Opening Day at the Farmer’s Market

Last Saturday was the Opening Day for our local Farmer’s Market.  We want to build a presence locally for Belfire Botanicals as well as the farm and we thought the Market would be a great place to do that.  It’s a great little Market, open on Saturday’s from 0730am – 12 Noon and will eventually be open on Wednesdays too as the season progresses.

The Market is located in part of the old Downtown area of Danville, VA in what used to be one of the old train depots.  The building has the really beautiful old, old floors made from heart of pine.  Shined with that aged dark patina of very old wood.  There are huge open doorways on both sides of the building allowing in sunshine and the cool breezes.  The building is probably over 100 years old.  They have lots of vendors inside and outside selling just about anything you could want.  The only stipulation is that it has to be something that you created yourself or grew on your land.  We have our booth outside.  As nice as the inside of the building is….I just have to be outside 🙂

Our tent outside is right next to J&B Plants....such beautiful plants...I don't know if I can resist!!!

Last week was an exhausting week getting ready for the Market.  Trying to decide exactly what we were taking and then getting all of that prepared.  Since I am the computer guru I had the task of making all of the labels and info cards, etc for all of our products.  Don’t get me wrong, I love designing and creating things like that…it’s just that I am so OCD and anal about the finished product (it has to look JUST RIGHT!) that it probably took me a bit longer than it would have if someone else did them….LOL.  First impressions and all that, right?  What you present to the public when they first meet you is what sticks in their minds.  So, OCDer that I am, I finally got the last of them done at 1130pm on Friday night.  Whew!  However, the good thing is that now I have the templates for all of those and can just make changes to them as needed for new/different products.

Variety of Teas

We had about 5 different blends of tea made by TinMan, along with some packages of individual herbs.   The tea blends we took are: Tea of Tranquility (best seller), Plantain & Thyme Tea, Stormfyre’s Sweet Dreams Tea, Comfrey Mint Tea and Harmonic Tea.

French Presses making sun tea

We set up the French Presses and made Sun Tea with a few of the blends for sampling and this went over very well.  All of the Teas are very aromatic as well…..the Tea of Tranquility smells so wonderful it could be used for potpourri!  I’ll see if I can talk TinMan into posting a page on Belfire Botanicals with Info on each tea.  His teas went over very well and we will be adding different varieties as the season moves along.  He was in his element on Saturday talking to folks about herbal medicinals and their benefits 🙂

TinMan inside our Tent

I brought along some fresh artisan loaves of my Parmesan Herb Bread – mmmmmmmm – the house smells like an Italian restaurant when I am baking this bread.  I also brought along some homemade Trail Mix with oats, honey, brown sugar, choc chips, walnut pieces, sunflowers and craisins in it.  We put samples out of both and sold all but one package of the Trail Mix.  Home made bread is a big seller at the Market so I will be flexing my baking skills and trying different breads to sell.  If ya’ll have any suggestions for other bakery items that you like to pick up at local Markets, let me know….I’m always up for new ideas!!

We had a very successful first day at the Market and we were both pleased with the response from customers.  Most were asking if we would be there every weekend and were very open to discussions on herbs and herbal medicinals.   TinMan is going to put out a sign up sheet next week to set up a Wild Crafting class here at the farm and we will also be putting out feelers to see how many folks would be interested in learning about herbs as medicinals.

John, in the hat on RT, from J&B Plants, our next door neighbor booth

I told TinMan the only obstacle I see to us earning any money is the fact that our booth is right next to J&B Plants….LOL.  John and his partner grow the most beautiful plants, mostly herbs, perennials and ornamentals.  I could have spent a whopping amount of money in his little space alone!  As you can see from the chair on the right in our booth….I’ve already spent a little 🙂  He’s a great guy and I think we can end up benefiting each others business this summer.  We use herbs and he grows them, very compatible booth neighbors.

Well, it’s time for me to get outside into my own garden.  It has been a bit neglected over the past few days so now I need to make up time.  I will be planting tomatoes and peppers today I think…..and who know what other mischief I will get into before the day is over!

Ya’ll take care!

Storm

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3 responses to “Opening Day at the Farmer’s Market

  1. Susan this is wonderful! My friend Chris and I have a little business called “West of Thyme”. we do handcrafted soaps, lotions, lip balms and lots of herbal things. I know how much work is involved in setting up a booth. We have an artist colony here and they do first Saturday of the month and we have set up our booth there a few times and it is so exhausting. Your labels are beautiful and your products sound wonderful. Wish could have been there to buy some of your bread and your teas. yummmm. All my best wishes for good luck with your booth and sales to you and Tin Man. Love Aria NightHawk.

    • Thank you so much, Aria!!! I really wish we lived closer together….it would be so much fun! I want to learn about making soaps, etc. too. I do make beaded necklaces and woodburn and paint on wooden boxes that can be used for all sorts of things. Eventually I will be adding those to the market. There are soooo many things I want to learn to do….I just keep adding them to list…LOL. Thanks again for the well wishes and I hope that you and Chris do well this year too!

  2. So glad it went well! You will continue to do well I am sure! You are a winning team!

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