"Farmers", Bangs and Bucks

You are reading this as written from two certified "farmers".  Yes, the US Federal Government has made a "favorable determination" to our official status as "farmers".  Unfortunately, I completed the last census form with my occupation described as "planner" because "farmer" would have been way cooler.   (Jennifer's occupational entry was already nifty.  I described her as a  "smarty McSmart marine biologist and lovely, supportive bride".  This prompted a nice staffer from the US Census Bureau to phone me to clarify this occupation as it didn't fit any of their standard categories.   Plus, our relative young ages would have skewed the farmer data by reducing the "mean age" category a few years given the small 'n' - that's sample size for all you that didn't take Stats 351, 352, 353, 535 and 599.  I had to use the term, or the $8,000 I spent on those courses would have been unused as LiLo's breathalyzer.)   This determination means that the good folks at the Farm Services Agency (the financial branch of the US Dept. of Agriculture) will entertain a loan application from us!  Jennifer worked tirelessly on a loan application and submitted it last week.  The desired amount is much less than the originally-referenced dollar amount.  This is because we have the greatest friends on earth.  Two of them in particular are applying their lifetimes of construction innovation to design growing structures that essentially produce more "bang for the buck" (there's a pun in there I promise).  Essentially the design is to maximize growing space while reducing both material costs and construction/labor costs.  I've heard that the secret to business is "location; location and location".  That may have been true in a pre-world wide webinets context, but in today's fast-paced, high-output, 140-character conversation, outsourcing world, it's all about "maximizing margins", and, dare I say, personal relationships; Tweeter Be Damned; we love our peeps.

Tech Update
Frog Eyes is riding the bench on Team Low Tech.  We've got a Facebook Page, which, thanks to the best friends a farmer could ever have now has more "likes" than Primary School obligatory Valentine's Day cards I ever received.  The link is here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frog-Eyes-Wasabi/111319535640092 please friend us if you're a facebook user.  I'm still unsure how to "like" anybody else with a business facebook account.  It seems like a profile is needed.  So, for now, the Frog Eyes Facebook page will be passive and require you to ask it to slow dance.
Product Headline Update
Our good friend Lyf at The Flying Fish Company added our wasabi to the Fresh Marquee.  We are now "marquee fresh"; that can mean anything you like.  We've been delivering wasabi rhizome and leaves to this business weekly.  The leaves are great in salads, eggs and make a killer salmon wrap with a bit of creme fresh.  The Frog Eyes website has a few recipes that include wasabi leaves and stems.  I personally like the stems cut into bite-sized pieces and sauteed in olive oil for 10 minutes.  They taste like a combination of asparagus and bok choy.  I sprinkle a bit of salt on them and use this as an appetizer.  Crack a cold freshie and relax a bit before supper.
Last weekend, our good Friends at Uwajimaya hosted us at a wasabi demo.  I talked to Uwajimaya customers for several hours about wasabi.  Essentially, I was one of those overly-medicated perma-smile folks blocking the shopping aisle asking the good people if they'd like to try some new product.  However, I had something the other snake oil sellers don't: farm cred.  The spiel was: "would you like to try fresh, locally-grown wasabi?"  but then I added, "I'm the farmer" the customers' faces would light up and they'd become engaged; nearly 100% of the time.  Some of the most rewarding reactions are from Japanese natives who initially appear dismissive of  this big, tall, furry gaijin who says he's growing wasabi, which-can't-be-as-good-as-the-product-from-home, but then sample some of our fresh wasabi and see their faces beam, heads nod and (sometimes) bow.  My heart sings......
Posted on December 16, 2011 .