My family frequent farmer’s markets. We eat a lot of local, organic vegetables and we really love the people of the market. Well, I love most of the people of the market. The people that block aisles? Those people can wander off before I murder someone but everyone else is cool. We really love getting to know the various vendors and some of them have come to be friends and important parts of our life. One of those people is Kevin from Oakview Farms.
If you’re not familiar, Oakview Farms is located in Kingsport, which is juts outside Canning, which is just outside Wolfville. If you can’t find your way to Wolfville, I can’t help you. Anyways, Kevin grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, much of which is no spray. He’s not certified organic because you need the blood of a unicorn and $40k to be certified organic. But his stuff is great, he’s incredibly kind, our kids love him and we make several trips a year to his farm for apples, pumkins, peaches, strawberries, pears and anything else he has. We truly love his stuff.
But that’s a long drive so luckily for us, for most of the year, Oakview Farms (and an every smiling Kevin) are available to the Seaport Market. We pick up greens, apples, etc. During the summer and fall, he’s usually one of the vendors that chooses to make a go outside.
One day we were grabbing some snacks from Fruition, our weekly market treat, when someone pulled the fire alarm. It was a kid. They didn’t know any better. But if you know anything about fire alarms in big buildings you know that it’s going to require a visit from the fire department and the building is going to be evacuated. As you can imagine, this is not the ideal situation for an industry and a location that relies on people coming to it, MOSTLY on one day, for a limited period of time. Well, I’m sure it sucked for most vendors, but not for Oakview Farms.
Located just outside one of your nearest emergency exits, Kevin was swarmed with people. While they might sometimes shop at a different stand, they needed kohlrabi in a BIG way and so Kevin enjoyed his most successful day in the history of Oakview Farms at the market. So what’s the lesson? Obviously, if you sell something, you need to locate yourself outside a building full of people and pull the fire alarm. Well, no… that’s not only illegal but probably a little short-sighted. INSTEAD, you need to be ready for moments like this.
The world is full of products, services and companies that grew out of a problem or an obstacle or a failure. There’s an incredible book called The Click Moment written by Frans Johanson and in it, he talks about being prepared for that moment of serendipity, embracing it and engaging it. In doing so, when an opportunity presents itself, you can thrive. Companies have turned waste into want; nothing into need.
Bad things are very often, not that bad. For example, my wife gets to set her own schedule for work. So that plan was that she would have Friday’s off for the summer, as well as Mondays, bust her butt 3 days a week and we’d have a 4 day weekend every week. She then found out that she had to teach a course Friday mornings. We were devastated. This changed our plans for the entire summer. We then spoke with our son’s day care and learned that our plans for the summer in regards to his days wouldn’t have worked as we had thought about them and in fact, this change lined up so that we could have the most time together as a family.
Don’t get dismayed when something “bad” happens. Mourn, briefly, and then figure out what’s next. And if someone pulls a fire alarm and you have a captive audience that wants to buy your extensive selection of no-spray fruits and vegetables, you’re in luck.