Summer is here and my farmers markets are a go!
Covid-19 has forced some changes though. Both my Saturday and Sunday markets are in different locations and have rules in place to keep everyone safe.
I am fortunate that this "new normal" has keep me busy. Like everyone else out there, I worry about personal safety. I LOVE doing farmers markets, in part, because I get to interact with a lot of interesting people. This year, social distancing guidelines dictate that we should not do that. I have done a lot of soul searching about how I market my wares. the result is that I have decided to cut back on the number of markets I will participate in this year. Right now, I am not sure how often I will be at the market, but I am considering once or twice a month. Initially, I will be limiting my selection to honey and soap. Other items can be ordered in advance, and I will bring them to the next market. To make this as painless for everyone, in these new times, I have created an online form to order items for pickup.
My thoughts with this form is that an order place in advance, would allow me to package up an order and have it bagged up and ready for pickup at the market. Once I figure out my market schedule, I will update the form with this information. The form does not have a payment option nor does it track inventory, so there could be items that are sold out. Please give me a couple days notice before the order is to be picked up.
of course, the safest is for people to use my website. I have added our honey to the Beehive Alchemy website, although it is labeled with our Wildermann Apiaires brand. I have an option at checkout that allows for "in-store" pickup. Orders are not charged shipping and a note at checkout lets me know where the items will be picked up. Orders can also be picked up at my house if that is more convenient or timing is problematic. In some circumstances, I would also be willing to drop off orders on "off" weeks.
Below are the markets I will be participating in this year. I have added links to the Facebook pages for location and safety information.
Saturdays - Whitefish Bay Farmers Market - 8 am to noon (Starts July 11th, 2020)
Sundays - Riverwest Gardeners Market - 10 am-3 pm (Started June 7th)
... and I definitely have it! Yesterday, was the first market day of the East Side Green Market and today will be the first day of the Riverwest Gardeners Market. Hopefully the weather holds out!
But that's not the whole picture... we also have markets on Wednesday and Thursday. You can view our calendar here, but I will outline it in detail here.
Wednesday is the Waterford River Market. Although it has been going on for a couple weeks, This coming week will be our first week there. Its located in Ten Club Park, which is a quaint park on the river, in the downtown area. It runs from 2pm-6pm.
Thursday is the St Andrew Farmers Market which is on the north side for Racine (technically in Caledonia, but I wouldn't have known that without the market being there), on Four-mile Road. It runs from 2-5:30 and has been going on for at least a month. It was off to a slow start, but I think it will be a lot more busy as the season progresses. Getting there can be a bit challenging though. There is construction on hwy 32 south of Four-mile Rd and also Four-mile road itself, west of hwy 32. I have no issues getting there though, since it is a breeze to come in on Hwy 32 (rather than the hectic I94) and then a left run on 4-mile rd, Go down the road a couple country blocks and St Andrew Church is on the right.
Saturdays we are signed up for 2 markets over the course of the summer and this is where the calendar comes in handy. Early on, we will be at the East Side Green Market, which is in the Beans & Barley parking lot. It runs from 10am-2pm. If yesterday was any indication, it will be a great market. It has a nice, synergistic feel. Later in the Summer we will be at the Whitefish Bay Farmers Market. This will be our third (fourth?) year at this market and I LOVE it! Although it is right next to a busy commercially lined street, it is actually situated in a residential area with lots of trees lining the streets. It is not so much of a "drive to" market as a "walk to" market; usually with dog and family in tow. Of course, I can't neglect the ESGM for 2 months, so I plan on skipping a day here and there at the WFB market, to keep customers happy at the ESGM. Consult the calendar for where we will be.
Sundays we are at the Riverwest Gardeners Market. This is a new market for us, so I hope it works out well. It is in Garden Park, which is on the southwest corner of Locust & Bremen. It runs from 10am-4pm, so people have plenty of time to shop!
Beyond the weekly markets, I am also considering other events. At the moment, the only thing I am doing for sure, is the Waterford Balloon Festival in late July. I LOVE hot air balloons, so having a front row "seat" for the event is very exciting. It is an all-weekend event, but we will only be selling our wares on Friday night and all day Saturday.
I forgot to mention that I will also be involved in a neighborhood event - Boulevard Bash on August 27th. I am donating one of my new gift sets - 'My Sunday Ritual' for the event's silent auction.
'My Sunday Ritual' contains my favorite regime for Sunday nights... right before bed I fill the tub with a bubble bath. While in the bath, I first clean my face then apply a face mask and relax. (I focus on nothing but bubbles popping in my ear.) Once the mask is all rinsed off I go to work on my feet and other problem areas. Once I'm out of the tub, I slather on lotions and foot cream and crawl into bed. PERFECT!
There is an event that happens here every year around thanksgiving. Every year, I have people asking me if plan on being there and every year, I kick myself because I missed the deadline to apply. This year, the organizer was at my farmers market and she let me know when the window for accepting applications opened. Of course, I *almost* forgot about it AGAIN.
I believe I will be one of 100 hunderd vendors. Which sounds daunting, but I believe they put a lot of thought into getting the mix of vendors right, that it will be awesome for everyone involved.
I will post more information once more becomes available. Yippee!!!!
We were at the East Side Green Market on Saturday for our first Farmers market of the season. I had been working feverishly to get all my product labels changed over to the new label design as well as debuting a couple new items. I got close, but not quite done! In comparison to last year, this years market was nice a lively. I got to see some old customers and meet soem new ones. Hopefully, I will be seeing them again over the course or the summer.
For soaps, I have a whole host of new soaps and I am working on transitioning out some of the not so popular ones. I have added a new soap recipe that utilizes some animal fats, which I am calling farm soaps. This started as an effort to utilize ALL of the animal when we butchered our steers. Some of my new favorites are Neptune, Arabica, Innocence, and Green Amber.
I also have liquid soaps that I will be selling for the first time. I have been making them for years, but only for personal use. It all started when a customer asked if I had any peppermint liquid soap. She loved using it in summer on her face. So, I tweaked my formula and created a liquid soap thats nice and mild, much like a well known castille soap out there, except theirs uses hemp seed oil, and I am using pumpkin seed oil, which is wonderful for the skin and has a longer shelf life than hemp. I plan on keeping the scents to a minimum, so for now, the offerings are unscented, peppermint, cherry almond, innocence, and lavender.
Next week I will have a new deodorant. My product testers tell me it does what it is supposed to do adn smells great, so I am happy! Now that I have the recipe down, my next challenge was containers. Since this is a solid, I needed a tube to make application easy. My order of deodorant tubes arrived today, so I should be able to sell on the new tubes on Saturday. My recipe includes propolis, zinc oxide, and a host of essential oils that are great at keep you fresh smelling.
I also have my Tall Grass Body spray. This is made with a yummy blend of essential oils, most notably spikenard. I love spikenard! A must for walking through the tall grass (or tulips) in summer!
I like to walk the line between the creative and the analytical. Making soaps and other body care products allows me to explore both sides. I am always in awe of bees and what gifts they provide for us. There are many things to be learned....