My booth at market

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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 the last 8 years I have held a booth at Clark Fork River Market under Higgin’s Bridge. But for one year my transportation to market has been one tricycle that you see in the photo (taken by D. McAdoo). I have 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 the methane that now and again escapes from the human combustion engine that peddles it…) and the time it doesn’t take out of my life/pocketbook. I only require about a 5 foot space to set up, which means cheap rent at any market. Breakfast, coffee, and a market snack are the fuel it takes to peddle it 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, cuz I’m not making any money for that time. 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. Don’t do it anymore. When I’m loading up the trike I think of myself 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. This board acts as a sign as I’m peddling 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 and look good on display.

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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 during winter. 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!

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