Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hesterberg's Harvest

Fresh, sweet basil from our garden.
This past Saturday, September 26th, a dream came true for me:  I was a vendor at the Brownsville Farmers' Market for the very first time.  It seems like such a simple thing, growing produce and selling it.  Yet, a little over one year ago, I had no interest in growing anything (see my post, On How I Became a Gardener, to get caught up with that process).

Assorted basil dressing options.  As a vendor with a license, any
value-added item that is sold needs to have the ingredients
listed on the product.  
The market is a great place for mother-daughter bonding time.
I sold herbs from our garden, including sweet basil, oregano and chives.  My family and I picked them the evening before, and packaged them in one quart ziplock bags to sell for $3.00.  I did not know what to expect, so I took four bags of each to sell.  We ended up completely selling out, with the exception of the last bag of oregano, that I gave to my tent neighbors after they shared free zucchini bread samples with us.

In addition to fresh herbs, I also wanted to sell a couple of value-added items.  My friend Angela, The Master Gardener, had shared basil dressing and compound butter recipes with me before.  I had made the dressing a few times, and wanted to try my hand at the butters.  I chose to make a Lemon and Chives combination, and a Garlic and Parsley one.  Altogether, I had four of each that I sold for $2.00 a piece.  The dressings had a variety of prices depending on how many ounces they held.

Compound butter-mmmm....
Eager to arrive early and get everything set up the day of the Farmers' Market, I convinced my cute, younger sister, Erin, to help me.  There are gracious maintenance men at the market that assist vendors in setting up and tearing down.  My small group that I walk with on Saturday mornings was gracious enough to meet at Linear Park so that I could briefly exercise with them and get to work.  The whole process of me becoming a vendor took communal effort.

My sister helps set up our table.  My mom made the sign.
Once people began arriving, I was impressed by how many fellow vendors stopped by our table and inquired about our products.  It felt like we were part of a great community that hoped for the success of everyone there.  Whenever a customer passed by our table, I greeted them and asked if they wanted to try any of the samples we had on hand.  We learned a great deal in this process that will help us better prepare for next time.  Outside of completely selling out, seeing people who came to support us was the best part!

We will be back with more products in two weeks, on Saturday, October 10th.  If you would like to try some delicious basil dressing or compound butters, it is best to arrive between 9:00 and 9:45 a.m., as we quickly sold out of both!  Here's to more Farmers' Market days!
My first, official customers!  They may or may not be in my small group. 
Mr. Fletcher and I taught middle school history together years ago.
I was delighted and surprised to see him!
A sweet friend and loyal customer that has already preordered some items!
Laura was pleased with her purchase!
Even one of my piano students stopped by and bought some chives!


  1. Love this! And I can attest to hour yummy your basil and parsley are for sure!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! You are always welcome to fresh herbs!

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