Monday, October 24, 2005
The Last Tuesday Farmers' Market for the Year
Farmers' markets have been the main way we have sold our produce for the past 11 years or so. We also have a CSA, do some restaurant sales, some online sales and have a few other small markets but farmers' markets provide the bulk of our income each year.
For the most part I like doing farmers' markets. They are my social time each week and I get to make income on top of seeing people. It is an ego stroker to get compliments on the display and the variety of produce we take in most weeks (as of this writing we have been loading the tables with over 34 items each week and we would have more but we moved and did not get a fall crop planted so we are missing several items).
but farmers' markets do have their downside-they are physical, at every market we have to set up 3 tables, an EZUP shelter, move around 1000# of produce from the van to the stand and back again (we rarely sell out of our stuff because we bring so much). If it is nice weather, sunny under 80˚F but over 55˚F it is nice work but if it is hot and humid it gets hard to set up and break down but we generally have decent business and if it is cold and rainy (our weather for this coming Tuesday's market) we can do set up pretty quickly but the rain tends to ruin signage, some produce items (onions and garlic cannot get wet and be expected to store long term, for example) and no one wants to go shopping outside when it is wet and 45˚F for some reason.
And this is my dilemma, do I go to market tomorrow in nasty wet weather or not? I am weighing this out because I do not like to miss markets (bad for business and unprofessional) but than again, it is not worth going to a market if we make under $200 for a weekday market (because it takes on average 4 hours of prep time for every hour we stand there and smile and sell) and the kind of weather we are having right now is not conducive to good business. But than again it is the last Tuesday market of the season and it is always good to make a showing on the last day. But than again if the last day is shitty weather than why bother. And we do have things we can do around the farm such as prep garlic for planting, make a business plan that includes our on farm store (so many possibilities...), move the last load of stuff over to this farm (yes we are really almost done moving-Yay!!!).
I have just over a day to make a decision what will it be?