The second week of January 2019 was initially our target date to start selling at the farmers market. December 1, 2018 wound up being our first appearance and this is how it all happened.
We wanted to be proactive and have all our paper work ready for our January debut. After our application was reviewed we were asked to join the farmers market immediately. This was a very exciting response for us, but we were concerned because we were not sure we would be ready. Long story short, we pulled through and made it happen.
Farmers Market Checklist
December was upon us and getting our supplies in time would prove difficult, so we improvised. Here is our checklist for the farmers market:
- Credit card processing
- Bitcoin wallet
- Petty cash
- Folding tables
- Digital scale
- Table clothes
- Price signs
- Label maker
We were missing some of the items above so we used brightly colored poster board for our pricing signs and pieces of fabric for our table cloths.
Once the veggies were harvested, we placed them into totes filled with clean water for a deep wash. We then moved them to a drying rack and used fans to speed up the drying process. Once dried, we weighed and packaged the produce.
Today we are able to process the produce much faster thanks to our new bubbler which does all the washing gently We still use the drying racks and fans to dry off the produce. Having the veggies as dry as possible helps to keep them fresh.
Produce for the Farmers Market
Our first farmers market appearance was on December 1, 2018. Here is what we brought in limited quantities for our debut:
- Salad Mix (lettuce, kale, chard, tatsoi, pak soi)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Korean Peppers
As the weeks went by we started adding more veggies as they became available such as: Arugula, more Lettuce mixes, different types of Kale, additional Peppers and much more. Today we have a larger variety of veggies and the abundance continues to grow as spring approaches.
Reception at The Farmers Market
We felt very much welcomed at the Farmers Market by everyone, the merchants were all happy to have us join their market and the customers were very appreciative of our produce offerings.
Many of our customers had already toured our urban farm, so they knew us and knew how we grow our produce. It was wonderful seeing familiar faces and gratifying to have them buy our produce.
Farmers Markets We Participated In December
- Dec. 1, 2018 - Mercado Artesal Movi-Arte in Palmer
- Dec. 2, 2018 - Downtown Rio Grande Lighting Festival
- Dec. 8, 2018 - Parrandon del Yunque in Palmer
- Dec. 8, 2018 - Feria Agricola y Artesanal de Luquillo
- Dec. 14, 2018 - Estadio Ovidio Festival in Rio Grande
- Dec. 22, 2018 - Feria Agricola y Artesanal de Luquillo
The above markets is where we participated in December 2018. Lots of activity, but most importantly we got it done. Being at the markets helped us see how other merchants interact with their customers, how they interact with each other and we learned about the struggles many of them encounter.
Our non-profit organization has many goals for 2019 and they include helping other growers improve their processes as well as their understanding of digital marketing. It's important for us to continue to share what we know with our colleagues so that together we can help grow our farmers market back to it's glory days.
We look forward to seeing more people come to the farmers market and watch them become a vibrant place of local commerce once again. As merchants we have a clear job to do: Attract, Connect, Engage & Delight.
Attract customers via all available channels of communications. Connect with our customers to find out their needs and answer their questions. Engage to expand on the relationship and nurture it beyond what is offered at other places. Delight our customers with our service and the quality of our products.
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