Joy in the Journey: Preparing for Market
Updated: Apr 18
As spring begins to emerge from the earth and from tree branches, families emerge from our winter shelter and venture outdoors to take in the wonder of it all. At Strawberry Run Farm, we’ve been busy in the greenhouse planting the seeds which will become produce for our Farmer's Market offerings. And while the emergence of green, of bud and of flower, and eventually of fruit is not without work here, it is work we love, and we are no less in awe of the miracle of it than you are at seeing the first crocus or daffodil spring from the earth or the first tiny leaf burst forth from its bud on your backyard trees.
The Law of the Farm
Have you ever noticed, like us, that so much of a task, of an event–of life in general–is spent preparing? When we focus too much on the actual event: the wedding day, the birthday party, the dream vacation, we miss out on the moments of the journey.
As John Lennon once said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” As it turns out, we spend much more time in the journey toward a goal than in the experience of attaining it, so we’d best find joy in the moments of the journey. Here on the farm, our journey toward harvest has already begun. We have our hands to work on producing a variety of produce for you and your family to enjoy this spring and summer.
Perhaps more than any arena of life, farming requires a daily investment of thought, work, and time to yield a crop. Just as you can’t pull off an amazing trip for your family in a dream destination without buying the plane tickets, booking the hotel, and making reservations for fun activities together, a farmer can’t just throw some seeds in spring and hope for a harvest in the fall.
Perhaps you’ve heard of productivity specialist Stephen Covey’s Law of the Farm which he explained in his popular 1994 book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He explains the law in this way:
Can you imagine "cramming" on the farm? Can you imagine forgetting to plant in the spring, flaking out all summer, and hitting it hard in the fall--ripping the soil up, throwing in the seeds, watering, cultivating--and expecting to get a bountiful harvest overnight?
Cramming doesn't work in a natural system. That's the fundamental difference between a social and natural system. A social system is based on values; a natural system is based on principles. In the short term, cramming may appear to work in a social system. You can go for the "quick fixes" and techniques with apparent success. But in the long run, they just don't work.
Where might the law of the farm be applicable in your own life? Where might less procrastination and more daily diligence benefit you and your family or your school-aged children? We’ll leave that for you to ponder.
A book suggestion
We all know a great way to teach life lessons with your younger children is through reading books together, and we have a suggestion for you that perfectly illustrates what happens when you do and when you don’t prepare. Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes by Bruce Koscielniak is a charming comparison between the prepared bear and the haphazard bunny in their pursuit of growing tomatoes. It teaches the value of planning and investing time and is a sweet illustration of friendship and sharing with others.
A solution if you garden like Bunny
Thankfully, we don’t all have to be Farmer Bears, and as long as those of us who do farm follow the law of the farm, the harvest will come. Fortunately for you we do follow the “law of the farm,” and like Bear, we like to share! We'll be bringing our bounty to two local farmers markets beginning in May. (more on that below)
Already emerging from their tiny beds of dirt in our greenhouse are the fruits and vegetables we’ll be offering this spring and summer. Rest assured, we’ll tend to them and care for them until you visit us and they become yours to enjoy with your family, perhaps under the shade of fully-leaved trees.
Visit us at two local farmers markets
Some of the items we have started in our greenhouse and will be offering as they reach maturity at our farmers’ market booth are
• watermelon •cantaloupe •early tomatoes
•lettuce •cucumbers •a variety of bell peppers
•green beans •turnips •sweet corn
•strawberries* (it’s what we’re known for!) •blueberries* (new this year!)
We’ll also have other goodies that are sure to delight including our private label preserves, soda, and salsa!
* Our juicy, delicious strawberries will be available beginning in mid-May to early June, and our blueberry bushes will be ready for harvest beginning in early July.
Please bring your children and look for us on Thursdays and Saturdays at two local farmers markets:
Thursdays: Lebanon Farmers Market
The Lebanon Farmers Market is moving to Bicentennial Park, corner of Mulberry and Cherry, for the 2023 market season. Opening Day: May 18 from 3-7 pm. Open every Thursday through mid-October.
Saturdays: Clinton County Farmers Market (www.clintoncountyfarmersmarket.com). According to their website, the 2023 season “runs from Saturday, May 13th, and will be open every Saturday through October 14th, from 8:30 AM to Noon. We are located in the heart of downtown Wilmington in the Clinton County Courthouse Parking Lot on the corner of Walnut and Sugartree Streets.”
And don’t forget to visit us at the farm this spring and summer! Look for announcements about our season on our website and on our social media accounts.
We’ll have a basket waiting for you on the farm to pick your own strawberries and blueberries. Our other fruits and vegetables and private label products will be available too!
Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. 25th anniversary edition. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Koscielniak, Bruce. Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes. Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 23, 1993).