Thursday, August 11, 2011

I am not a charity...but nor are you. (Part 1)

Unpleasant little things are happening because people know there is money to be made in "local and heirloom" now. Sometime common decency slips out the door.  Let me tell you about three of my experiences.

If I was to subtitle this post, that subtitle would be "The week I said "NO".

I don't say no a whole lot.  If somebody asks me something I am a bit unsure of, I may squiggle and squirm, but I'll eventually say yes. Generally I am a pushover.  An easy target.

But a few weeks back, I thought that perhaps I was pushed a bit too far.

I received a call from a company that grows and sells plants throughout North America.  They are starting to grow and sell heirloom tomato plants as well, and a small vegetable line. The question was put to me...."Can we come and see what it is you are doing and what you are growing?" 

Seriously?  This is like Walmart asking if they can come and see what my friend at the Wellandport Food Market is doing.  

They have a good thing going...they have a specialty and it is not tomatoes. Or vegetables for that matter.

But they have big sales.  Did I say their plants are sold throughout North America?

"Why?" I said.  "Why do you want to come and see me?" 

Well, it turns out they sell 10 varieties and they'd like to know a bit more about some of the other ones I grow...and what else it is I am growing too. Am I stretching it to think they may want to expand their line?  And get ideas from me about how and with what to do that ?

"I'm a small farmer" I replied. " This is my livelihood."  This is a love of mine, true enough.  But it's not a hobby,  or a pleasant sideline.  It is my living.

"You want to come see me so you can find out what I am growing, because you would like to expand your line of tomatoes?"  "Is that what you are telling me?"

There was a hesitiation..I was told he understood what I was saying, because they don't allow competitors in to see their operation.  And then hesitation.  And.."I'll talk to my manager and get back to you." 

Never heard back.


Back soon with the next one.


inhabiting_trees said...

This makes me sooooo GRRRR on your behalf!

"There was a hesitiation..I was told he understood what I was saying, because they don't allow competitors in to see their operation."

Clearly, they know what they're doing and are intentionally taking an advantage / edge wherever they can get it!

~big hugs~ specially since it only appears to be part one of three! eep!

Cellarguy said...

Obviously you have the big retailers worried. I picture them in their board rooms in three piece suits, like generals on a death star, nervously chewing their bottom lips, not sure which way to go next.

You are the Princess Leia of Tomatoes. "The more you tighten your grip, Darth Walmart, the more customers will slip from your grasp."

Linda said...

Thanks guys. Like i am a threat to anybody's big business-but they sure are a threat to mine!