Three Spice House staffers (myself, Desi, and Roxanne) took last Sunday off to drive up to Door Couny for a day of cherry picking. This is an annual trip for me, to stock my freezer for winter pie making, but it was fun to have company this year. We left right after work Saturday, still smelling of spices, and spent the night in Manitowoc before driving into Door County to look for orchards. I’ve gone to Choice Orchards in Sturgeon Bay before, so we headed in that direction, but we found Cherry Lane Orchard just over the Door County line and went there instead. It’s a gorgeous little orchard run by a friendly, helpful gentleman who set us up with pails and belt clips and sent us out into the trees.
I admit, it might seem a bit strange to seek out a farmer’s market while on a hotel based vacation. The reason you go to a farmer’s market is to buy the fresh produce and food you are planning to turn into delicious nature-inspired dishes over the next few days. Really fresh food requires only the slightest of preparation, nature delivers things that are pretty darned tasty when they are first harvested! So what is point in admiring food you are not actually able to cook with? A good market is sooo much more than just what the vendors are selling. It is about the connection to the land, the farmers, the food community that enjoys the market, the tastes, the musicians, the children and even the dogs. The people you intermingle with in a market community will usually give you the best tourist experience a city unknowingly offers. You all have something in common, and it is easy to get the folks here to share stories, and cooking tips.
Being a small business owner, for us, means you are intimately connected with your business, you live and breath it. Add a spouse business partner, and you are really fully submerged. When you go on vacation, it seems crucial to take the laptop so as not to be out of the daily orb of activities. We connect with many special people in the food business, but these communications often come via email out of the blue. I am going to be in town for a food network show, and I am trying to get them to use your store for a location shoot, are you available next Thursday?? So we always have this debate about taking the laptop, after all it is supposed to be a vacation, which should translate as leaving work behind.