[Market-farming] Farm Hours

jjvaughn at juno.com jjvaughn at juno.com
Wed Jan 15 08:54:47 EST 2003


We sell beef, pork, lamb, veggies and eggs at Farmers Markets and also
off the farm.  In the past we have had a "call ahead anytime" program and
gave it up last year for a "Thursday Night Pickup at the Farm" day.  Our
hours are from 4-7pm (generally so people can come by on their way home
from work, and Thursday because it is close enough to the weekend for
people to think about cooking).  They must call or email an order in to
us to pick up on Thursday nights as well so that we are not caught off
guard digging through the freezers at the last minute and so we know how
many people to expect and when they are all finished we know we are DONE
and can eat dinner in peace!

Our reasons for changing from an open house mind set was that we would
have people call and say that they would be out around 10:00 am for a
specific order, yet they might not show (for whatever their reasoning)
until 11:00 which means that you have been waiting on them wondering if
they were lost/would call for directions or were not coming for an hour
that you needed to be doing something else.  Then when they do arrive,
they need to add a last minute thing to their order and we might have to
go back into the gardens to pick if we hadn't picked for a market day.  I
say this of "some" of our customers...by no means all.  The more
connected the customers get to your farm the more they seem to respect
your time and your time off. 

Another reason that we changed was that often on our farm we have to
manage animals and veggies  in different locations.  It is very
discouraging needing to be moving the beef cattle but you can't leave the
house because you have customers coming over.  We are a farm of two
people, your situation might be different if you had someone who could
always be near or work near where the customers pick up their orders. 

I personally would advise against just letting them call ahead without a
specific day(s) or range of hours to pick up for family reasons.  Living
on the farm and selling off the farm is stressful enough I think without
having people visit your home everyday of the week sometimes at the last
minute.  I have been ready to go to church when people would pull up in
the driveway and say that they tried to call but the line was busy so we
fill their orders and head off to church later than we had planned.  For
me, I prefer to have clear lines between when our farm is open for
business and when I am off and can know in my mind that no one is going
to be calling wanting to come out or better yet...just coming out! 


Jim and Julie Vaughn
Rocky Glade Farm
Eagleville, TN
jjvaughn at juno.com

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