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truckbed vegetable marketing

1118 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Hank - Narita
Hi! has anyone done any selling of fruit/vegetables from their garden out of the truck/stand? There is a market in town that is open on sat. mornings for the public to sell their garden products. I am thinking about trying this when my garden comes in this summer. Can anyone with experience give me any pointers,ideas,do's and don'ts. Thanks GOR.
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My neighbor set up tables and a stand down the road. Several neighbors joined her. You should advertise your location, what you have, hours you will be there. Stick to your regular schedule and your customers will find you. It was fun and we might try it again this year. We both plan to sell at our respective farms and maybe get together one day a week on a popular road. They also have a farmers market in our little town on Saturdays. Keep prices about the same as the local markets and maybe charge a little more if you are all organic. Grow popular vegies for your area.
Have you every visited that market? I ask because it is always good to see what the competition is, how folks are pricing and presenting their produce. I have very successfully sold produce off the back of my truck at farm markets, but you really need to present your produce as nicely as you can and price it competitively if there are many growers there. Know your market. What I found is that customers tend to be pretty loyal once they find a producer they like and will return week after week and year after year if you have a nice product. I liked it far better than a roadside stand, as it was on specific days and did not require daily attendance as a roadside stand does.
My son took produce to a weekly farm market in a town of about 50,000. Besides selling vegtables he sold things like sunflowers started in styrofoam cups. Little bundles of corn stalks late in the season. He made braids of garlic. Several other things that I would never have thought anyone would buy, but I was wrong. The prices he got for some of it was amazing to me.\
Sweet corn sells good out of your pickup on a busy intersection. An acre will produce well over 1000 dozen but it can't all be sold in a couple days.
You'd be surprized what people will buy at the farmers market....most come with money jingling in their pocket and consider it a fun family outing so they are ready to spend. We used to sell our apples at one but our best seller was washed Concord grapes....couldn't bring enough....they would buy a hand sized bunch for $1 and spit seeds thru the market....we'd also polish up our best apples and they'd pay $1 for each of them,too!! We did publicise that they were not sprayed which makes the difference. Ours allowed crafts make with anything off your could sell our wool made into mittens/hats and my daughter sold homemade paper with seeds/flowers from the garden. Oh, and jumbo brown eggs are GOLD!!! Just some ideas. DEE
If you are going to a market in a nearby city, it's good to make it clear that you are local. At my local farmers market, there are people who get fruit and veggies shipped in from across the country. I could go to the grocery store for that! I would much rather buy from a local farmer.
Beautiful, clean produce attractively displayed in abundance draws customers like crazy. Top quality and flavor bring them back week after week, year after year. Little bits of this and that don't have the same appeal. Better to concentrate on doing a bang up job on a few items than to have little piles of fifty different things. Now don't laugh in disbelief, but I get the biggest crowd at my stand when I pile big bunches of carrots, radishes and beets together on my front table at market. They sell better than vine ripened tomatoes! Go figure. Display is everything. Draw their eyes with color and abundance.
Don't sell cheap. Customers are mostly willing to pay well for good stuff. You don't need the customers that aren't. Its better to grow less and sell it for more than to grow lots and sell it cheaper. You work less and make the same amount of money. Don't under sell the other farmers. You don't need to compete with them. If you all keep your prices up the customers will pay it and you will all make enough money to make it worth your while. Our market prices are well above supermarket prices. Folks know the difference in taste, quality, and nutrition and are willing to pay more for the good stuff.
Do keep your veggies sprayed down with ice water so they stay fresh.
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Thanks for the pointers on vegies. This year we hope to stay on our own farm so will be able to pick the vegies fresh. We plan to do a small roadside stand on Wednesday afternoons. Will pile several varieties and hopefully sell carrots this year. Last year they didn't sell at all. Can craft items made by others be sold too? A neighbor wants us to sell her produce too and take a portion for the effort. What should this be? Thinking about bartering instead of taking her money. What do you think the percentage of $ should be if we go that route.
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