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Market Growers: Need Advice and Ideas

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Forum: Market GrowersReplies: 30, Views: 373
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Spiro, OK
(Zone 7a)

December 14, 2010
6:36 AM

Post #8259370

I've been cruising the site and more importantly picking the brains of the seasoned farmers at my market. I did very poorly this past season. I was lucky to net $100 each Saturday. I've learned a lot about what I'm going to do differently this coming year. What I'd like to know is what value-added items do you sell? Do you find that people prefer produce-only vendors, or is it possible to cross-merchandise handmade goods. Should they be displayed on separate tables?

For example - I knit, crochet, sketch, do photography, etc. I sold two hats this fall, but otherwise, not much on that end. One vendor had her basil (pretty good sized bunch) in a pint mason jar and she sold it for $8 or something like that. I was getting $1-$2 for a smaller bunch, but not 1/8th smaller. I may follow her lead. Do you use recipes to entice people to buy unusual produce?

We're looking at doing potted houseplants (we've been doing child plants from mother plants - pothos, wandering Jew, etc.) I'd like to do hanging tomatoes, potted herb gardens, perhaps hanging outdoor plants. One gentleman I met did lettuce hanging baskets for $7 each (at a different market). I can't sell processed food (though that doesn't stop some folks) because I don't have access to a certified kitchen. Otherwise I'd be baking like a mad-woman.

I just need some ideas. I've been out of "real" work for almost 2 years, and my part time job isn't enough to support my family (DH is disabled but not yet receiving SSDI). I need this upcoming season to be 1000% better than last year. I'm downscaling the garden so it's more manageable (we had 214 half-dead tomato plants - this year I'm doing 60 so I can keep them healthy - it's pretty much just me and a little help from my MIL).

Anyway, I'll continue to read through the market forum here, but any advice would be very much appreciated!

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