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Discussion Starter #1
The farmer's market in town will be closing at the end of the month. I called a guy today to see if I could use his vacant lot to sell from for the rest of the year. He said OK!!! Whoo-hoo!

It's a great location....right down the street from Wal-mart and Kroger. I get a lot of people who say they want to buy my stuff, but they forget until they are looking at the meat at Wally world. This way I'll be right there to remind them.

It's like having a shop, but with zero overhead!

I can only do this a couple days a week, because I don't have enough time to sit there every day. I will do Saturdays, just about all day (8-5 or so) for sure, but I'm not sure about the other day or hours of the week.

Should I go for like 3-7 when people are getting off of work? Or go for earlier in the day when more stay at home people are shopping and doing errands? Any suggestions? One market I am not hitting well is the families. I get lots of old folks, but very few families (who eat a lot!). I'd like to get them....

I gotta get a banner so people can see me...though a neon sign would be nice hehehe.

Jena
 

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How about an old school bus with the seats removed? Room for a couple of freezers. Plug in freezers at home to make sure everything is frozen solid and you might not need electric there - although it would be nice. Have both sides of the bus painted with a barn yard scene. Put an easy chair up front so you can settle in some between customers.

Jena's Farm Fresh Meats?

Ken Scharabok
 

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What are you doing about permits and insurance? Those were carried by the person who ran the Farmer's Market. But if they're gone, your on your own and need to look into covering your azz, or you might lose the farm if someone see $$$$ by sueing you for one reason or other.
 

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A home made changeable letter sign, (get letters off Ebay too cheap!) would help. Run the odd special, as you'll sell more over all. Hours are harder to suggest as areas are different. A lot of markets here run Wednesday markets I guess to match the local store's restocking/special days. I think a Friday afternoon market would rake in cash for our market as we're on route to the cottage for many city folks!
 
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beware of any needs for insurance or liability if someone stumbles who they gonna try to sue you the landowner how did the former farmers market handle that issue put out samples of fresh items like melon or cantelope cutting free watermelon for kids may bring some families. as to times i would go with what fits your schedule best or be a real sneak and watch the parking lot at the grocer to see what time of day full carts go out. I like fresh produce but still use the market for most of what i buy due to convienience consitency and lower prices than the fresh vendors around here. Can you offer same or lower prices that always gets peoples attention as our pocketbooks are stretched thiner all the time. can you offer any quantity some vendors only offer large portions. I think offering a rather large variety helps which is one reason the farmers markets have some success grocers have it all one stop
 

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I'd make it a point to be there on the 3rd and 4th of each month since that is when the social security shoppers are usually out. That might be a good time to run an extra special special.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have insurance. I am permitted, licensed, inspected and passed! I've had that all along.

I already have my trailer. I just park it and sell. I actually need a bigger one, but this one will do for now. Can't do samples as I sell meat and poultry!

The only thing I need to do is get a "solicitor's license" and a surety bond for the city. Not sure what the bond is for when I already have insurance, but whatever, it's no big deal.

The 3rd is a great idea! Food stamps come out the 14th, but I can't take those anyways. Payday would be Fridays, but since I'm there Saturday, I thought I should spread it out some.

Thanks for the ideas.

Jena
 

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Of course any animals at home have to be taken care of, but schedule your hours as to when you're customers will be shopping and not necessarily when you're able to be there. It's better to rework your schedules at home. My mom opened a business last year, but she wouldn't work past 4pm. Her shop only lasted 2 months because she wasn't open "on the way home."
 

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<< I called a guy today to see if I could use his vacant lot to sell from for the rest of the year. He said OK!!! Whoo-hoo!>>


That is wonderful! Congratulations..I love hearing stories like this...reminds me it CAN be done! Go get 'em!
Brooke
 

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You would definitely not qualify for WIC (Women, Infants & Children) as the retailer has to provide a balanced package to included items like eggs, milk, cheese...

I would encourage you to look into accepting food stamps though. USDA will provide the processing equipment at no charge (and there is no charge to participate in the basic program). Need a phone line, but you can keep the equipment at home. On site they have a form to complete. The buyer gives you their card and you call a number to record the sale. After you get a transaction number the buyer signs the form. Once you get home you process the information through the equipment and the money shows up in your bank account the next day. The USDA is pretty flexible on working with site vendors on the food stamp program. Call the USDA in your state's capital and ask to be transferred to the food stamp office. You will likely have to attend a two-hour training session (likely in a nearby large city) and then get inspected/approved by USDA for participation.

