Our business set up at the Farmer's Market.

10 Reasons Why You Should Sell at YOUR Farmer’s Market

As a small farm or homestead, we know the importance of providing for our family.  It’s probably the reason we started in the first place.  We work hard to grow and maintain our gardens and animals. If we are fortunate, there is a surplus somewhere.  When this happens, you have two choices:  fodder for your animals or you can sell it at the Farmer’s Market! 

You may be hesitant to want to tie up hours of your time with selling veggies, eggs, or jam.  Time is valuable when running your farm.  You may be hearing the never-ending list of to-do’s on your farm call out to you as you consider selling at the market.

Too many cucumbers! Time to sell at the market.

However, here are 10 reasons why you should sell at your local farmer’s market. 

1. You can offset the costs of your farm or homestead.

Growing your own food can be expensive.  As we look for ways to cut costs without cutting the quality of our produce and animals’ health, we can contribute to covering those costs by selling our excesses. Once you begin selling, it wouldn’t be difficult to grow your garden a little bigger or get a few more chickens for eggs to be able to provide a little extra cash for your farm. If you are already growing things, adding a little wouldn’t cost much more, but you’d have product to sell at the market.

2. You are marketing for your main product and other products on your farm.

If you decide to grow that garden a little bigger, have more chickens for eggs, or make a product like jams or jellies from your homestead, the market is fantastic for promotions. Regular participation in the market promotes a client base of local market shoppers who will look for you every week. Also, you can have folks pick up at your farm during non-market hours or for your off-season products.

3. You are networking and building community with other farmers/homesteaders.

I make goat milk soap.  That’s why I started participating in our local farmer’s market.  During my first season at the farmer’s market, I met many homesteaders in my area who I didn’t even know were there. Since then, we have created a network of resources for not only livestock sales and trades but are teaching each other homesteading skills as a group.  Additionally, and equally important, great friendships have been formed.  Our “tribe” has been born. It’s fantastic for allowing veteran and new homesteaders connect. 

4. You are providing quality food for your community. 

There are others in our community who would love access to the products that we provide.  Many would love the freshness and quality that comes this locally grown food. If they don’t have the resources to grow their own, providing them a way to tap into those resources.  Additionally, if we haven’t learned anything else the last few years, it’s that you can’t guarantee that what you want will always be there in the stores.  You can be a part of a more dependable food chain in your community.

5. You can learn what the future ‘wants and needs’ are in your community.

Once you have spent a season as a vendor at your farmer’s market, you can plan where you want to expand your garden the following year. You will know what folks are looking for and how to plan your garden.  It may not be exact, but you’d have a better idea than if you had just jumped in and only sold your surplus. 

6. You keep money in the local economy.

By bringing your produce to the farmer’s market, you are allowing the cash flow for your community to stay within your community.  It’s win-win for both the consumer and the vendor.  People who frequent the local farmer’s market are very supportive of shopping small and local.  Why not provide that for them instead of handing money to big corporate box stores? 

7. You are educating the community about healthy food.

By sharing your fresh produce at the market and taking the time to share what you know about the food you produce, you are spreading awareness (as well as availability) of fresh, locally grown produce.  Many people aren’t aware of what goes into growing their food. 

8. You can provide specialty items that may not be readily available at the grocery store.

  In our area, certain product are hard to come by or are not commonly sold at our local chain supermarket.  Examples are purple hull peas, fresh herbs, raw milk, etc.  You can be a supplier for these items.  I actually was contacted by someone to ask if I had loofah squash.  I, in fact, did! So, you never know! 

9. You are keeping agriculture alive and the knowledge that goes with it.

Participating with generations of those before you is part of what adds to the charm of homesteading.  Sharing your lifestyle and your products at the farmer’s market keeps small agriculture alive in our community.  

10. You are keeping the farmer’s markets alive.

We take for granted that the farmer’s market will always be there.  However, will it if growers like us don’t participate?  

Farmer’s markets are a rich source of not only creating a source of income and a financial opportunity, but of making connections within the community and for the community. 

Markets used to be the center of a community, now they can be an integral part of creating it. 

So, what are your concerns about becoming a vendor at your local farmer’s market?  We’d love to hear what you think. 

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