Farmers' Market displays

Del Williams delannw at dlogue.net
Tue Mar 12 13:13:46 EST 2002


Beth,

I finally went with lightweight fiberglass tables.  I had them custom built
into three tables that make a U.  So I have 18' feet of tables surrounding
me.  the cash box in the center of the u and off the tables.  Yeah, I know,
some people like to wear change aprons but those are pickpocketed pretty
easily....it happened to a vendor at our market.

I cover the tables with plastic/fabric backed tablecloths and change them as
the season goes along.  A spring time print, a summer print and a fall
print.  I use woven baskets (not the produce kind we use for apples) to
display produce and clear plastic ice buckets (Wal-Mart purchase) to display
large herbs.  I use clear plastic glasses to display small herbs.  Those go
front and center of the U.  The scent draws the customers.

I also use large black plastic stacking crates (rectangular) that I set out
front for larger items and when the table display gets too full.  Onions,
potatoes, eggplant, green peppers, etc...are stacked in those crates at
about waste level.  I also put a cooler of bottled water in ice or a cooler
of lettuce or swiss chard in them.  I leave those closed with a sign about
what is inside.

My whole idea was to set up a boutique stand.  Not so much of a farmer
impression but a specialty booth.  As a small grower, I had to develop a
following that distinguished me from the regular farms.  Thus, the fresh
herbs, lettuces, greens, etc.  Same for the veggies like butterbeans, purple
green beans, multi colored peppers, chiles, heirloom tomatoes, lemon cukes,
white eggplant, ristras, cornwreaths, herbal vinegars, bottled dried herbs.
I wanted a colorful and inviting display that made people want to come over
and look.  Just to see what is so different.  Not really as much work to set
up as any other display.

Engage the customer in conversation, offer a free sample of basil or
chocolate mint (god knows I have enough of that!), and keep them there until
they buy something...anything.  LOL.  I also offered free recipes each week
and reminded customers each week that the next recipe would be for a
particular herb or vegetable.  Or even a combination....like Greek Potatoes
With Rosemary.  Like y'all come back now and git yur free recipe next week.
Oh, and by the way, no purchase required.  Heh heh.

For what it is worth, I think that strong fiberglass tables were worth it.
At the end of the day, picking up heavy wood tables is just more tiring.  If
the fiberglass tables get wet, big deal.

Hey, my dad was telling me about the 'wood' product made out of plastic and
Kenaf that he sees down in Texas.  I sure would like to get a look at that
stuff.  He says it looks just like wood but more light weight.  Anyone seen
it?

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Clifton IL
delannw at dlogue.net





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