Selling Honey at the Farmer’s Market

Last evening my family and I went to the Washington Farmer’s Market to sell some honey. The event starts at exactly 5:00 on Thursdays at the Washington square, and of course we were running behind (who doesn’t with three children?) But we made it in time and set up our card table. (Funny story- we don’t own a card table, but we had borrowed this one from the Jacksons for our family reunion a few weeks ago. We keep not connecting at the right times to return it, but apparently that was God’s intention. Thank you Jacksons!)

There was a very strong breeze, so I didn’t put on the tablecloth. Instead I just bunched it up under the partially-capped frame that I brought for show-and-tell. Afterwards I threw away the tablecloth- it was a cheap plastic one- because it wouldn’t have been worth cleaning off. It was sticky!

I doled out about a pound’s worth of ¬†honey on unsalted crackers for people to sample. After a while I just liked giving people samples for the sake of seeing them enjoy it, whether or not it led to a sale. Next time I might buy smaller crackers, because the standard saltine not only used a lot of honey, but it was a little more than a mouthful and had too much taste to let the honey taste really shine through.

That’s not to say that we didn’t sell any honey! We certainly did! I think we sold 17 one-pound jars. While not enough to cover ¬†expenses for the year, I think that if we go back a few more times we can break even. My goal is to pay off the previous year’s expenses so I can grow a little bit bigger. Some year I’ll decide to stop growing and then we can start profiting? With my luck that year I’ll have to start replacing equipment all over again!

Emily and the girls made the whole event possible. While I spent the evening extracting and bottling, Emily was hard at work at the computer designing the new labels. They’re printed out on 2″ x 3″ adhesive shipping labels with all of the important information. Then the girls, in the morning, drew their bees on them. Gwen was keeping track, during the market, how many of her bees were chosen versus Greta’s. Greta did a rainbow theme- where she colored each bee a different color, while Gwen did multiple colors for each bee. She even had a black-and-gold Hawkeye bee. Thank you Emily and the girls for all of your hard work. In return you get… honey toast for breakfast!

Towards the end of the evening the town band started playing old ragtime tunes (Jelly Roll Morton), Emily bought brownies and ice cream for the girls, and I went over and talked to the other vendors and bought some half-price bread (fantastic! “Multi-Grain Health Bread”). Overall we had a blast at the Washington Farmer’s market. If it weren’t for the Girls’ early bedtime we would go every week, selling or not. As soon as I can get another super pulled off of the mean hive and bottled, we’ll be back.

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