The CFSA farm tour starts today!

This afternoon, starting at 1pm, we’ll be part of the Eastern NC farm tour coordinated by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Of course we are open our normal hours today from 8-5 so feel free to stop by this morning as usual.

The CFSA tour runs today and tomorrow, from 1-5pm each day. Tickets are $35 dollars PER CAR and allow you to see as many of the 26 farms as you can during the time period. They are also good for both days so you can see farms on Saturday and Sunday and really get your money’s worth. Before we were on the tour, we attended as often as possible and really enjoyed it every time. It really is a great tour with some fabulous local farms.

This is I think our third year on the tour. The first time we did it, I remember being a bit freaked out by all the people that were coming. We had all hands on deck here, ready for any eventuality. After some of our other events, it’s now just another Saturday/Sunday around here.

But, we have improved our ability to host people. This was based on what we’ve learned from other events. Number 1 was signage.

New welcome sign and store entrance sign
New welcome sign and store entrance sign

We also have signs for where you can’t go without an escort and one for where the tours start. They weren’t cheap, but I do think they will be worth it. It certainly dresses up the front of the store. I’d been meaning to get them forever, thankfully they are finally in place.

New freezer in the store
New freezer in the store

Inside the store, Lucy has been slaving away all week. She’s been ordering and picking up products like crazy getting us back to normal stocking levels. We also moved out of a fridge/freezer combo unit in the stock room and instead have moved it into the store where it is in freezer mode ( I LOVE these combo units, which are now discontinued. It’s so handy to be able to switch them back and forth.)

Having another freezer in the store allowed us to finally organize the goodies from Weeping Radish which up till now had been buried and hidden in the pork freezer.

Fridge and display shelf, fully stocked
Restocked and ready

We pulled a lot of new items into the store this year. Over the course of the past few months, we’ve been watching what sells and what does not. As products have finally sold out, or aged out, we’ve not replaced them if they were not good sellers. What we didn’t do was reset our stocking so that our shelves were full of popular items. Some of that was due to our farmers not having items available, some of it was we just didn’t get it done. But Lucy has worked very hard the past few weeks getting everything back in the store and now our shelves are fully stocked again. It looks much better.

I of course, have been picking up pork, beef, chicken, ice cream, etc, etc. My normal stuff. Oh, did I mention we just picked up a cow yesterday and we have ribeyes in the freezer unclaimed? See how I slipped that in there for those of you who actually read these posts? Yep, you get the gold star, swing by this morning. We have all the steaks in stock. Shh, don’t tell anyone.

The stock room finally looks good. The stock room finally looks good.
The stock room finally looks good.

We’d save the old bakers rack that used to be in the store because I didn’t want to throw it away (it was my mom’s) but it didn’t have a place. Lucy pointed out that if we moved this, tossed that, and stored this, we’d have room for the bakers rack in the stock room and finally have some shelves. It was a perfect idea. The problem with the bakers rack is small items fall through. But boxes of stock? They fit perfectly. The entire stock room was able to get some attention and it looks much better. Everything is off the floor and up on shelves and you can actually get around in there.

Our new wash table from CFSA
Our new wash table from CFSA

Normally when we are on the CFSA tour, they loan us materials for the event, then we give them back after it is over. It’s absolutely fine as they are a non-profit and every dollar counts. However they apparently received a grant this year and were able to purchase wash tables for the farmers to use and to keep. Woo hoo! Free stuff!

We’ve been meaning to get a wash table for a long while so this worked out perfect for us. We always end our tours with feeding the cows so folks always want to wash their hands before entering the store. Now we finally have a real wash table where they can do so. Of course, I didn’t use their soap they provided, I set one of ours out so people can get a free sample and clean hands at the same time. Plus now they smell lemony fresh!

This morning will be spent getting everything ready for the tour this afternoon, plus seeing all of our normal customers as well, oh, and actually running the farm because everybody still wants to eat. Starting at 1pm, we’ll be in full tour mode. If you haven’t already bought your tour button, you can get them at any farm on the tour, including ours. Just load the kids in the car and stop at the first farm and pay your $35.

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