If every day were Saturday, life at 4 D Acres would be tough to handle. Fortunately it comes only once a week.
Saturdays are Farmers’ Market days, and because the markets open at 6:30 a.m., our day actually starts on Friday afternoon. We begin by stocking the freezers on the truck and the trailer with emu meat and chicken which will be available for sale at the market. Then our emu oil products must be inventoried and strategically loaded in market crates to make placement easy once we arrive. Following a check list, we also make sure that we have sales receipts and calculators loaded with appropriate sales tax rates.
In addition to all of the prep work for the next day, the current day’s obligations must be handled first, phones answered, orders filled, packed and shipped by 4:30 p.m. If the phones are busy, the inventorying and packing for market must wait. All in all, when we make it to the post office before it closes with the outgoing orders, and to bed by 9:00 p.m., we consider ourselves lucky.
No matter what time we get to sleep on Friday night, we follow a strict schedule on Saturday. That means that we rise no later than 3:00 a.m. to quietly shower and dress so we don’t wake the rest of the household. If any orders come in via the internet during the night, they are handled immediately. Our goal is to leave the house by 4:00 a.m. sharp and head to the local gas station to fill up the gas tank, and get a hot or cold drink for the drive ahead.
Mike arrives at the Overland Park Market* around 5:00 a.m. to begin setup, a process that has now become second nature. Set up the tables with product, signage, and our newsletter signup sheet. David arrives around 6:00 a.m. with to pick up the truck, also loaded with a freezer and products and heads to the Merriam Market* to set up his area. From 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mike and David spend the time talking with customers and market attendees, as well as other vendors. Both sell product, answer questions about the oil, the meat, the bird and the 4 D Acres farm. If it is not too busy, they take the opportunity to fit in a breakfast break, buying food from one of the other vendors.
Once the crowds retreat, the process begins its reversal, repack everything and load the trailer. Meeting up again around 2:30 p.m., Mike and David head somewhere to enjoy a late but welcomed lunch before heading back to the farm to unload.
Dinner is usually ready by the time the unloading is done and we enjoy our meal before heading to the office to input the sales for the day. On a good day, this is all done by 7:00 p.m. The plan is then for Mike and Dee to relax in front of the TV for a while before it is bedtime. Inevitably, Mike falls asleep on the couch and Dee wakes him about 9:00 p.m. to tell him it is time for bed.
So as you can see, there are not enough hours in the day for every day to be Saturday. For that we are thankful!
*Because of Mike’s farm commitments and David’s work schedule, they currently are not doing the Saturday Farmers’ Markets.