Its another morning, really early .. I didn't set out to follow Benjamin Franklin's advice from "Poor Richard's Almanac", but here I am, early to bed, early to rise .. The sun wont make an appearance for several hours yet. This is the year that we launch the nursery business, although we don't have any plants for sale as of yet - there are a few fig starts working, and I'm about to get some lavender and rosemary started soon, sweet potato slips, of course .. I don't know how much is going to be up for sale and how much I am going to put back into building nursery stock.
There is a memory that keeps trying to insert itself into my conscious thoughts, so I may as well examine it. It is from the time that I was about eight years old, I think, though my memories from that time are somewhat vague .. it had to have been somewhere around 1979-1980, because I recall getting the radio flyer wagon for Christmas, and I had that with me. The Tulsa County Parks department had purchased 80 acres of the old Conrad farm from my grandmother, and installed baseball diamonds down on the South end, near where the two forks of Haikey creek came together, and people were coming in droves to watch their little leaguers play.
The aluminum bleachers were crowded, the parking lots were full, and someone had a small hot dog vendor shack set up next to the baseball diamonds .. it was quite the spectacle. For some reason that escapes me now, I had gotten it into my head that I could make some spending cash selling wildflower seeds and starts in little Dixie cups tp the spectators at the game .. so there I was, trudging along with my red radio flyer wagon in tow, a load of envelopes (liberated from my mother's desk drawer) stuffed with a variety of wildflower seeds, hand picked by yours truly, and a few scraggly plants packed into cast-off Dixie cups that those same spectators had left discarded on the ground after the previous weeks game
I must have made a cute picture .. little boy with his overalls and well-bent John Deer cap, work boots, and a sprig of wild oats clenched between my teeth, just for good measure. A few of the mob inquired about my wares. "dandelions, chickweed, henbit, sunflowers, daffodils, and daisies" I proudly proclaimed, confident in the pending sale .. most folks were not so fortunate as to have all of these treasures in THEIR yards. I would have included irises in the offerings, but they were too big to be accommodated in the Dixie cups.
They smiled, and politely declined, and I moved on, puzzled .. I KNEW that these people liked to eat sunflower seeds - the ground was littered with the shells from where they had chewed them up and spit them out - and I had a great supply of fresh sunflower seeds, all viable and ready for planting, enough to grow as many sunflowers as they wanted, and at a fraction of the price that they were paying for them at the concession stand. I sold one daffodil - a pretty bicolor potted up in a used Dixie cup -and that was all.
I returned home one dollar richer, but with no further inclination to attempt any entrepanurial adventures. For a long time, the event remained forgotten. Now, just as I am preparing to open a nursery business, the memory comes back .. here I am, forty years older, this time with no little red wagon, hoping that someone will find value in what I have to offer. Well, have a look through the cart .. there may be something in here that you like.