Monday, September 17, 2012

Farm Market Finds & Hidden Values

You just can't beat your local farm market for quality and value.  For less than $35, I scored all this beautiful goodness.  6 mini pumpkins, 12 heirloom tomatoes, 8 cups of chopped rhubarb, 2 bags of homemade egg noodles, olive oil dipping sauce mix, a candy bar, 2 maple flowers, a pint of honey, a quart of green tomato salsa, 3 eggplants, 10 potatoes, sunflower seeds, and a bouquet of fresh cut flowers in a cute little vase.

Then there were the priceless values.  The time alone with my daughter to discuss and admire the goods.  Giving her practice with her math skills and speaking up to place an order.  Teaching her to evaluate value and price (who has the best looking of each product and who is offering something we don't find anywhere else).  Teaching her to try new things - like the salsa and weird colored tomatoes and eggplant (how many 9-year-olds like eggplant?).  The support we provided to our local community and economy.  Lessons on diversity.

I try to find at least one thing to purchase from each table even if its small.  This time our dollars helped to support a young Amish farmer (of course we had to pet his horse), a teenage brother/sister combo who were creating their own goods (I'm guessing FFA or 4-H there), a retired couple, a young mother, the local Boy Scouts troop, and a Vietnam veteran.  And each person we conversed with gave us value in life lessons, human relations, customer service, sharing product knowledge (many gave tips on how to best use or preserve their products), and just generally started off a beautiful morning with many smiles.

Then there was the lesson I appreciated the most that came last.  As I asked my daughter (whose least favorite subject is math) to tell me the total cost of the purchase we wanted to make, she frowned in concentration.  As she got it wrong because she truly didn't listen to what I was asking, I kept asking her to try again.  When the lightbulb went off and she told me the correct answer, she smiled really big.  This gentleman (who looked a bit gruff) said "Young lady, I just want to tell you one really important thing.  You were walking up here so serious looking like a sour puss like this was the worst thing.  And then you looked at your momma and smiled and you just lit up the world.  Well, you need to remember to walk around with that smile on your face and you can make just about anything you want happen because you just light the world right up with that beautiful smile."  She thought about that a long time.  And I had a big grin on my face the rest of the day, haha!

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