[Market-farming] Grower Only Farmers Markets

John Drury jbd3 at hughes.net
Fri Jan 26 15:55:35 EST 2007

    Thought I would pass along the following to see if there's any useful 
John Drury
Fresh Harvest Cooperative
9407 McFarlin Rd.
Bon Aqua, TN 37025
jbd3 at hughes.net

The Franklin Farmers' Market in Franklin, Tennessee is a true farmer's 
market. We do not allow food brokers into the market. The market is what it 
says it is: A real farmers' market. Our farmers sow it & grow it and our 
customers eat & enjoy it. Because the market features only locally grown 
food, customers can ask the farmers questions about the produce, veggies, 
fruits and other farm goods for sale & know exactly which farm the food came 
from and how it was produced. The Franklin Farmers' Market is a non-profit 
organization with 3 easy to understand goals:
Keep local family farms productive and growing. Offer the public easy access 
to real food straight from local farms. And educate the public about the 
importance of farming and how it affects both environmental and economic 
issues in Tennessee. Productive farmland is a limited and irreplaceable 
natural resource. The Franklin Farmers' Market works to protect it. No farms 
equals No food. It's that simple.

The market began five years ago with only 8 local farmers. Now the market 
features over 45 different farms, with new farmers asking for information or 
a booth at the market each year. The market had to work to get farmers to 
participate and used several venues in order to do so. To get the farmers' 
attention, we worked with the state ag department. They were able to provide 
us with a list of working farms and they helped to get the word out to 
farmers regarding the establishment of the market. We also worked to get 
media attention about the market and while most of that came initially came 
under pubic service announcements, it still helped to get the word out. We 
sent information on the market to such businesses as farmers' co-ops and 
worked to get market info out to city officials.  The market management 
consists of one paid manager, a board made up mostly of farmers plus 
volunteers. After the first year of the market, word of mouth helped to gain 
more farmers' to the market. Part of the hesitation of farmers to become a 
part of the market had to do with whether or not this was a real farmers 
market that would become a stable, dependable venue with only farmers 
selling fresh produce, etc. That concern came in part because of a nearby 
large "farmers" market that featured mostly food brokers. While our market 
allows a small number of local crafts people, the main focus of the market 
is and will continue to be Tennessee farmers.

Each farmer has to get a farm certificate from their local county extension 
agent. Market management makes periodic visits to the farms to take a look 
at the farm operations. Farms at the market must be within a 150 mile radius 
of the market. And we rely on the farmers too, as they can give info on 
farms not following market policies or provide info on farms that may be 
interested in being at the market.

Booth sizes range in size and prices. We try to keep the prices of booths 
low for the farms. Farmers can purchase a booth space for the entire season 
of the market or booth space for market days on a per need basis. Farmers 
can also sell the produce of another Tennessee farm, but they must have a 
farming certificate from that farm and they must tell customers where that 
produce was raised. They can sell the produce of only one other farm in 
addition to their own products.

The success of the market comes from word of mouth and constant efforts to 
get media attention for the market and/or participating farmers. The market 
also conducts a steady stream of info to the public via brochures, website 
and creative signage to get the market's goals out in attention-getting 
materials. The market also participates in some local events, such as the 
annual garden & flower show, allowing us to target an audience already 
interested in gardening. Typically, most of these events have a few spaces 
for local non-profit organizations.

It is a constant effort to keep the market top of the mind with both the 
public and the farmers. The market has been very successful in that effort, 
even though the organization operates on a small budget. Most of the 
financial aid comes booth rentals, state grants and a very good rental rate 
on our facility. But the largest part of the market's success comes from 
staying true to our slogan:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Allan Balliett" <aballiett at frontiernet.net>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 8:15 AM
Subject: [Market-farming] Grower Only Farmers Markets

> I'm really interested in talking our town council into supporting a
> grower only market here. Although I can find many grower only markets
> advertised on the web, I can't seem to find any succinct 'grower only
> market' philosophy laid out, something that I could show the town
> council, something about how supporting local growers is good for the
> entire community. I thought there was actually a 'grower only market'
> advocacy group operating out of PA, but I haven't been able to find
> hide-nor-hair of that group.
> Can anyone help?
> thanks
> _Allan Balliett
> _______________________________________________
> Market-farming mailing list
> Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/market-farming

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