Running a farm booth at your local market, is a dream for many who enjoy gardening. A lot of questions may be holding you back from trying your dream. Such as, how much do you have to grow, to be successful? So let me share a little insight into what works in my area.
Know your market and push it a little.
Don't go for a small booth. You need to create traffic.
Have a variety of 15-20 categories. Unless you are growing a specialty item, like tree fruit.
Sign up early
Cut costs for a better return.
Know Your Market and push it a little.
What that means is you need to do research the year before, at the farmers market, or at a trendy grocery store. See what sells and what doesn't. If no one sells kohlrabi, you may see that as a niche opportunity. Hold your horses. It may be because no one buys it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't grow it, in fact, you probably should grow it, in small amounts. Make a beautiful display for it, in a nice basket, include a recipe display, and use it as a lure. If people want to know what it is, they'll come over to read about it. Maybe they'll ask you questions. This gives you an opportunity to bond with them, so they stick around to shop.
Don't Go For a Small Booth
A 10X10 booth is terribly crowded. Even before Covid, no one really enjoyed standing so close together, under the sweaty sun. Plus they can browse your whole stand by walking by. No need to stop, for the ordinary stuff. Get a double booth, and make sure you can keep it stocked. Set it up like a U shape with a full island. Make sure your customers can flow through the whole booth, passing by every object.
Have a Variety of 15-20 Categories.
Don't show up thinking you can sell only heirloom tomatoes. People are there to get their groceries. You need to diversify, while keeping in mind that your shoppers also garden. Not everyone has room for watermelons or potatoes. Almost every gardener grows beans and summer squash, with a bumper crop. These items may not sell well.
Sign Up Earlier Than You'd Think You Need To
Sign up early for the market and commit to the schedule, to avoid non-contract (or no-show) fees.
Cut Costs For A Better Return
Instead of buying 100 different tomato varieties, and mixing them together, color block your display. Get your seeds in bulk, (about only 3-5 varieties) and group colors together to gain attention.
If you'd like some suggestions on what specifically to grow, take a look at my Farmers Market Package. You can save a lot of money on the seeds by getting them this way. If nothing else it will give you a good jumping point to put together your own unique list, of produce.