[Market-farming] Consumer Spending

Liz Pike liz at laughingbrookfarm.com
Tue Jan 7 08:55:07 EST 2003

Good morning Pat!  Seems the list is a bit slow so I'll throw out my

After 16 years in the business, I've never noticed the general trend in the
economy affecting my farm sales.  My sales were more reliant on local trends
and happenings.   Eating is something people have to do so economic trends
are slower to infiltrate this segment of the market.  Also, food
sales/trends may not reflect what you're after with landscape plants.

Are there many new housing developments around you??  How are real estates
sales in your area--is it a buyers' or sellers' market??  (New home owners
are more interested in revamping yards, while sellers only want to clean
them up.)  Also, have you contacted landscapers who might be interested in
your larger plants??

Have you visited other nurseries, garden centers, etc??  What are they
selling?? What is their mix??  Have you sat in the parking lots to see what
customers are loading in their vehicles??

For on-farm sales, can you make your farm more of an experience visiting,
aka "agro-tourism"??  In financial crunch times, people want to get away,
and a nice drive in the country has a way of rooting our feet in what is
"right" with the world.  You can take advantage of this, and create a
"mini-vacation" on your farm, even if all it is is an attractive stand where
you have pulled out all the stops to make it a "real" farm experience.

As for what size pots to sell--until you know your market, and have some
figures under your belt you might want to offer both.  This business is all
about trial & error, and no guarantees--my kind of job ; ))


Liz Pike (who's finally getting around to seed orders--Yah!!!!!!!--which
means I'll be back in business after a 3 year hiatus...god it feels sooooo
Laughingbrook Farm
Westfield NC
http://www.marketfarming.com/  (Jan update coming soon, seed orders first
; ))

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