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Frustrating and Gratifying
Oct 02, 2008 - Pattie
Frustrating and gratifying. That is the only way to describe the processing of our organic onion transplant orders.
In the spring we contract with our long term and reliable onion transplant farmer and decide which varieties to plant, advertise and sell in our Fall catalog. If only the rest of the process was that much fun.
We usually always offer several different varieties and, of course, everyone wants to buy a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Each year Mother Nature wants to be sure that we are not sitting on our laurels. In fact, she wants to make sure that we are working hard and using all of our brain cells, like most mothers do. She decides to speed up the development on some onion varieties, and slow down others……just to make it challenging for us. We want pencil sized transplants and we want them all the same size at the same time……doesn’t Mother understand that?
If we only had a direct line to Mother Nature, we could anticipate and advertise availability times and separate shipping costs. Instead we have to encourage people to order what they want and tell them that we can’t guarantee they will all ship together, but they might so we can’t really quote ship times and charges.
Come October we take a peek at the onions in the ground to see what can be harvested and what can’t. I don’t think there has ever been a year that we could actually ship all varieties at the same time, even though that is how our customers order them.
Onion transplant time is here! Just want everyone, including Mother, to know that we are REALLY good and not resting on our laurels. We manipulate the orders, the shipping charges, the shipping dates manually, to be able to give the best service and the best onions and not change any of the orders. Most of our customers don’t know that we are doing back-flips around here in October to make it all work perfectly for them.
Then there is the camaraderie of our team when the onions are delivered to our warehouse. These highly perishable, strongly scented, wet, muddy, fresh, green onions just do something to a bunch of strong, efficient, forklift-driving, warehouse people. At first there is fear and then there is confidence and finally, accomplishment and victory as we weigh, package and ship them all out the on the same day they come in. Mother would be proud. And make us shower outside when we come home.