[Market-farming] What do you do in a crop loss situation?

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Fri Jun 29 16:59:21 EDT 2007

We have a "market table" out our established producers-only market that
serves coffee. "Proceeds" benefit the market, not an individual vendor. But
customers wanted coffee.

We just held our second week of a new producers-only market in a town that
has a peddling market. We have 6 farmers - meat, chicken, eggs, flowers,
cheese, bedding plants, maple, and fruit. But the fruit person doesn't grow
strawberries. I tried really hard to get one of our two local strawberry
growers to come, but he knew (correctly) that we don't have the volume to
cover his expenses and he has a farm stand and doesn't want to do farmers
markets. So, we set up a market table, big sign of who the strawberries were
from, and "made" $27, but had strawberries. Hopefully we will not need to
use the "market table" for other than informational and promotional uses in
the future, and we don't foresee any other product shortages. Technically
the market "represented" the strawberry grower. Two of us flanking the
strawberry table handled sales with money going into an envelope. At the end
of the day, vendors got to buy the remaining berries at wholesale, and I got
refunded for the purchase of the berries (40 quarts). If we didn't have a
sweet corn grower we might be tempted to use the market table again, but the
fruit grower does sweet corn (relief). No one has suggested bringing
tomatoes, and we don't have a local greenhouse grower to get them from. 

Offerings this week were:
1. maple sugar, cream, and syrup
2. cut flowers, chicken, eggs, zucchini and yellow squash, basil, lettuce,
cukes, garlic scapes, snap peas, snow peas
3. grass-fed beef, ready-to-eat foods, lettuce, beets, salad mix, spinach
4. bedding plants, mostly veggie starts
5. organic cheese
6. apples, honey, zucchini, squash, lettuce, cherries
7. strawberries on the market table

So, we do not have a huge variety of veggies, but I think have a wonderful
full product line. I probably missed something, but you get the jist. And we
will have blueberries and raspberries! Even our established market (an hour
away) doesn't have the fruit that we have at our startup market.

It helps that we got the farmers we have because they want a producer-only
market. Most were refusing to do markets because of the reselling. If we had
a crop loss, and a really local, known person had the crop, we might bring
it in, but otherwise it is education time.

If you are interested, plattsburghmarket.com 

Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead
Peru NY

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