
- cottage food laws
- We have more friends than I realized.
- Many people like knowing where the food comes from. Our customers got to tour the poultry area, the chicken condo, the hoop coop for the ducks, and our gardens. Little children seem to be fascinated by it, as did many grown children. And any time we got some friends or relatives together, there was sure to be laughter!
- Advertising helps. People get busy. No matter how pretty the baked goods look, no matter how fresh and nicely produced the eggs are, no matter how tasty the tomatoes and other veggies are, things don't sell if no one is there. Word of mouth advertising is best.
- There is so much need. We made a lot of people happy each week with donations we were able to give to local charities, fundraisers and emergency shelters.
What I suspect:
- Some people don't want to know that meat comes from animals. (That's a pity because farm children who learn that also often learn to have compassion for the animals. Sometimes, so much compassion that they become vegetarians! A balanced approach might be better, maybe just eat less meat.) Likewise, I suspect that a whole lot of people either don't want to know or truly aren't aware that much of the produce that goes to supermarket and restaurant chains is harvested by slaves, much of it on American soil, an epidemic that grew rapidly in the 1990's starting in the tomato production industry and is just recently being addressed by the Dept. of Labor, the FBI, NGOs and local law enforcement groups. It's hard to see because when slave workers are used, they are kept hidden from view with no way to communicate. Most agricultural workers are NOT kept as slaves but slave labor does exist in the (mostly southeastern) U.S., where people are owned and forced to work in horrible conditions, so please be aware.
- There is a group of people who, if they knew, would have more compassion for livestock animals than for human slaves who are involved in the production of food.
Would we do it again?
YES!!! This year would prove to be the start of something good for us and for the local community. In spite of drought, our gardens produced after depleting our well of its water twice. In spite of my flawed attempts at producing cottage foods, I had some loyal customers who appreciated not having to do the baking themselves to have dessert or homemade bread for their families. In spite of the depressed economy, we broke even I think. In terms of humanity, we came out ahead! Had we set out to make a lot of money, we would be disappointed. Instead, we brought something new to our local community in the form of fresh eggs from uncaged poultry, safely grown vegetables, and homebaked goodies that were made from the heart, often with fruit grown locally that we picked ourselves. Having a farm market was a lot more work than I expected when we started out, but this was a labor of love (no slaves involved!) for a community I very much love.
|Look for our farm market next year when, again, I'll be offering Mrs. Pauley's pies!|
If I limit my cooking to ten cottage food items next year,
what should they be?