rotting timbers of an old boiler house and other lean-to structures on the outside of the wall and goose grass rose like a tidal wave ready to sweep away what remained of what might once have been a chicken coup. Maggie pushed open a rusty iron gate into the old vegetable garden and Annie ducked under the brick arch above it.
The walls were a good fifteen feet high, and they rose from a level, featureless surface of slowly baking, sweet-smelling, mud. The flat earth stretched at least a hundred and fifty feet in front of them, and fifty feet on either side. But immediately in front of Annie‟s galoshes there was a single, three-inch wide row, about ten feet long, of something wispy and green.
“Burnet!” Maggie said triumphantly. “When I was very young,” Jeremy said with a tone of self-deprecating modesty, “I used to daydream about being a scientist who discovered a new vitamin that was absolutely essential to good health and which you could only get from eating burnet.”
“By the end of the summer we‟ll have an acre of it,” Maggie beamed. “We‟ll be the biggest producers in the country, I‟d like to bet. And we have the name to go with it. I believe you call it a “brand”. All we need is a marketing strategy.”
Salad Burnet: a marketing strategy for the new taste of Covinshire
Annie crossed out the last four words and substituted „taste of Old England‟. Then she crossed out the entire heading and wrote: marketing -- identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers‟ needs. She identified her own most pressing need as the urgent desire to look, smell, and feel clean. She put her clipboard and pen on the chair by the bath and reached for her mother‟s enormous dispenser of liquid soap. She lined up back-brush, sponge, and pumice, and then submerged her entire body in the deep, hot water.
She needed an income. How could she be coming to the end of her twenties, after working for years in one tedious office job after another, winning praise from one boss after another, and have no money?
She needed to move out of her parents‟ house. How could she have wasted so many years living in a place that had become like a museum of her childhood, just because slumming with her parents was so much easier than slumming on her own?
She needed a job. She had the diploma. She believed she had the creative flair and the confidence.