We started selling vegetables professionally in 2003 at the fair grounds in our County. In its day the farmers market was a focal point for the community, everything was there as the seasons permitted. Butchers, bakers, and I bet candle stick makers, as well as, other crafts and household items. Fast forward a couple hundred years and we arrived to a revitalization effort taking place, the fair ground management wanted to get the market up to the old day standards and we were happy and lucky to be on the ground floor and helping.
We had joined the Maryland Small Farm CO-OP after hearing a presentation of what the CO-OP was about and how it worked. It was a group of farmers that tried to pull resources, and hold educational seminars that had experts in the field come in and talk about their specialty and actual farmers talked about the good and the not so good of what they do. We learned that the CO-OP had a stall at the farmers market and they were looking for vegetable growers, They had some one selling Emu oil, hydroponics tomatoes, baked goods and dressed rabbits, but not enough variety of vegetable growers.
We jumped at the chance, you had to be set up by 9:00am and the day ended at 2:00pm on Saturdays. Because we are so small we tended to harvest in the morning and take it for sale that day. This meant revelry by 6:30; everything picked and loaded on the truck by 8:15 and on the road to the fair grounds by 8:25 and setup by 9:00a.m. We did this for three years until late in 2005 growing season when my wife became ill.
For the first three years during the spring and summer we committed our time, efforts and energy towards growing vegetables, customers and our confidence in ourselves. After hearing farmers speak about farmers markets I believe each and every one could write a book about the experiences attending these events and the people they meet. I admit I have a ton to learn about growing, professional interaction with full-time farmers, customers and most important JARGON.
It was a hot Saturday in July a couple of years ago; we had just started selling our vegetables on a regular basis. There were other vendors there as mentioned above. A young mother comes by and sees the sign for dressed rabbits. Honestly, I did not know at the time what that really meant, but I heard the mother say to her little curly headed blonde child that they were selling dressed rabbits, "Look honey they have dressed rabbits maybe we can get one in sailor suit." I heard the man politely tell the woman that she could buy a live rabbit but that it would not come with clothes. Without having to ask I now realized that dressed is one of those euphemisms for "prepared" or "processed" or "ready-to-eat". This made the innocent statement endearing, “Look honey they have dressed rabbits,"