Now that it’s November, we’re down to just the twice-weekly Green City Market, which has moved from Lincoln Park to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Saturday was the first day in the new location.
Among the usual parade of Saturday customers, I saw people who had been coming to other markets and made the trek to this one, now that the other markets have wrapped up.
I also saw a lot of new faces. There are those who like to divide their spending among the various farms, but a lot of people also pick one farm and stick with it. On Saturday, we were practically the only fruit game in town because a few of the other orchards have dropped out and one took the day off. So we got a lot of new people filing through.
I was in a great mood on that particular day, so they probably don’t know what they’re in for if they come back.
One woman — I recognized her as a regular — came up to me and said: “I would like seven Red Delicious, please.”
“We don’t have Red Delicious.”
“Well, why don’t you have them anymore? Are they out of season? Last year they were around for a while!” She was a little upset and while I wanted to sympathize with her, I couldn’t. And when I say that, what I mean is that I didn’t want to.
There is a very good reason we don’t have any Red Delicious, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell her. I did offer a partial explanation. “Well . . . I mean, we sold about seven of them a day. On the days you came.”
For a while we kept bringing Red Delicious because, you know, we have them. (What are we going to do, chop the trees down?) And we had plenty of space at the market and it was the height of apple season and it was nice to say we had 16 kinds of apples, even if one of them was Red Delicious.
But now that we’ve changed locations and have a bit less space, we’ve trimmed our inventory slightly. And it was an easy decision to stop bringing the Red Delicious.
“Well, do you have anything like a Red Delicious?”
That would be a hell of a thing to say about an apple. I wanted to say, “Oh, good GOD no!” But instead I shook my head.
She stood there quietly, almost expectantly. But there wasn’t much I could do for her. I moved on to another customer. She shuffled away defeated.
I told Peter we had upset a customer by failing to bring the Red Delicious.
“Did you tell her you were the one who decided that we shouldn’t bring them?”
“No . . . but I told her that she was the only one who ever bought them.”
By the way, we have enough HoneyCrisp left to last us about a week, maybe a week and a half.