The journal of a small farm in the Shenandoah Valley of VA
Hello Barbara, I enjoy looking through your website! I have often wondered, what are the benefits and drawbacks of selling produce at a farmers market rather than a grocery store? Is it strictly the limit that could be a hinderance. I enjoy learning about farming and one day hope to have my own (just a small family farm, keeping most of the produce and goods for my family and close friends). My parents live where there are apple orchards everywhere, quite beautiful if you ask me. Many of the farmers sell directly to stores or distributors, others to farmers markets and they seem to all be "big". What is your insight on this? Thanks and look forward to reading and learning more!Aaron
When we started this venture nearly 20 years ago, the Farmers’ Market granted us easy entry to selling any farm products we were able to produce. (in other words, survive) We were involved with some other ventures, but found we liked the direct-marketing aspect of the Farmers' Market best. Our operation is very tiny and as such cannot supply the quantities necessary to sell to grocery stores. In addition, there are no independent groceries in our area. They are all large chains that are supplied from centralized hubs elsewhere. Different operations require different outlets. Many farmers do not like the direct-marketing aspect, they would rather just work the land and grow the produce. Others have found they prefer some interaction. CSA’s, produce auctions, food hubs and buying clubs are new outlets that didn’t exist when we started out. It's great that we have have options when selling produce.I have written extensively about our local farmers’ market, as it is such a big part of my life. Last year I did a week-long series for National Farmers’ Market week about some of the issues of Farmers’ Markets. If you are interested, that series starts here. http://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2014/08/its-farmers-market-week.html If you are interested in more of our story, be sure to read the whole series and click on the links.Again, thanks for reading! And, good luck to you!
Hi Barb: I LOVE your website! We just purchased a little farm a few years ago and are just starting to get it started. We now raise meat rabbits and Katahdin sheep. It is my sanity away from my real job - information technology! Keep up the GREAT work!
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!Rural living is indeed the "GOOD LIFE" and we count ourselves blessed to have ended up here. I think it was JD Balenger (of Countryside Magazine) who once referred to the "life beyond the sidewalks" as an island of sanity. :) I heartily concur.I hope you'll come back and "visit" often.Again, I appreciate that you took the time to comment. MUCH Success to you in your endeavors.
Hi Barb: I LOVE your website! We just purchased our dream "farm" a few years ago and we now raise meat rabbits and Katahdin sheep. The "Boss" has some wonderful ideas for making things around the farm. Keep up the great work!