Commerce…From a Distance

I am many things – good, bad and all hues in between – but one thing I am not is gifted in the art of commerce.

Some folk love the cut and thrust of buying and selling whether it be houses, vehicles, outgrown clothes, handcrafted goodies or, more central to our lifestyle, livestock or even eggs fresh from hen. Not me. For some weird reason (well, from past dabblings, in truth), I struggle to gauge the worth of anything in my possession and the stress of possibly overcharging or not supplying a product of the expected quality is just too horrific to contemplate. Conversely, when purchasing I hate haggling; it feels dismissive and kind of rude to me. Oh. I am a delicate flower.

Over the years, I have truly tried to overcome this flaw in my psyche but, like my attempt to retrain my palate to enjoy the mandatory lunchtime glass of milk around my grandparent’s table, I always end up with a nasty taste in my mouth and an upset stomach. Happily, with the move to a rural address my final trading duty of any note – that of selling the goat kids – is no longer. I willingly accept the task of negotiating and facilitating their birth, care, and dispatch as a trade off (pardon the pun) for never ever again having to haggle their worth, welfare and future in cold, hard, cash.

Taking Delivery of Stock

This week, however, The Homestead has been a hive of industry. You see, this year Farm Girl opted to study Commerce and today the highlight of the Commerce year at Darfield High School occurs; yes, today is Market Day. For weeks, her group have been brainstorming, researching, planning, and finally producing in order to turn their $15.00 per head seed money into a fortune…or at least break even. After many different ideas, they landed on selling donuts as their money-spinner. A couple of them had donut makers, the ingredients are minimal and easily accessible, and they’re enjoying great popularity at the moment; sound logic. A reassuring message from the Commerce teacher stressed that this was an exercise for the students alone and nothing for the parents and caregivers to get … well, stressed about. Phew! So, while the rest of us gardened, tackled some much-overdue maintenance tasks, hid upstairs, or generally kept out of the way, the Homestead kitchen was turned over to donut production. From a distance, it sounded like a great deal of fun and nothing like my past experiences with making a buck.

When not in the kitchen, they were busy proudly plastering the school and their various social media accounts with colourful advertising in an undertaking, again from a distance, resounding with enthusiasm, joy, utter belief, and pride.

So maybe The Homestead has an entrepreneur in the making or maybe this will just be a thing this giggling group reminisce about whenever they get together, accompanied by hoots of laughter, pithy catchphrases, and “Alexa, play…” Whatever happens, I think this safe, controlled, fair introduction to the gritty art of commerce is fantastic.

I’m sold on it.

Update: A phonecall was received as Colin and I walked towards the after-school meet up. “Please bring the car; there is A LOT of leftover donuts.” My heart sunk. “But,” she continued, “believe it or not, our team won,” jubilant hoots can be heard in the background, “because our ingredients weren’t expensive.” Not a bad foray into the world of making a buck.

11 thoughts on “Commerce…From a Distance

  1. I quite sympathise with your views about business. It is very hard to charge someone more than something actually costs. Haggling does seem very rude too.

    The crucial question is were the donuts tasty?

  2. I also don’t do well with the commerce thing, I feel your pain. I feel like doughnuts were an excellent way to dip into the world of trade – and having leftovers of a product you like is not all bad. Doughnuts can be frozen for example. Unless perhaps the recipe needed tweaking? In which case – a win for the chickens.

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