My children learned their first lessons in marketing and economics today. While working to turn our vermipost, my children noticed just how much the red wrigglers had reproduced while we were away. They scooped some out for a closer look and a little play. When Sophie was done, she suggested scattering them in the garden; my son remembered a story he heard about his great-uncle who sold nightcrawlers to fishermen when he was a boy forty years ago. “We should sell them,” he piped up, “to fishermen going to Green Lake”.
Before long, they had scrounged some recycled yogurt containers from the kitchen, poked air holes in the lids and counted out their stock. They decided on prices, made signs and moved a table from the patio to the street.
Their first customer was our regular postal carrier. “Worms? Don’t you have lemonade? I don’t need any worms right now”. Two more cars stopped to ask about lemonade before we decided to provide what the market was demanding. We made bigger signs, and the kids took turns dancing around the table with their signs held high to attract attention. Sophie stayed at her table for 2 1/2 hours, bringing in $6.05 in lemonade sales; the worms have been relocated to a larger container for safekeeping.
At dinner, we had an extensive conversation about the endeavor. How much can you charge for homemade lemonade? Is it worth the higher material cost to make it from scratch? Should it be listed on the poster? Do cookies provide a good return on your investment? I charged 10% of their profit for the materials that went into today’s lemonade, plus my dishwashing service since we were using our own cups and they didn’t want to wash them. If they put the stand up again tomorrow, they are going to pay for the sugar and lemons out of today’s profit. Now, about those worms…