Our Farmers’ Market Homeschool Project

Alex and I will be selling gluten free baked goods, herbs and several other items at the local farmers’ market this year.

He asked if we could do it and I thought it could be a great homeschooling project, so I (with just a tiny bit of terror) said yes.

I love baking, but I am not the sort of person who would ever take it upon myself to sell at the farmers’ market myself.  I tend to be quite shy at first in real life, and honestly prefer to just give my treats away to friends and family!  But my children are really good at getting me to do things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do, and I think this will be a fantastic learning experience for Alex (and me!).

We’re planning on selling lots of gluten free items.  We’ve been GF since we decided to try cutting out gluten as an experiment when Alex was about to turn 4 (he’s now 10).  By the end of the month it was clear that gluten was a real issue for him (it was immediately noticeable in his skin and hair, and my tiny boy grew two sizes in the next three months!), and we also found out that most of the family was also sensitive to gluten and had just never known it.  My migraines went away.  Toria’s migraines went away and her skin cleared up.  Daryl’s eczema cleared up.  And on and on.

So gluten free items are going to be a big part of what we sell, especially treats that GF folks often have to do without.  Alex loves the idea of providing really delicious treats for allergic kids, since he knows what it’s like to have to pass by all kinds of wonderful stuff because it has gluten in it.

We’ve been testing cupcake recipes all week, and it’s been awfully fun!  🙂

Cupcake development day is going well. #glutenfreecupcakes #fromscratch #farmersmarket

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We’ll also probably sell some things having to do with foraged goodies.  I made a really wonderful ramp sale with wild ramps recently and it’s insanely tasty.

Ramp salt is my new favorite seasoning. #foraging #ramps #springforaging #wildedibles #wildfood

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We are lucky enough to have access to a huge supply of ramps (they’re over-harvested in many places so you have to be very careful not to take too many), so we dried lots to make ramp salt with, enough that I can sell some.

We’ll probably sell some fresh herbs, too, since we have a copious amount of some of them in our gardens, such as spearmint, chocolate mint, catmint and chives.

We may do GF bread too, though it is more expensive and more work than some other goodies so I’m not doing it the first week at least.

Alex and I have spent a lot of time going over possible sale items, projected cost, projected profits, marketing ideas and other business plans.

We’ve cuddled on the couch discussing which items to sell which weeks, what the most profitable goodies are likely to be, whether we should offer samples and more.

We’ve shopped for supplies, played with packaging and learned our laws.

He wants to be sure we give something away for free to anybody who’d like it, such as information teaching people how to forage.  I think that’s a very sweet idea so we’re working on that, too.

We’ll be selling on Tuesday afternoons, starting in June.  Wish us luck!  I’ll keep you updated!

 

Photographers, Unschooling, the Globe Genie & More

I’m off to have some virtual woman tear up my calf again, but first I thought I’d share a few nifties that are on my mind here…

Do professional photographers really make any money?

That’s the question this professional photographer takes on.  While this article is being widely applauded by photographers, her numbers don’t necessarily add up to me.  Not everybody has to put monthly money aside for their children’s college or pay 30% in taxes (especially those starving artist types).  It’s certainly food for thought though, and goes a long way to explain those wedding prices.

I’m definitely passing it on to my photographer wannabe Victoria (once she’s home from Nebraska, where she’s currently learning from a guy who really was a professional photographer once upon a time).

Wanna talk to Pat Farenga about unschooling?

Take part in a teleconference Thursday for free and talk to  the unschooling guru.

On the same topic, also see:

Five lessons to take from unschooling for your homeschool

and Five great blogs by unschoolers for inspiration, projects, games and more

Quick!  Push a button and go anywhere in the world!

I absolutely love the Globe Genie.  Click on transport and you can visit anywhere on the globe.  You’ll see a huge, full color photo of your location and a map on the right to tell you where you are.

I clicked first on a remote lake in Sweden, then I was on a small street in France, then a rural area in England and finally I was on a dirt road in Mississippi.

Talk about a fun geography lesson!  (Thanks Leslie!)

and lastly…

A real world housekeeping schedule

I am perpetually buried in clutter so I loved the simplicity of these schedules, which come in two variations.  I also love the minimum maintenance plan and must start implementing it!

Why I'm an Eclectic Homeschooler

I just finished a series of articles for the Examiner that really solidified for me why our homeschool style here is so eclectic.  I wrote about five great lessons to take from all different types of homeschooling, including Montessori, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason and Unschooling.  They are all parts of what we do here, and why I love the freedom we have as homeschool parents.  We truly can take the best of all worlds and adapt it all to perfectly suit each of our children.

If you want to check out the series, here it is so far…

Montessori Methods:

Five lessons to take from Montessori for your homeschool

Making your own Montessori materials

Waldorf Methods:

Five lessons to take from Waldorf for your homeschool

Making your own Waldorf Materials

Charlotte Mason Methods:


Five lessons to take from Charlotte Mason for your homeschool

Make your own nature journals

Make pocket-and-handle nature journals from paper bags!

Unschooling Methods:


Five lessons to take from unschooling for your homeschool

Five great blogs by unschoolers for inspiration, projects, games and more

And next in the series… Five lessons not to take from public school in your homeschool.  🙂