Saturday is the official start to our farm stand season. I'm excited and overwhelmed, as usual. Excited to see our returning customers, excited to make new friends as well. I love being able to provide wholesome, responsibly grown food for my neighbors. Excited to see what this growing season will bring, how new vegetable varieties will fare, what new canning creations will come out of my kitchen.
But overwhelmed, too...I've been slowly freaking out about the garden. The things I had planned on having for sale this weekend, by and large, just aren't ready to harvest. We planted them at what should have been the right time, but chilly temperatures and too much rain means they are taking longer to mature. Dan says not to worry, that folks will realize it's been a hard year to farm, they won't expect much this first week. But then I remember the lady who asked me if I wasn't hiding just a couple tomatoes behind the counter opening week last year. Despite the fact that we just set out the transplants Monday, I'm pretty sure that I'll hear that again this week. And I do see part of my job as a farmer/farm stand manager as educating customers about what is possible when you are growing and eating seasonally. In education circles, this is not a crisis, just a "teachable moment". But at least my rhubarb isn't letting me down- if nothing else, I'll have tons of that!
It's also overwhelming to think that I won't have another free Saturday until December, but that is farm stand life. I'm just fortunate that I no longer work away from the farm, and that Dan works with his brother, so we can take time during weekdays to do things that most people have to save for the weekends.
The table won't be bare, either. I have a nice selection of canned goods- flavored and home fermented vinegars, a variety of jams, mustards, and two barbecue sauces, including a brand-new creation. When spring hands you rhubarb and you're sick of making jelly, you get creative...and end up with Sweet & Tangy Rhubarb-B-Q Sauce! I'll have fresh herbs and even a few pots of chives after thinning my own bed. We're heading to Chambersburg today to pick up our raw milk cheese (it's the only thing we sell that we don't make ourselves) from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus. I'll also be heading to Hirsch's to pick up our beef and our lamb kielbasa on Friday. We'll have eggs too.
It's a busy time. I also hope to can just a few more batches of things, maybe dry some herbs. The stand needs scrubbed, tables recovered, signs and price tags need to be made. Maybe weed the garden, definitely mow the grass...which means blogging any more thoughts will need to wait til next week.
We hope to see you at the stand on Saturday! Come visit us between 10:00-2:00, right here at the farm!