Author Topic: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients  (Read 1605 times)

Offline corl

  • Global Moderator
  • Grasshopper
  • *****
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
    • Nunamaker Farms LLC
Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« on: August 18, 2016, 04:47:17 PM »
I am in my 6th market season selling home grown produce at Farmers' Markets and at the farm. What I have learned is that I don't understand the Farmers' Market clients. What they want  and buy varies greatly from week to week and season to season. The clients that visit the farm are much more readable and I must say that I enjoy selling at the farm much more than selling at the market. The farm clients always buy more produce than the market clients. I wish I could grow and sell what people want but it seems to be a never ending enigma.
Dave   SE Pa Zone 6b
www.nunamakerfarms.com
Kubota MX5100
Kubota F2100
Phoenix 74 inch rototiller
Phoenix 84 inch finish mower
GB70 garden bedder

Offline tbird

  • Global Moderator
  • Sprout
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
  • One Nation Under God!
    • View Profile
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 10:45:42 AM »
  You know Dave it seems to me that the farm clients are people that know more about food origin, preparation, recipe variety and have a greater interests in their diet.  Market clients are more generally "super market" purchasers.  Most people I have dealt with in super markets come to the store and unless they have a specific items in a recipe to purchase, they kind of lolly gag around and seem not to have any idea what they want.  I can see how your market clients may be like that.

  Just my take on the difference you see.   ;)
Barking Dog Farm
18.25 Acres in Central West Louisiana
Zone 8B

WJ5Y    Amateur Extra




Click for weather forecast

Offline GopherBroke

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 698
  • Half Haas Farm
    • View Profile
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 06:15:18 PM »
I started to reply to this thread the first day as a farmers market consumer not as a market gardener.  When I go through a market I am generally looking for a single item like fresh peaches or such and I may purchase other produce, but I don't go to markets just to fill the fridge and pantry.  Like Mr. Tbird said I do lolly gag around.  I can also say that given the choice I will not purchase organic anything just on principle.   I realize some folks are sensitive to chemicals and having organic products is great, but most people do not have issues with non organic produce.  My reasoning is that people are easily influenced into thinking that organic taste better, an its the same with gluten free.  Someone is making money telling folks that all of their ills are because they have gluten in the food.  My wife has issues with gluten and this all occurred well before the craze.  The point is that the general public are like sheep and want to follow the flock, but I like to think out of the box and not follow the flock.     
zone 5b Half Haas Farm
Bill
Riley, Indiana for the summer

Offline corl

  • Global Moderator
  • Grasshopper
  • *****
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
    • Nunamaker Farms LLC
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 07:22:47 PM »
Well I wouldn't have to worry about you GopherBroke as my produce is organic (not certified) but at regular retail average USDA non organic pricing. I especially like people that ask for watermelons in May and strawberries in August. You are probably right tbird. The other thing I see is people passing over this weeks fresh produce and then asking if I have any weeks later after its gone. Ah the joys of a farmers' market.
Dave   SE Pa Zone 6b
www.nunamakerfarms.com
Kubota MX5100
Kubota F2100
Phoenix 74 inch rototiller
Phoenix 84 inch finish mower
GB70 garden bedder

Offline GopherBroke

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 698
  • Half Haas Farm
    • View Profile
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2016, 09:07:17 PM »
Dave I think that selling anything to the public is a toss of the dice.  The art that I sell is the same.  Items that I make multiples of because they general sell, will then turn cold and you can't hardly give them away, until once again they start to sell which may be the next show or the next year.  I have the luxury of my art not being perishable.

 I would think that you need to find a food bank that will give you a receipt for your produce if you can't get it sold rather than letting it go to waste, that way it won't be a complete loss if you can write it off as a charitable donation.
zone 5b Half Haas Farm
Bill
Riley, Indiana for the summer

Online whiskydog

  • Global Moderator
  • Grasshopper
  • *****
  • Posts: 288
  • Dallas Ga.
    • View Profile
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 04:33:57 AM »
I got a laugh out of this one Dave. Even though I sell at home and people know I sell only a couple of items, I get request for different varieties, I do try to meet some request, and wind up with crossed corn.  I am now planting a variety of peas I had to give away to get rid of a few years ago.  A customer asked for longer okra this week, that's a first for me.  I picked it yesterday and called her left a message.  Nothing.  I guess the jokes on me.

Al
If I'm not having problems,, I'm not doing it right..

Zone 7 Northwest Ga.

Offline Maggie13

  • Sprout
  • **
  • Posts: 1472
  • built-incabinets
    • View Profile
    • built-incabinets.com
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 06:08:45 AM »
The other thing I see is people passing over this weeks fresh produce and then asking if I have any weeks later after its gone. Ah the joys of a farmers' market.

It is from Globalizing everything!
 It used to be you would look forward to a certain fresh fruit or vegetable at a certain time of year. Now they just fly or ship the stuff in year round.

Today you can buy oranges, watermelons, apples, grapes and those hard red balls they try to pass off as a "Tomato" year round. They are mostly all flavorless, picked way too soon and  smell musty  but the clueless public will still buy it and they have NO IDEA there is a season for vegetables and fruits.


Some Kids today probably think that French fries grow on a French fry tree.



I  grow what I can  and during our growing season I buy local,
 Then can, dehydrate and freeze as much as I can and hope that the items I DO have to purchase fresh in the winter don't kill us.











« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 06:11:51 AM by Maggie13 »
21' X 48' High Tunnel
Knox, New York   zone 4B

Offline MikeM

  • Grasshopper
  • *
  • Posts: 463
  • Used to be MikeCHS
    • View Profile
Re: Understanding the Farmers' Market's Clients
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 07:04:59 AM »
We buy produce in season or we don't buy it.  Peaches are one of our favorites to dehydrate.  We have a couple of bushels either dried or in the freezer.  It is prime cantaloupe season here and we are stocking the freezer.  They aren't as good as fresh but still better than the tasteless stuff that is imported.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
L3200 Kubota with loader and box blade. Husqvarna rear tine tiller
19 acres in southern Middle TN