Lavender Lori

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My Booth at Market

by Lavender Lori Parr - on Monday, September 17, 2012
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Since I began growing lavender I have been a vendor at one Missoula market or another; actually, I have vended at all of those downtown. For 8 years I held a booth at Clark Fork River Market under Higgin's Bridge. All but one year my transportation to market was one tricycle that you see in the photo (taken by D. McAdoo). I retrofitted the trike to fold up and out as my display and sales booth. It came with the basket between the two back tires. And I attached the one to the handlebars and the two to the sides. What makes it 'minimalist' is the amount of space it takes up, it has no carbon footprint (other than a little methane) and the time it doesn't take out of my life/pocketbook.

I only require about a 5 foot space to set up, which meant cheap rent at any market. Breakfast, coffee, and a market snack; the fuel needed to peddle the 1/2 mile to and from market. Not having to pull a vehicle into market before and after for unloading and loading saves an immense amount of time and frustration.The price you pay for a farmer's produce rarely covers her time spent farming, and crafting her product, let alone the time it takes to set up and take down her market booth. So my theory is; It better take less than a half hour to setup and break down. And I certainly don't want to get caught in the traffic jam that ensues at the end of a 6 hour stint of standing out in the hot sun selling my wares. Been there, done that. When loading up the trike I was much like an outfitter packing my mule.

Everything either has to collapse or fold up; my chair, an umbrella. Clip on or tie down; I utilize lots of clamps and twine to attach buckets for fresh bouquets, attach the umbrella, tie down things that will blow out on the fast peddle to town, clamp trays into place to extend shelf space. I used a couple screw clamps to attach a board to the back basket; an advertising billboard as I peddle about and flips up and over the basket as my display table while vending. And everything else has to nestle into the attached baskets securely for the ride.

Shorty at my booth at the market 

This is Shorty. See, he is riding his own trike! In fact, it was years ago I saw Shorty ride by at the craft market when I stopped him and commissioned him to make me a market trike. He built mine for me, and I store my trike in his garage. Actually, Shorty's garage is a museum of trikes! He must have at least a dozen. They are his sole mode of transpo. He rides a different one to market to buy his fresh produce each week. He tells me they are all for sale, for the right price. He crafts them all by hand from bits and pieces, odds and ends that he finds discarded in dumpsters, and junk heaps. Talk about a minimalist!

Due to Mother Nature usurping my Lavender Queendom a couple times since 2009, I haven't product enough to represent myself at market any longer. I will miss visiting with you regular market attendees, and my comrade vendors. I do still have a limited amount of of 2013 lavender, product, essential oil, and hydrosol to sell you. I am still waiting to see how the mature plants at Ten Spoon fared from this winter's two negative 30 bouts. I am starting a nice lavender farm, or two in the Mission valley, so shall continue to dabble in it. Call me, my lavender junkies. I'll try to keep you hooked up!

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Author Lavender Lori Parr

About Lavender Lori Parr

Lavender Lori was recently described by a friend as elegant and rugged. Elegant is a stretch but rugged sums it up.

She never was one to play by society's rules or let anybody tell her what to do. And when others thought her a fool for trying something outside the box of normal reality she did it just to prove to herself that it could be done. She has bucked systems most of her life. Some might call her fiercely independent. She is, without a doubt self reliant and self sufficient and maybe stricken with a light case of LFWS - Lonely Farm Woman Syndrome due to circumstances that led to her sudden uprooting to different living quarters, a 90 mile round trip from her base town of Missoula, Montana.

She is the pioneer for growing a couple types of lavender that were never before tried in Montana, distills her own brand of essential oils and hydrosols, and teaches workshops on various topics.