This is Labor Day weekend; a weekend where, for many, it is the last "official" weekend of summer. School starts here in Park Rapids next week, although for many of you, it's already started where you live. You aren't supposed to wear white shoes after this weekend (I'm still not sure on the reasoning on that one...but for me, even if I wear white shoes once, they won't be white again...that's what happens when you live in the country on a dirt road with a dirt and gravel driveway!).
For us at the farm and market, this weekend is the busiest and craziest of the year. Yesterday, we couldn't keep up with produce at the market...they had to bring corn in three times, cucumbers and egg plant (I'm still trying to figure THAT one out!) disappeared as fast as we put them out, cabbage and tomatoes were in high demand, as were peppers, carrots, and beets. The dill was gone before noon, and pickling cucumbers vanish pretty much the moment we put them out. Watermelons (especially the yellow ones!) and muskmelons are a sweet addition to many of our customers' menus, and that's just the produce that WE grow! The cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and summer squash didn't move as fast, or maybe it's just that we have an abundance of them right now and are keeping up pretty well. Then, when it came to all our other goodies -- jams, jellies, honey, syrup, salsas, snacks and candy, and all kinds of fun kitchen gadgets -- our employees were running like mad to keep things stocked (but sorry, folks, we're all out of pickled sweet cabbage stuffed peppers for the year now...gotta wait until next year! And if you want any beet balls, there are only two jars left! Hurry in before they're gone.....)
And as crazy as yesterday was for the market (one of our afternoon employees had to be dropped off down the road since her mom couldn't drive close enough to the market!), historically today's sales are about 1/3 higher than yesterday's. It's a fun, busy, and exciting time for us! It's also such a blast seeing customer reunions -- at this time of year, we usually have three or four a week -- customers who grew up together but haven't seen each other for years, sometimes decades. We get our "regular" summer customers coming in one last time to load up on produce before heading home for the summer -- one family comes in each Labor Day weekend with a HUGE cooler they fill up with sweet corn as they head back to Alaska for the winter. Now there is something wrong with THAT picture....heading back to ALASKA for the WINTER???? Anyway!
I am so thankful for the business God has blessed us with. I'm thankful for our loyal customers -- long time ones and new ones. I'm so thankful that, after a slow start this year due to road construction and a cold spring, God has been abundantly blessing our business. But I'm even more thankful for the bounty He's provided from our garden, both for our customers and for us to eat now and save for the winter. I'm even more thankful for the employees God provided for us this year, both at the farm and the market -- they are AWESOME!; for my husband who works so hard and my kids who are following in our footsteps -- mingling and talking with customers (Luke informed some customers yesterday that our prices aren't cheap but they are good!), going with Daddy to pick corn, cucumbers, beans, strawberries, and more. I am thankful for each of you, for your prayers and encouragement as I've been going through health things this summer...and so thankful to God for giving me strength and endurance to get through each day, sometimes minute by minute!
After this weekend, things start to wind down for the year. We'll be closing in two months until next Spring! And while things slow down during the week, we're also gearing up for the fun and crazy Pumpkin Parties that are starting in just four weeks! So many new and exciting things for this year!
Come visit us sometime, whether you're from the area or not. Check out our website and see what you're missing -- www.redwagonfarm.net -- we'd love for you to have a little taste of what God has blessed us with!
And for now, I gotta go...Luke is upstairs laughing at his dreams, and I'm going to have to wake them up soon so we can get going for the day...it's gonna be a busy one!...but I'm gonna let them sleep a bit longer while I go take a shower.