Market plans, May 21

We will not be attending market this weekend, for two reasons.

1) We were contacted by a couple arranging a large party, intending to cater it largely from local farms. Their desired purchase was a significant portion of our total expected market yield for this week, and we’re thrilled to have this guaranteed sale and to support their dedication to local foods. Even at the wholesale prices we’re charging them, we come out ahead when time efficiency and certainty of sale is considered. In addition, restaurant demand has increased this year, so we’re managing our harvests to fulfill their needs, which means smaller quantities for market so far.

2) The weather for Friday night through Saturday looks terrible. We pay a great deal of attention to the forecast models run by the National Weather Service (a future blog topic), and all discussion and data suggest a significant amount of rain and potentially even strong storms over the market period. Here is the most recent Probabalistic Quantitative Precipitation Forecast model for the 6-hour period leading up to market Saturday morning:
This shows the modelled probability of at least .25″ precipitation during that period; the bright blues are 60-80% chance. This system will be moving east over central Missouri right during market hours. For another version, here’s the 12-hour probability of precipitation for the period ending Saturday morning (both images from the National Weather Service):

Moreover, the current model discussion from the Kansas City NWS forecast office includes this gem:
HIGH AMPLITUDE MID-UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL REMAIN ANCHORED WEST OF THE REGION THROUGH THE SHORT TERM PERIOD…PROVIDING AN ENVIRONMENT MORE SUITABLE FOR AQUATIC SPECIES THAN THOSE TRYING TO ENJOY A NICE SPRING WEEKEND.
We (and they) could be wrong, but you play the percentages in this game, and odds are that it’ll be a nasty opening to the weekend. Combine that with a guaranteed sale of many potential harvest items, plus significant restaurant demand, and it just makes no economic or time-management sense to bring the remainder to an overcrowded market in bad weather. At worst, the weather moderates and we still made most of the sales we’d like to while gaining a lot of time back at the farm.
The following weekend we expect to be back with a strong stand, including the first peas and garlic scapes, along with greens, radishes, herbs, and more. Our sincere apologies to those who will miss us. See you in two weeks.

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