I have a standing rule…always buy from the kids…. I just can’t walk by a kid that’s selling something and not buy. I see them everywhere, at yard sales, near garden tours on the Azalea Festival, even solo along the side of the road. Almost everything’s a dollar. Over the years, I’ve bought cookies brownies, donuts, and lots of lemonade and kool-aid.
But today I’d like to share a story from one of our Hobby Greenhouse Club Plant Sales. The sales take place at a private residence on Metts Ave. and we’ve sold there for 50 years.
We were super busy selling plants one day when two small boys walked up to one of our members and asked if they could sell some plants. They had a cardboard box containing six plants. I noticed the plants were Johnnie Jump Ups in two inch clay pots. In addition to the plants, the pots were also full of grass and weeds. Our member patiently explained you had to be a member to sell. Dejectedly, the two young entrepreneurs hung their head and started back down the driveway.
These kids must have been around 5 & 7 years old, and I found out later they were the grandchildren of one of our members. Visiting Grandma and seeing all the commotion just a couple doors from Grandma’s house, they had moseyed down to see what was going on. When they realized people were selling plants, they ran back to Grandmas, found some pots, and proceeded to dig up the pretty little flowers that had reseeded in Grandma’s lawn.
I was close enough to hear the conversation, and when they left, I followed them down the driveway and asked if I could see what they were selling. The flowers were a $1 dollar each…..the grass and weeds were free.
I dug in my pocket and found a $5 bill and a $1 bill and bought the lot. They were ecstatic and decided they would spend their windfall on our plants. They went running back to where the plants were and began looking over everything. They had to make sure they spent the money well.
After about half an hour they came back to me and wanted to know if they could exchange the five dollar and one dollar bills for two three dollar bills… As I said, they were very young. I told them I was fresh out of threes, but I could give them six one dollar bills. They agreed that would work and again, they went running back to the plants. I don’t remember what those two bought, but they eventually spent the whole six dollars on plants.
As I said they did a lot of looking and talked to a lot of our growers. It was the end of the day. We were beginning to close down. Finally one of the boys found just what he was looking for. Unfortunately, when he asked the price, it was more than he had. Well, the seller and the buyer did some negotiating and since it was the end of the day, that particular plant went on sale for just what the little boy had. He was one of our last sales.
Later Grandma came down and filled us in on the details.
We love for the kids to come to our sales and always set up a table of small plants “Free to Kids.” I am very proud of the fact that I often see our members taking time to talk to the kids and answer their questions. These are tomorrow’s gardeners.
So the next time you see a kid selling something, stop and buy. The koolaid and lemonade may be sour, and the cookies and brownies not quite done. Doesn’t matter….buy anyway. Encourage these young entrepreneurs…. It’s the best dollar you’ll ever spend.