If you just accept food stamps there is no equipment charge. However, if you also want to use it to accept debit/credit cards then there is a separate charge. USDA has contracted this out.

I thought all food stamp amounts for regular accounts went out on the first workday of the month.

Ken Scharabok
 

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Our town has the farmers market in the park on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. We did most of our business in the morning and only one customer from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesdays were also a good day when we had a stand on another rural road to town. The hours were from 1 p.m. to
5 p.m.
 

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Ken Scharabok said:
You would definitely not qualify for WIC (Women, Infants & Children) as the retailer has to provide a balanced package to included items like eggs, milk, cheese...

I would encourage you to look into accepting food stamps though. USDA will provide the processing equipment at no charge (and there is no charge to participate in the basic program). Need a phone line, but you can keep the equipment at home. On site they have a form to complete. The buyer gives you their card and you call a number to record the sale. After you get a transaction number the buyer signs the form. Once you get home you process the information through the equipment and the money shows up in your bank account the next day. The USDA is pretty flexible on working with site vendors on the food stamp program. Call the USDA in your state's capital and ask to be transferred to the food stamp office. You will likely have to attend a two-hour training session (likely in a nearby large city) and then get inspected/approved by USDA for participation.

If you just accept food stamps there is no equipment charge. However, if you also want to use it to accept debit/credit cards then there is a separate charge. USDA has contracted this out.

I thought all food stamp amounts for regular accounts went out on the first workday of the month.

Ken Scharabok
Ken,

I'm going to have to disagree with you. They were trying to get me to do the paperwork to participate in WIC and all we have been selling is honey. They sent all the paperwork and forms.

This was through the farmers market in Carrollton Ohio.

Mike
 

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Ken,
Don't know about other states, but colorado issues a debit card to a special acct for food stamps and other assistance. They credit the acct montly and the day your acct is credited corresponds to the last digit of your SS#.
 

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I've been saying for ages that I wish we had a farmer stand open until 6:30 at the last intersection before home. I would buy fresh salad fixings, vegs, etc every evening and Saturday if there was one there and open on my way home.
 

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OKs, likes WIC and Food Stamps may vary from state to state even though it is a federal program. Seems like I now recall someone on the forum a couple of years ago saying WIC was trying to encourage purchases at farmers' markets.

Ken Scharabok
 

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Discussion Starter #18
WIC doesn't cover meat so I can't take the coupons. They do issue them for farmers markets for produce.

I thought I was out of luck in the food stamp thing because I need a phone line. I'll check it out further.

Today I had a muslim gentleman ask me if I can do meat for them. All they want is someone there when the animal is slaughtered to bless it. He buys all the meat for the entire community...40-50 folks! He currently has to go all the way Chicago to get what they want. Of course, I told him that I would find out what I can do. I'm sure this can be done.

If these poor people are having to go to Chicago, then where do all the muslims in Champaign go? Or all the other small/medium towns around here? I gotta' get some sheep!

Jena
 

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Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs
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The ethnic market is (relatively speaking) huge if you want to work it, and getting sheep for that market might be pretty darn clever. They often want very small lambs (they're used whole) but they also often want them for certain high holidays. So you have to time your lambing to get those lambs on the ground and the right size by whatever holiday you're trying to hit. See if someone in your ag agency has someone familiar with this market who can give you some insight. T
 

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You had better check that Jena, Halal butchering requires the animal is killed by bleeding only (which sounds terrible but is actually a lot more peaceful to watch done) No captive bolt guns etc. Not really a big problem just I've found in dealing with Muslims that they rarely tell you everything they want until half way through a deal and provided its killed Halal the number one factor is price. It also depends on the sect you're dealing with too, Sunni's have more ability to deal with religous matters as they occur, Shia are less flexible (in a manner of speaking) Most of my buyers want cheap, very lean, older white faced ram lambs. Ramadon and Eid al fateir are the big "feast" holidays, but every wedding, visit etc. is a reason to feast. The Muslim calendar moves slightly every year compared to ours, save thisInterfaith Calendar it helps planning a lot. By all means get sheep just don't plan to work them like mini cows.
 
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