It takes a lot of work and planning to do a summer farm market.
For us, the best part of the week is the farm markets. We do really enjoy meeting and talking to people. We get to show our passion with each bag and cup. Our reward is when you say you love it.
But planning for those 5 hours on a Saturday is crazy work. First, we have to estimate how much of each coffee to have on hand. I will never forget our first Saturday market in Oshkosh. We were so proud because we came with 30 pounds of coffee (no flavors at this point), a grinder, and a coffee maker. Now, for a typical Saturday market, we try to bring about 80 or so pounds of coffee, a grinder, a big coffee maker, two generators, 10 air pots, 3 or 4 coolers, and never enough ice.
Once the plan is set for what coffee we need to roast, we start roasting. That's the easy part. It only takes about a full day to roast what we need. Next, comes the clean up. Washing and sanitizing the air pots, coolers, carafes, and everything else takes quite a few hours. Usually we try to roast and wash on a Sunday. Frequently, roasting goes on Monday night to round out what we need to restock inventory.
Bagging and flavoring takes one night, sometimes two nights. Wednesday night, or Thursday night, we run deliveries. Since we have markets those days, we try not to process coffee those nights.
Friday is just crazy for us. Our Classic Cold Brew is drained into half gallon jugs. The Chilled Sweet Chai is made, along with lemonade. Bags of coffee are packed up, coolers are filled with ice, and we run a check list to make sure we don't forget something. When we do forget something, it's usually my fault, and it's something critical, like filters, or carafes, or a filter basket, or grinder...my memory isn't the best. :)
So, during the winter months, we work to get ready for spring. We start experimenting with new flavors and types of coffee. We tear down the equipment, clean it, repair what needs to be repaired, and look to replace what is worn out or not working. Roasting equipment also gets checked and repaired.
We have started working on a new Cold Brew. Without giving details, we start with Bon Mua Vietnam for a base of the new cold brew. In the coming months, we will tweak the recipe until it's where we think we like, then we will have samples at the Winter market in Oshkosh.
Thank you for a wonderful and truly fun season at the Summer Farm Markets. This winter, you can find JSA Coffee online, available for free home delivery. Also look inside The Green Tomato in Appleton. In Kimberly, you can go to Antique Up for a good selection of our fresh coffee.
Mike and Nanci Sugden