[Market-farming] Farmers Market question

tonitime at juno.com tonitime at juno.com
Mon Jun 25 13:27:08 EDT 2007


Hi Lynn,
   So often, your locale and marketing sounds much like mine.  Thus, i
haven't joined in with the other 1 or 2 seasonal vendors so far.  I know
that to begin with, i could not make enough for the hours of work spent
toward more success. We do have a helpful extension service in our part
of Kentucky - as do all the other counties i have seen.  They do all the
paperwork for anyone who wants to join, charging 25. for the year (it
used to be free here, for what that was worth!). They will publicize,
could be pressed into food demos, and have active farm and consumer
science employees in each of the 120-some counties this commonwealth has.
 Of course, some are better than others - but if one inquires, help is
always there.  They can do radio announcements, newspaper plugs - but we
would advertise particulars at our cost.  No one is hard-nosed - but most
familys in our small, mountainous area who care about vegies have their
own gardens with the types of stuff this culture so loves - and little
want of diverse vegies that are naturally grown.  I sell most to folk who
are not from around here, as they appreciate the wide variety of foods we
grow.  BUT, the tourist areas are 20 minutes away from town/county seat -
so that market isn't in place for the tourism season.  People also want
farm-grown stuff to be produced for a steal - and my time is more
valuable that that.  I sell to my friends and client at grocery store
rates, but the locals would't have that.  In these more uncertain
economic times, i must say  contrary to loving receive "the green
compliment" for my vegies, that i am very gladdened to see how many homes
have vegie gardens again growing larger each year.  The roads just came
thru this area in 1946ish, and people still are alive to remember how to
take care of their own and others.  Bad for being in a vegie market, but
great for health and survival of the hardy appalachian folk in toughter
times.  As it should be, in my opinion!  So, i am going to dabble in my
specialty produce, allium production, and slowly begin doing legal,
value-added products from the garden.  If that draws more and larger
dollars, one of us will go to an out - of-state certification program for
commercial canning license - small time business posibility to supplement
social security that DH will soon go to.  He used to be a chef, caterer,
and had such course thru UC DAvis in his food ed years.  We shall see if
the fella feels like having a job after retirement!  If not, something
else will happen.  If you love to grow and cook foods, perhaps over your
next 5-7 years of active motherhood, you could slowly experiment and
build such a thing.  I can only sell at farmers markets, certified
roadside stands( none around). and off the farm to individuals and not
for resale!  If we take the expensive, 5 day course - we could sell about
anywhere in the US only.
I have one more year of last daughter at home, and now feel a bit pressed
to assist more in the income here, as all jobs available are also minimum
wage - and i know i can do my time better on my own.
I think of you and your situation often, wish you good adventure, and
know that sumptin' will happen!  With good intention like you have been
doing, in some broader areas - your sort of entrepreneurship and
homeplace should become apparent. I felt much as you do, 5 years ago -
and things are moving into position for this's and thats to get the extra
cash we need.  For us, diversity seems the only way - a little money from
many ventures from the home and gardens.  In the meantime, i am called
upon for  1-5 hours of massage therapy work each week or so.  At those
sort of wages, i can help DH out  with his locale-imposed income and
still focus on garden, processing, and dispersing the stuff. I do a lot
of giving away of our vegies, has had unexpected gifts come to us that
would have required alot of money.   In the last year, our Franciscan Nun
friends received donation of a newer, used van - they remembered us and
gave us their old one.  Good samaritan local guys came out and rescrewed
our whole roof last month , coated it with aluminum/fiberglass paint on
all parts of the roof, cabin, and mudroom - giving us another 15 years on
this old roof........because they had noticed how we shared around both
foods and time.  Last week, our big chest freezer went out.  Someone
heard about it from a nother pal, and now we have a chest again, tho
half-size so alot of canning will happen this summer!  I think we can
make it here, as when my girls and i put out community effort in town and
privately - whenever we need some thing, it seems to show up!
Lynn, i wish those kind of riches for you too - wherever you wind up.  We
are surprised to find our sleepy community has an inner cooperative
fellowship that we can work and play in, so we can live well no matter
what.  I, too, need about 4 more years to be out of debt from partner
changes - found a better model of DH than that one!  It has taken me
about 14 years to recover from that union - and the light at the end of
the tunnel is coming - barring the ol unforeseen.
It may be too mystical for some POV's , but i say good luck and good
intention-flinging toya!
Toni in KY




On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:06:33 -0400 "Lynn Wigglesworth"
<lynnw1366 at hotmail.com> writes:
> What kind of community/local government support do other Farmers 
> Markets
> get? Who finds the location for the market? Who finds vendors? Who 
> pays
> for signs, insurance, advertising? Who organizes all of this? What 
> role
> does the local government, cooperative extension, farm agencies, 
> etc.
> play? I'm curious about how it SHOULD work in areas that have good
> community support.
> 
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> 
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