Friday, January 22, 2010

St Cloud

Wow....finally back home. Anticipating a much slower pace for the next several weeks. Yay! And thank You, God!

We got home from St. Cloud a few hours ago. There is an annual MN Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference there that we attend most years. Lots of great sessions for growers, technical things for those who do web businesses, agritourism, etc. There is also a trade show that I've been part of for the past three years for a company I represent -- Greenstar Co-op ( -- we get quite a few of our shelf items at our market from them -- gadgets, cook books, private label jams and jellies, pickled items, Amish-made noodles and sauces, snacks, candies, you name it. Tony had been using them for about 25 years and I took over the ordering when we got married. Turned out, the CEO/CFO is a guy whose kids I occasionally babysat in Ohio when I was growing up, who also goes to my parents' small church. Small world! Anyway, I had a Greenstar booth again, and this year, many of the "regulars" commented, "you're still around! I think I'm going to start ordering from you!" Maybe they realize we're not a fly by night company...maybe it's because of all the samples I put out.....but it was exciting because I've been "courting" some of these huge orchards and markets for three years.

This year, however, our farm and market were (was? what's the proper verbiage here? Liz????) also one of the featured growers. We had a presentation to put together -- slide show, commentary, and tri-fold with photos. I'm not a public speaker, but my hubby is even less so, so....I got to do the narration. Although I'm sure Luke is itching to take over in a couple years! He helped pass out brochures and just loved it!

I was amazed at how many of the growers I've gotten to know over the years who told me they were looking forward to seeing our presentation. That they were going to sit in for moral support (yeah, let's add even MORE people in the audience! Just what I need!). Alot of apple growers that I've gotten to know. Some of the sales people in booths around me at the trade show. Businesses who had nothing to do with the session we were speaking in (pumpkins). (there were four other sessions going on at the same time) The presentation went rather well, thank God, although I felt quite nauseous before hand (nerves? something I ate? I don't know....but I felt better after it was over....and I let loose a good belch in private....). We showed the history of how our farm started, with Tony's grandfather and father in southern Michigan before his father moved to our area. The innovations they came up with...and the innovations that Tony is still coming up with. And I opted to put a humorous twist on it, showing towards the beginning several photos of the kids on tractors, showing how we train 'em young and put 'em to work right away...and how there are many different sizes of tractors...and how we are modern farmers.
I did concentrate more than half of our presentation on our pumpkins and pumpkin parties, though, and some of the things that draw people to us. We got lots of laughs....lots of "wow!"s, and some a few good questions towards the end.

But I didn't show this photo....(who ARE those masked men????)
I had a few folks stop me in the hall afterwards and tell me how good our presentation was. I was just glad I'd had that good belch and my tummy was settled down again....and that we were soon headed home, to OUR house where we could once again relax and enjoy a quieter (????) pace.
I was also quite thankful we arrived home safely, with plenty of time for the girls who came to "play" with the kids (read "Babysit") before the icy rain started. And now...we're expecting at least 6 inches of snow before Monday with blizzard-like winds and conditions Sunday evening thru Monday morning.

It was also a bit harrowing because Luke hadn't been feeling well before we left and had been running a fever the two days before we left...and still didn't look quite good. At one point, my little boy hugged me and told me it felt like someone was stabbing him in the heart. Kinda freaked me out. Was my 6 year old having a heart attack??? But it cleared up with stretching, Watkins menthol camphor, and sitting in a very hot and steamy bathroom for about 30 minutes.

Ah.....home sweet home. We were all glad to get here, especially Susanna who informed us during the two hour drive home "I'm car sick." NO!!!!! "No, wait, I mean I'm car TIRED." Of course, she was also the one who wanted to turn around and go back to the hotel within an hour of arriving home.

For me? I'm gonna try and put in a Watkins order (sold lots of stuff, have lots of market owners wanting to sign up, yippee!)....then crawl into bed with my already-sleeping hubby.
PS -- for those of you interested in seeing our slide presentation, when we do our major update on our website in a couple months, I'm going to try to have it posted. Not sure if we can, but I'll let ya all know!

1 comment:

precious grandma said...

Love your pictures!