[Market-farming] Restaurant update
Road's End Farm
organic87 at frontiernet.net
Wed May 23 08:56:07 EDT 2012
On May 23, 2012, at 8:40 AM, Richard Stewart wrote:
> They have been used to working with a short list of vendors for
> their produce and meats.
They're also most likely used to those vendors almost always having
everything available, in whatever quantity is wanted, and on only a
couple of days' notice.
Working with individual small growers and seasonal availability is
quite a jump from that. They often also know next to nothing about
farming and don't understand that different crops need different
amounts of time to grow, let alone that growers often need to order
seed, work out field plans, and sometimes start transplants well ahead
of time for planting out in the field. I have had buyers say to me in
late May "It's planting season now, we thought we'd better get back to
you" when I had been trying my best to have a discussion with them in
January when I was working out seed orders, and when some of what they
wanted needed to be started as transplants in March and other items
needed to be planted in the field in April.
An additional difficulty is, as someone else mentioned, that some
restaurants change chefs frequently. The person with whom you actually
did succeed in having a discussion in January may have been replaced
by July by someone with an entirely different idea of what to put on
the menu, and/or an entirely different degree of desire to buy local
None of that makes it impossible to sell to chefs -- many growers do
quite nicely at it. But there are significant challenges on both sides
of the deal.
-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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