No one would think it was worth anything.
Since this is our first PYO season we’ve been proudly sending out invites to come pick berries to family, friends, and neighbors, with the understanding that as a business, the expectation was that said family, friends and neighbors would come experience our PYO for the set price of blueberries which, for this year at any rate, we set at $2.50 a pound. A number of family, friends and neighbors took us up on this and came bearing cash, containers, and compliments on our accomplishment. So imagine our surprise when word got back to us that one family member expressed dismay that we would actually charge family for a “small amount” of blueberries. A small amount, in this case, was approximately 8 pounds of fresh blueberries.
To put 8 pounds of blueberries in perspective, that is approximately 10 pints of blueberries which retail at the farmer’s markets around here for $4.00 a pint if picked and packed by the farmer. That’s $40.00 of product which we were apparently expected to give away to family. After all, it was just blueberries. It wasn’t a wad of cash or a $40.00 necklace or a resource that we might actually miss, right? They just grew there on those there bushes, right? Where do we get off charging anybody at all for blueberries? I mean you might buy blueberries in a store, but they’re in a store…that’s where you buy things. But blueberries off a bush? The time, effort and money placed into the orchard was just a hobby that we did on our free time instead of going skiing or going to Europe, right? I mean, who expects to make food for a living?
These same family members would gladly feed us lunch or dinner and host us for a night and possibly even give us a guest pass to a local attraction they have access to, just as we do when they come to visit us, but they would never hand us 40 dollars in cash simply because we’re family and we came to visit them. That’s absurd. And they certainly don’t get their food for free. That’s why they work at some service oriented job from 9 to 5, after all. So why treat the food you might pick off of carefully cultivated bushes as some kind of lesser commodity than the pesticide treated, plastic wrapped, force-ripened substitute you might find in Stop and Shop?
Aside from my obvious resentment at the offhand statement and growing anger at the dismissive tone of this remark which discounts pretty much everything that we here at LLARCS have been working to accomplish for the past ten years, I am truly baffled. Are my suburbanite brethren really so far removed as to be that fucking clueless? Do they really begrudge the cost of food as a necessary evil which takes away from what they truly earn money for—large TVs, overpriced cars, membership to a facility in which you jump up and down for an hour, and brand named clothes? If so, we’re doomed. We’re all going to sink fast into the ever rising sea. And we’ll deserve it.
At least we here at LLARCS live on a hill and have a ready supply of food near at hand. By then we’ll be the only ones on earth who can identify food which isn’t pre-packaged, so we won’t have to worry about the roving, hungry, hoards. They’ll all dine out on rampaged Cheezits and die from over-exertion before they ever make it out of the city limits.