Saturday morning and afternoon, Aaron and I attended a Wholesale Success Workshop led by Atina Diffely and sponsored by the University of Minnesota and a slew of other organizations.
Number one thought I had after I left, I am SO glad we don't grow vegetables!! Each vegetable can be so different and there is so much to think about if you are going to do it right. I suppose that's why many think my other job, being a teacher, can be so difficult!
The workshop covered an assortment of topics including:
- How to find the market best for you.
- How to safely and efficiently harvest what you grow .
- How to clean the food you grow and keep it safe while mitigating potential health risks.
- How to store and pack the food you grow to in order to preserve the optimum freshness, shelf life, and excellence for your customer.
It was an extremely informative workshop for newbies like us. There is a lot that goes into making sure food is safe for people and providing the best product available Being that we are starting primarily as a u-pick operation , there are some risks we are able to avoid. Although, that means there are other aspects of inviting others to our farm we need to sort through.
Overall, I was reminded of the great lengths we small farmers go to provide our "customers" what they hungry for: fresh, organic, locally grown, small, relationship, connection, ownership, etc. When you eat food from your local farms, you are putting your money directly back into your ecosystem, watershed, and community. Sure, the people who grow your food in California, Mexico, New Zealand, etc. have names, faces, and communities too. But, what if you got to see the person who grows your food once a week? What if you got to see the land that food was grown on? What if...what if, you decided you could grow a little of your own food too?