Challenges Mean Finding Solutions

Sad, frozen tomato plants.

It’s been quite a week!  We’ve been busy transplanting hundreds of tomato plants for the up-coming market season.  This involves moving the trays that are transplanted to our hoop-houses for them to ‘beef-up’ and harden-off for selling.  With temperatures above average in March, it was disappointing to see them far below average for April.  The hoop-houses can usually deal with a frost and temperatures dipping to the low 30’s, but when we experienced temperatures in the low 20’s on Friday, they were not able to survive.  We walked into the hoop-house to find about a 90% loss.  After a brief melt-down, we put our big-girl pants on and knew we would have to bust ass to get them all replanted by next Saturday.  There is a reason we plant over 8100 plants…and this was it.

Then we were informed that when our newly renovated farmer’s market opens this coming Saturday, it was going to be without the market stalls for the farmers.  For any of you that have dealt with construction projects of this magnitude, you are probably aware of the glitches that are inevitable.  Many farmer’s markets don’t even supply stalls and expect that anyone interested in selling will supply any tables they may need.  Our market has always had stalls, adding to a intentional and uniform look for the market and a sturdy and secure space for each vendor.  To complicate things further, in the event of inclement weather, the vendors will undoubtedly get wet without the protection of their beloved ‘tarps’ that were attached to their stalls.

Ample space, wider isles and protection for our customers!

Now of course, there has been much grumbling from the peanut gallery concerning what has or has not been done ideally.  But Val and I feel there is a ‘shelf-live’ to complaints.  So many people gave selflessly to the creation of this new market with the idea of it being a beautiful destination for those looking to support their local farmers and community.   What is…is.  It is time to come up with solutions that will make the temporary inconveniences tolerable.  What a great time to cooperate with your vendor neighbors and find what might be beneficial for all parties.  The pluses of our beautiful new market will far outweigh its temporary shortcomings.

Val constructing our temporary stalls.

We started by constructing four modular market stalls; two for our beloved market neighbors Fred and Linda, two for us.  Val (being a licensed contractor) came up with a design which we constructed on the farm and transported to market.

The master at work.

Fred met us there with a great design for our market tarps that was inexpensive and ideal for a quick install for bad weather.

Fred checking his design for our tarps.

Val, Fred & Me

We are looking forward to our 2012 market season with all its fun, glitches and laughter. We can’t wait to renew our relationships with our terrific customers and get their impressions of their new and improved market.  Let the fun begin!

“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”  –Norman Vincent Peale

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About basicswithatwist

Kim Sanwald is co-ower of Brickyard Farms, LLC in Cloverdale, Michigan, with her life-partner Valerie Lane. She is the author of essays, short stories and poetry, and has been published in Voices of Michigan/Volumes 1 & 2, and Encore Magazine. She has facilitated writing workshops in such venues as the Weber Retreat & Conference Center and GilChrist, Fetzer’s Retreat Center. She continues to learn from life, their truck farm, and their two dogs, Bleu and Ella.
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4 Responses to Challenges Mean Finding Solutions

  1. Mary Fischer says:

    You ladies are “the bomb”! I love the attitude- may it spread like wildfire!! Can’t wait to see you at the market.

  2. Little Sis says:

    Good for you for seeing past the frozen tomato plants! And kudos on your own construction project. Here’s to (at least) slightly more stable temps as we move forward!

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