The Homestead Organic Journal
September 4: I've been keeping a journal of my farming foibles for my readers this year, and most of it is true!
September 7: The epilogue to my September 2nd journal entry about Billy the Kid and growing large pumpkins is that Billy shot me down. The 65 pounder I submitted to the Peachland Fall Fair was a marble to Billy's softball. His came in at 160 lb. Deep down I knew I had no chance. Redemption, sort of: for the second year running, a veggie-creature submitted by farm staff-this year, Ian and Ryan and Steph--fetched a blue ribbon and a Best-In-Show. Way to go, you three; you sure showed those arrogant ten year olds who thought they could beat you.
September 13: The sudden need to replace our scale's batteries at market led to social and financial catastrophe. Ryan being the better salesman, I left him to tend the stall and headed up the street to seek out some replacement portable energy.
The first thing I learned: Main Street in Penticton is not the cornucopia of Sunday morning battery merchants of bygone days. I suppose it's linked to the general decline in religiousity in recent years. What Baby Boomer, after all, can't remember returning from church, back of the station wagon, joining brothers, sisters in pleading with dad to stop for some double A's? Maybe even a 9 volt, on special occasions. Dad always pretending not to hear, turning in at the last second, to cheers from the kids. Mom never indulging in more than a triple A for herself, seemingly restrained, but knowing, in the back of her mind, that little George would be unlikely to finish his whole four-pack. We lie to ourselves more than anyone else, don't we?
Times have changed, and Main Street's windows are filled with books and shoes and fabrics. Nary a C Cell in site. Moral decay, folks. Moral decay.
I had almost given up when I encountered the Pharmasave, filled with equal parts hope and dread. Halfway chance they'd have the D Cells I needed, but at what cost? You don't go to Pharmasave for batteries unless you're desperate. I know it, they know it. For my purposes the store might well have been called Enerspend.
What should have been a simple process veered into awkwardness when a clerk an aisle over asked me if I needed help finding anything. My answer was a rambling explanation of my farmers' market scale failure and my long quest to find some D's. I wish I had looked up before giving it, since I discovered, when I finally did, that the clerk had been talking to the pregnant woman in a neighbouring aisle. Had she laughed at my blunder it would have been fine, but instead she acted as if I had just availed myself, right in front of her, of a strong need to pee, staring at me with some mixture of pity, wonder, and disgust.
I found the batteries, eventually. Eight of them cost $28, or 1/10th the cost of my fancy scale. I returned to market, clearly defeated by Enerspend, but also inspired. Were an errant, emaciated rabbit to approach my stall looking for carrots, I would quickly put the the price up to $10/bunch, because the poor sucker would pay it.