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Do you sell your veggies/plants at the farmer's market?

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Nebe, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Nebe

    Nebe Runs with Scissors

    Jan 16, 2011
    I was wondering if anyone does backyard veggie gardening and selling at the local farmer's market?
    If so, what varieties are you growing/selling? What do your customers go crazy for?

    I ask because I have a huge garden and I love starting all sorts of plants from seed so I'm thinking about getting a table at the farmer's market. I've been told I need a permit in order to sell plants but I don't need a permit to sell veggies. Is this the same everywhere?

    And I'd love to hear if you sell your eggs/chickens at the farmer's market, and if so, what kinds of eggs are you selling and how much are you charging? That's something else I'm considering doing; getting more chicklets so I can sell eggs.

    I'm wondering too if I could sell mealworms at the market? Does anyone do that?

    Do you have any advice for a farmer's market newbie?

  2. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    My dad sells veggies and fruits at the farmers market,infact hes the manager.We grow tomatoes,zuchini,flowers,herbs,garlic,scallions,lettuce and some others I cant think of.It doesnt really matter what variety as long as its a fast grower.We also buy wholesale fruits like peaches and plums in the summer and apples and apricots and pears in the fall.We pick strawberries,blueberries,rasberries,cherries and grapes by the bushel at some other farms for wholesale price.Try and find farms for pick your own it definatly adds variety to your farmstand and will attract more customers.Make sure to have a price for everything and have samples for the berries.Try and make it look like you have more of everything becouse it just attracts them for some reason.For eggs we charge $2.50 for small,$3.25 for medium and $4.00 for large.dont make anything really cheap becouse then they will think the product is cheap.For the mealworms have a different table so they arnt close to the veggies or fruits or else the customers will be kinda grossed out.If you can bring chickens or ducks or some type of cool animal to show people.It will attract them to your stand.If there are lots of dogs make dog biscuits and people will buy from you.Have the lettuce in ice so it doesnt wilt and keep verything clean.This is all I know off the top of my head,good luck!
  3. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Songster

    Oct 13, 2010
    Before you get to far, I would suggest you set up a time to talk to the people that run your local farmers market and your local health dept.

    Years ago we had a fruit stand and also used to sell at a swapmeet. But now the health dept requires the fruit and veggies to be stored in a commercial refrigeration unit. This includes if you pick oranges at night and sell in the morning. Most of the locals do this by purchasing a refrigerated truck. Of course that is going to eat in to your profits for a LONG time. You also have to be inspected by the health dept and here be part of the certified organic farmers group, this is a multi year task.

    Needless to say, we no longer sell our fruit and I have spent the past few years cutting down many many fruit trees and replacing with a large garden with wide paths for mom, me and her friends to share and enjoy.
  4. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    Nebe- I'm so glad you asked this, I was coming to post the very same question! Our garden is growing by leaps and bounds and we've been discussing getting a table at our local farmers' market also. I'm having a heck of a time coming up with things that I didn't see represented there last year that people might be looking for (so far my only "ace in the hole" is Okra- I'm in WI and it's not a staple up here; my okra did really well last year and we even had a few people stop by the farm to buy it because they recognized it from the road). Beyond that, I'm stumped. We tend to grow all of the garden 'regulars' but in odd colors, I was thinking I might just extend that to our farm stand. The market buy-in is pretty affordable ($25/50 a season depending on the booth size) but I need to find out if it's a commitment thing or if I can just show up when I've got extras.

    Pringle- what a neat experience to have, you certainly offer a lot of useful advice- especially the bit about keeping mealworms separate from the food! Ha ha ha, maybe just a cooler w/ a label so people who are looking know where to find you but no one is caught by surprise...

    Carols Clucks- what a nightmare about all the permits and legislation. I understand the need to ensure safe food, but that's ridiculous. I hate the attitude that anyone selling their produce at a farm stand wouldn't care or think about the health of their consumers... I wonder how many times we've all broken laws with the produce we harvest to eat ourselves.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Did markets from 7 acres of produce for two decades back in the day. Lot rent was $25 a year.

    Now? The operators (civic government) has sort of lost track of the purpose of holding a farmer's market. Lot rents are too high in our area. It's not like we have the profit margins to pay fees of $25 a day and worse.

    I now sell straight from gardens, here at the farm. I can charge less, but keep more.
    Here's a little video I made of one garden early last June. Enjoy.
  6. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Glad I found this thread. I was going through my seeds, thinking about what people would be willing to drive an hour from Denver to buy from my home, besides my colored (green, brown, blue) eggs. So far I'm growing for myself:
    -rutgers slicing red tomatoes
    -yellow pear tomato
    -green beans
    -soy beans
    -cucumbers (need a vining variety)
    -thai eggplant (tiny)
    -bell peppers (various colors) and sweet banana pepper
    -hot peppers
    -pink beauty radish
    -zucchini, yellow squash
    -various winter squash
    -swiss chard (not sure about)
    -basil, parsley, mint

    these are only the things I know I can grow. I can't grow a lot because our soil here is still so bad, so much of this is in pots or the former goat pen. And I'm growing a few other things like corn but there's not enough room here to grow enough to keep AND sell.

    I also make little pockets to hold tea-bags for carrying in the wallet or purse. And flax-seed eye-refresher pillows.

    what, if any, of these do you think will bring people to make that hour drive? is there something else that I can grow in containers that is more desirable and easy to grow? Or make?

    Thank you!
  7. wsmoak

    wsmoak Songster

    It depends on your location.

    In Georgia you can sell fruits and vegetables without a permit as long as you don't process it in any way. (For example, you can't cut it up.)

    To sell eggs, however, you need to take a class on candling and grading, and pass an exam.

    Most of this information is available online, or call your state department of agriculture to start tracking down the relevant regulations. You may also be under additional regulations from your county or city/town depending on where the market is located.


  8. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    I know I can sell eggs and produce from my home. Just wondering what kinds are the best sellers. And I'm about an hour from Denver. Colorado.
  9. Chiefs Mess

    Chiefs Mess In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2007
    Did you visit your Coopertive Extension? They can give some info on what veggie sells better than the other. Infact I actually visit mine today and found out that Asparagus is the one veggie that sells good and at a good price. The gentleman was very helpful.

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