Friday, August 10, 2007

To Market, To Market....


Well, back to 'work' for this gal! My weekends are my work days off the ranch, selling our natural grass-fed lamb and beef.. Tonight I will be at the Pendleton Market (1 1/2 hrs away), tomorrow at the Baker Market (17 miles away). My route also includes La Grande & Boise (the schedule is posted on our www.sextonranches.com website).

Our Farmers' Market season is from mid-April through the end of October... Sami and Jake have grown up with the markets (I helped start the Baker one about 7 years ago as part of a Master Gardener Project, when the kids were 2 & 1 at the time!). I love that our kids have a hands on understanding of our ranch business, from beginning to end. It's wonderful that they know what their dad does for work, as well as their mom, and that they are 'in the thick of things'. Every day is take our kids to work day.. At the smaller markets they get to play, seek out other kids, and do their own shopping with the money they earn from helping me. At the bigger ones, they are glued to my side. Sami, who is 9, is now helping me with the sales. She loves to run the scale, tell people their total price, and 'man the ship'. Counting back change is our next lesson.

The markets are awesome. Each has it's own sense of community, a make-up of regular customers and vendors that have built strong friendships over the years. Our customers have become our friends, who also have an interest in our lives, our success and often thank us for what we are doing - raising healthy animals, without hormones or antibiotics, in a grass-fed environment, so that they in turn are eating a safe and healthy product. I recently read an article on the eatwild.com website (we are in the process of becoming members) that breast cancer has been linked to added hormones in meat! UG! We are what we eat.

The markets are also my face to face connection with the outside world. I get to visit with people, and I get to people watch! Yep. I am one of those. Now, keep in mind I don't get out much, and my 'world' is very small! I am posting a photo taken at the Boise market last Saturday... I did get permission to take the photo. Boise is our big city, and is 2 1/2 hours away...

5 comments:

Tami B. said...

Great photo and such a lovely story about the markets. I still remember the lessons learned from running our weekend lemonade stand, so your kids will learn so much from helping at the markets.

Leah said...

Gotta love Market Season! And I love your blog too!! -Leah

Dawn said...

Andi,
That is one huge lizzard. ick ick ick..... Looks like the markets are a lot of fun. hmm, I don't eat a lot of beef because of the hormones. Does your meat taste different??

Pam said...

Great to see you yesterday at the Pendleton Market, Andi! Glad you got started blogging. Ranch living that can be so isolating and confining at times, is a huge dream of many. You are giving it such great dimension! See if you can work Lynne Klippel's Book School Preview into your schedule. Feels like you and Lynne would be a great fit.
www.ruralentrepreneurs.com, Blog Post: Friday, August 10th. Pam

*karendianne. said...

Andrea,

Auntie Alice gave me the link to your blog and I'm so glad she did!!! This is fabulous. I really enjoyed reading about your days and experiences the kids are having.

All my love, *karendianne.

http://leehaven.blogspot.com/