Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pros and Cons of a Plant Sale.

"So what do you think?  Is the plant sale really worth it all?"

My husband asked me this the other day after the plant sale.  When so much work and time goes into something, you have to take a look at it and weigh the pros and cons of the amount of reward earned against the amount of effort released.


A lot of work:

 aching, annoying, exhausting, time-consuming, pain-in-the-back work.  My plant sale ends on Saturday afternoon, and then I begin sorting and loading the farm stand with the extras to sell by the road.  Although the sale has ended, the work has not: it's just altered.
  The jobs of keeping the plants watered,

keeping the inventory at the road stocked,

 checking the money box for money is a daily,
 sometimes multiple times per day job. 

And that is not the end:
the rest of the season will require rooting cuttings, watering, weeding, potting up,
hauling, weeding, watering some more, and then bedding up for the winter
so we'll have a good supply of things to sell next spring.

It never seems to stop.


 Yes, it is work.


It is work.

  Work is good for a person.  It is good for a family.  It is good for me.

  As a stay-at-home mom, I like contributing to the family bank.  I love to can the produce from the garden, feed the calves, and help with the little bit of farming that I can.  I love to pick berries, pick green beans, pick asparagus, pick apples.
   But I also love the dirt.  I have loved plants from the day we bought our first farmette, and I looked at the barren landscape around the house.  My mother and sister had dug their fingers into the dirt when I was still at home in their own gardens, and that love was inside of me, too, once I discovered it. Plants are expensive, and as newly weds, they just didn't fit into our budget.  When my father-in-law gave me some information about starting a home-nursery, I found a new love.  What better way to get the plants I longed for than to use them as parent plants (as long as they didn't have a patent on them)?

  There is nothing so enjoyable to me than to step outside, take deep breaths of fresh air, and know I have "work" to do in that environment.

Work is good for kids.

  Have you ever heard: "I want to give my children all the things I didn't have"?

  It sounds good
and I have heard it often,
 but is it?  

Were you better or worse because you didn't have everything you wanted?
  Does a child do better, treat things better, love and care for their things when they are given it,


 or when they work and save and wait and then buy it?  
A parent is likely the only person in a child's life who will ever give them everything they need.
  That parent should also be the one who weans them from this mentality as soon as possible because love looks beyond the immediate to the future.
Preparation is by far the more valuable gift than is pampering.
  Preparation builds, strengthens, gives the tools for life.
  Pampering (when it is no longer needed) can only harm, weaken, sicken a creature, 
and then kill it of determination and rob it of ability.


Opening up one's home/yard as a business may cause immediate inconveniences:
 people parking and making ruts, people walking and creating mud,....


 Interaction with people.

  People are different, so distinct; each with a different personality, perspective, and goals.


Opening up one's home/yard causes interaction with people.

  I think one of the biggest things I walk away with after my plant sale is a deeper enjoyment and compassion for people.  There are so many different kinds of people in this world, but it seems that people who love to plant and watch things grow, for the most part, are extraordinary people.

  They come from different paths of life, but they find joy in a simple act of watching God take a little insignificant seed or bit of green and making beautiful blooms or tasty edibles arise from within.  So many of those people are just like the plants they come to buy: blossoms arising from simplicity, hardships, refusal to give up or be trampled down, but looking to raise a flowering face above it all.


my children get to learn about/from people. 

 It never ceases to amaze me how much my kids pick up about people
 from watching them, talking to them.  
Not only do they learn from the customers,
they get to spend a week before the plant sale with great people 
who help me prepare.

For the past few years, a girl from church has voluntarily helped me.  I try to pay her a fair amount, but never feel it truly amounts to who she is in life and what she deserves.  My little sister filled in before this girl helped.  She was indispensible and now she is in South America with her husband working on a mission field.  The girl who helped this year is going off to be a missionary to Africa, and I don't know what the future will hold for my help next plant sale season, but God has always provided help for me, and that help has always been a great example to my children.  My children have benefited immeasurably by binding with serving hearts to love and admire.


 we don't make a lot of money.

  The hard work we do doesn't land us in the lap of luxury. 
  We aren't buying boats or condos with the money from our plants.


we make some money.

The money we make selling plants covers the budget for the grocery money for possibly up to 2 months of our budget;
  or, in this case, it will cover the cost of the dental work I need to have done;
 or maybe the back field to be fenced in.

 I learned long ago that it is essential to have the money for one's needs,
but anything beyond that is not necessary.
It can be a gift: an extra parcel to determine a worthy destination for.
It can be a curse: a worrisome matter of greed and self-glorification.
We have the choice of what to do with those extra possibilities, 
if and when they come our way.

  God has always met our needs and beyond.



We live tight.  We buy most things second hand.
  My most treasured things were given to us or inherited.
  Many things in our lives have come as answers to prayers...lots of them.

  Things, in reality, don't really matter. 

 Loving life doesn't have to do with things: it has to do with contentment. 
 Do I always feel this way...of course not.
  But I am happiest, I am most at peace when I a do.
   A favorite verse that pops into my head whenever I am struggling with contentment is Proverbs 30:8 - 9

"Remove far from me vanity and lies:
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full,
and deny thee, 
and say,
'Who is the LORD?'
or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." 

  Hard work, sweat, pride in one's work, the enjoyment of that work completed and the rewards of it...
these are gifts of far more value than any diamond or fancy hat at Kentucky Derby (although I sure think they are fun to look at!) could ever replace in life. 
   I see a tendency in our nation to envy the rich, to demand that they pay for the way of the poor; but how much of those riches would really benefit anybody when the happiness supposed to be there is not?

  The best place to be is not in the seat of riches,
 just as the worst place to be is not in the rags of poverty.
  The best place to be is in the peace of contentment.

 And when God blesses,
He allows not only for our needs to be met,
but for us to have the pleasure of being able to help others in need.

 So, there you go,
the pros and the cons.  

  Now let me go clean the dirt out from under my fingernails:
  natural nail polish.
  Hmmm, not sure if that would fall under a pro or a con.

Perhaps, it just takes thinking outside of the flower pot.

Linking up to:


  1. I think it's a wonderfully neat thing you do with this sale!

    Everyone benefits...

    ...and I wish I could come to it personally. Your home is lovely.

  2. Hi,
    Such profound and true words spoken here today! Happiness lies in contentment and having faith that our needs will be met one way or the other... I love your photos too and I think having a plant sale, though a lot of work would be quite rewarding for all the reasons you mentioned here today!

  3. I love the whole concept of your plant sale!


  4. What an absolutely beautiful garden you have.
    Agree with your outlook on children and money...two sticky subjects, but important ones to have a strong mind on.


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