Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's flea market adventures...and a surprise

This morning my friend Mike and I set off to the flea market at 4am. The people there told me that it got so busy that I should be there at 5 or sooner to get an open spot. All I can say is one word..........LIARS! lol There were quite a few people set up, and others arriving with and after us to set up, but we found after putting up tables and displays that the place was half empty. We talked to a few other vendors, and they all said that Friday is slow and basically a setup day for everyone planning for Saturday and Monday. AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH I was up making coffee and sandwiches at 3 am for nothing!!! I wanna know who I talked to on the phone so I can slap 'em silly. *sigh* The price for the spot was marked in the corner at $13 and I was told it was an extra $5 for holiday weekends. When the young guy came around to collect money for space rental, he told us that only Saturday and Monday were extra, and actually that Friday was half price. So the spot cost us $6.50 instead of the $18 we expected. I felt a little justified with my irritation over getting there before the sun thought about rising. Maybe this day was going to be ok.........or so I thought.
When these people said slow, they meant SLOW. There were a lot of people walking around, but most of them were the regular flea market vendors. You know...the type that will buy something from you for $5 then take it to thier table and sell it for $8. Yea, those guys were everywhere. Of course there were the typical flea market buyers that never bothered to look, and just asked for specific things.....lionel trains, pocktknives, watches, guns, WWII items, etc. I know they're after certain things, but c'mon folks, learn some manners. Don't just stop and yell then say I have stupid stuff. Quite a few times I eyeballed the meat grinder at the table next door hoping for that one next rude old guy so I could make a great big batch of Grumpy Ass Sausage, but I held my patience and smiled. One even stopped, picked up a wand, and said to his friend "what the hell would anyone want THIS for", to which I politely responded "to smack you upside the head with". Hmm..wonder why he didn't come inside the tents and look around.
I do have to mention one really awesome, incredible, and totally amazing thing about today. Guess what?..................I'm a celebrity! Thats right. You didn't misread this. I'm a celebrity. Remember the posts that I've made about the flea market and the staffs I was making to sell? Yea.....I had someone stop in, looked at the staffs, and asked if my name was Chris. "yea thats me" I responded in total curiousity. "from One Acre Homestead?" he asked. I stood up rather puzzled and said "yes". I walked over, shook my hand and asked how he knew me. It turns out that he is a long time follower of this blog and came all the way from Chatanooga Tenneessee to visit this historic flea market and to see my incredible woodcarving skills. Can you believe that??????? Well, you shouldn't lol. He is a blog follower, but he's local. Actually from the same town the flea market is in, 10 minutes from our house. (gotta admit my story is WAY cooler) It was great to find someone that reads the blog and follows it, local or not. I wish I could remember your name. Sorry, but I'm HORRIBLE with names, but thank you for stopping by and saying hello. It was a pleasure to meet you. for the grand total sales figure for the day. An hour and a half before the market officially opened, I sold one staff for $35. Mike pushed his merchandise and the refrigerator magnets that his wife had made, and made a whopping whole dollar. Yep.....36 bucks. Now subtract the money for renting the spot, and we made $19.50. Then (lol) subtract the $5 I spent on an oil lamp (hey its a nice one with a wall mount bracket!!) and we came out ahead $14.50. It got so slow that we left at 3:30, soooooooo.........there at 4:30, out at 3:30, total profit $19.50.....that figures out at $1.77 an hour for sitting in 90 degree weather dealing with grumpy people and making a permanent mark of a lawn chair on my ass cheeks.
I was assured by everyone I talked to that tomorrow will be INSANE. One guy even told us that it took him 3 hours to get to the flea market from the highway, which is under 10 miles. Another said that it gets so busy you end up waiting 30 minutes to use the bathroom or an hour to get a cup of coffee. We shall see mister flea market.....we shall see.
Keep your fingers crossed for me folks! Another day like today and you may see me on the evening news. "Ohio man goes insane at flea market and puts 3 people through meat grinder".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Holiday Weekened Happenings

Yesterday was finally nice enough that I was able to spend the whole day outside, around 75 and sunny, yeehaaa. I had two new strawberry beds marked out do thin and transfer from the overstuffed 6x24 bed, but since this weather has been so bad, I was never able to get them finished. Of course, now the plants are blooming and starting to bear fruit, so I don't want to dig any and chance killing them. So instead, I moved things around a bit and made three beds the same size instead of two. Two we'll use for potato's, and the third will be either bush cucumbers or more corn. Next year they'll get strawberry plants.

I staked out the main garden addition, adding another 4 feet, widened the blackberry bed since it's gotten to be a pain to mow around, and added a small triangular bed in front of the blackberries and beside one of the new beds. I hate wasted space and open grass, so that at least took care of the small roughly 6x9 area. I don't think we'll have a problem filling it with something, lol.

With our love of vegetable gardening and hatred of open grass, we've decided to take on yet another little venture. We're going to run a little CSA out of the place. Lisa already has two people on board wanting in, and we'll take on 2-3 more for this year, just to see how it goes. We're offering them a pretty low price for vegetables, fruit, and eggs every two weeks through early October. If the herb bed does well, we'll add fresh and tried herbs, along with some homemade teas. If all goes well, next year we'll plan on more people and more garden expansions. Right now we'll stick with the 4-5 people as an experiment.

We aren't going to get rich off of this by any means, but we'll make a tiny profit and basically get our own produce for free since the fees will cover the cost of plants and seeds. For now I won't count our time since we would be planting the same things anyway. We'll track everything we do time-wise and with production vs sales and evaluate everything for another go next season.

Today I *have* to spend the day inside finishing the things for the flea market this Friday and Saturday. It's gonna make me insane staying inside when it's so nice out already, but I have to get these done. My friend Mike and I will be there all day Friday and the wives will be with us on Saturday. Both days will be from 5am to 5pm...ugh, but I hope things go well and we sell quite a bit of items. After that, it's ALL garden time. Lisa will be off work Sunday and Monday, so those will be our massive catch-up days. I'll keep things posted on how the flea market goes and how things are going oustside. For now, I'm running Lisa to work and heading out to put in an application at a local garden center.

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