Young Entrepreneurs

End of summer… LaLa is dying to get on that school bus for her first day of First Grade. The Bean knows what is coming and doesn’t mind the days dragging on.

Farmboy and I thought that a corn stand would be great for The Bean this year. His cousins who are older were also interested.  The boys made a table in June in anticipation of holding this year’s harvest.

It’s hard for me not to have visions of a giant festival of corn when a “corn stand” is mentioned. I think big. Why not? I like a spectacle, don’t you? Farmboy often wonders “why does everything you do have be a spectacle?”  I tried to stay out of it… really, I did.

I helped set up my art festival tent at the end of our driveway. The boys took the golf cart down into the field and loaded it with corn. I painted a couple of signs, put some tablecloths out and the boys were good to go. It was an interesting experience. Friday I found out that earlier in the morning one of the kids accidently picked field corn instead of sweet corn. Eeegads. Embarrassing. Especially when Farmboy encouraged his friends at work to stop in for some of the best sweet corn they will ever taste. Ooops. We had a discussion about “quality control” and how important it is to double check what they are selling for its quality. We weren’t sure how much had been sold. Farmboy made a few calls to let people know.

It was painful to watch as they counted change back to customers. The Bean made it clear that they were perfectly fine without me there. I took advantage of the situation to spend a little time in the studio to prepare for an upcoming show. La La and I spent the entire day on Friday making cupcakes for her cupcake stand. On Saturday the 1st Annunal “Windswept Farm Sweet Corn Extravaganza” took place. There was sweet corn, of course, lemonade, cupcakes and brownies, not to mention some tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden. Farmboy, Aunt Kim and I moved the stand further down on the farm across the street from the community recycling station – its gets alot of traffic on a Saturday morning.

The kids earned some money, ate alot of cupcakes and brownies and drank alot of lemonade. This year we have decided to let them bask in the money that they have earned. They have a taste of economics and we will hit them with the full picture next year when they have to think about how much a bag of corn seed costs and how much fuel is required to plant that seed. They are all ready talking about how they will make next year better and I am encouraged by their enthusiasm. There were a couple of hiccups- the field corn and a woman came back because she had only 4 ears when she purchased 6. Gasp. Blush. Embarassement. But they were apologetic and generous giving her extra because of their mistake. I wish that I had been taught the principles of business when I was young. I look forward to teaching the kids.

Next year all of those balloons are going to have to be put into their budget. How have you encouraged the entreprenuerial spirit in your children? Any creative ideas?

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we very much enjoyed the sweet corn! Joel called to warn us, but we hadn’t gotten any field corn in our mix. in fact, after our second visit, we got home and noticed that we’d gotten 7 ears when we’d only paid for 6. next time I see “Bean” I’ll have to spot him a quarter!

Kara- You don’t need to spot him that quarter. We were trying to teach them the benefits of being generous and encouraged them to add an extra to everyone’s bag! Maybe they should be sure that their customers were aware. : )

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Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.


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