To Market To Market

Posted on January 24, 2013

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I am drowning in a sea of unexpected jam and jelly popularity. & of course I love it.

We managed to snag (with some name dropping and knowing people, I believe) a table at The Roosevelt 2.0‘s Tuesday Twilight Market. The idea was originally to sell our produce and plant starts and to sell other things as a sort of side show or extra – things like jam, jelly, bread, homemade soda, etc. but it seems the the produce has become the side show and people are all over the jam and jelly. This is fine, but I’ve a bit of organizing to do in order to crank out the necessary amount of Bourbon Vanilla Tea Jelly that the people seem to be demanding. I was unaware of the consequences that would come from a sample of jelly ruining a whole lifetime of PB&J’s (or so one person said).

So far I’ve made canned goods including:

Bourbon Vanilla Tea Jelly
Candied Basil Juice (Tea Jelly)
Not Your Kindergartener’s Grape Jelly (made with cab sav)
Strawberry Lavender Preserves (organic, made with our lavender)
Taco Turnips
Lemon Curd
The Bellamy (strawberry jam, rye whiskey, chocolate mint)
The New Bellamy (add ghost chile powder to The Bellamy)
Blackberry Lemon Zest Jam
Spiced Granny Smith Applesauce

The plan is to start making the series (Honor Series) of jams, jellies, pickles, etc. inspired by friends/family. The Bellamy was the first of that series, though I decided to have an unspiced version as well since it was so good both ways. The first thing we sold out of was the Kaleisia tea Bourbon Vanilla Tea Jelly. It is delicious as a tea, and just as delicious as a jelly, as the sales said very clearly.

I am excited about trying other recipe concoction ideas I’ve come up with, but if we keep having people come back for the same things that they like, I may not have the time to experiment as much as I’d like. I have some blueberries in the freezer and plans to make more pickles, but my time is a bit limited.

Let’s also not forget the fact that in my seed collection I have 85 distinct varieties of heirloom, non-GMO tomatoes that an be started. Tomato season is upon us. We have several plants ripening in the yard and I’m stoked to plant a bazillion more, but I’m afraid I won’t even be able to fit one of each variety in the yard unless I only grow tomatoes. At this current moment I don’t know if I would care too much if all I planted was tomatoes since I ate one that ripened mostly today off the vine and fed the less ripe top part to the chickens. I couldn’t wait. I needed tomato. It had to happen.

I’m still so impatient for that gypsy tomato. I’ll feel a little bad selling people tomato starts for plants that I haven’t even tried the fruit of, but I can only hope they would be as anxious as me to get those bad boys in the ground and to taste their fruit.

We have met awesome people from our two days at market and we came away with a star fruit tree start from a local in the Ybor area who appreciated what we are doing with our food. It’s nice to meet people who are happy for what we do despite the fact that we are small scale and have no option to change most of that at the present.

Hubs keeps knockin’ the fact that we can’t bring much of many things, but I keep reminding him that we aren’t a grocery store and nobody expects us to be. If we only have a few bunches worth of grown up kale to bring, nobody is going to be upset because they expect us to have more. They might want more, but what we have is what we have, and the people that want it will buy it. I especially love taking requests from people at market and being able to tell them, “Oh, well we have that at home, but didn’t bring it today, I’ll bring it next time,” or ” Sure, we can grow some of that for you or get you some seeds.” We opted to do produce as donation or “pay what you can” so that everyone has the option and people can support us as desired since we are still putting a decent amount of cost and work into getting the place going and selling things is really more to break even than it is to make a profit at this point. Anything above that will just be extra to invest into this little urban farm we love so much.

Come see us next Tuesday in Ybor at the Roosevelt. Market is from 5-10 pm. There will be more Bourbon Vanilla for those of you looking!

Next up is the post on fostering rabbits that I’ve meant to put up here since the New Year’s, but clearly haven’t…

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Posted in: food