Our very first Farmer’s Market appearance is set to happen in June, woot, woot! We will be at the Spooner Farmer’s Market from 8am to 12pm June 12th through October 2nd for the 2021 season.
It has been an exciting (and admittedly occaisionally stressful) time to for us here at Sons and Daughters Homestead, and I thought I would share a few thoughts about it here and some tips and products we found helpful for those of you who might be considering selling at a Farmer’s Market. Spring is so busy with all the planning, planting, building out, etc… So hopefully this will be a list that will make some of it easier for you all.
One really nice thing about the Farmer’s Market is the comradery with other farmers and goods providers. This year I went through our contact list to talk with others who were selling similar items to us to get a feel for acceptable market prices, and it was a lot friendly conversations and kind words. The general feeling is we are all there supporting one another and rooting for each other!
After getting in contact with the market organizers earlier in the year, we attended a meeting this month before the market opens, where we were given all the information about what supplies are needed, rules, and contacts, which was helpful. We have done Farmer’s Markets for other businesses in the past, but never our own.
We already knew a lot of the general supplies we would need from prior experience, and some were items we hadn’t thought. Here is a list of what we bought, and maybe it will help you think through your own if you are gearing up too:
10’x10′ Canopy from Walmart (this was also the size the market required)
Various items from Amazon: Canopy Weights, 8′ Table, Scale, Money Box
Record keeping items from a local printing co-operative: Carbon Copy Receipts, Book for Records Keeping of Expenses and Incomes, G-2 Pens (they’re my fav)
Digital Currency Processors from Square: Square Contactless Reader, Square Cell Phone Mag Stripe Reader (they have jack and Apple plug options)
Marketing Materials from Vista Print : Chalk Board Sign, Magnetic Business Cards, 4″x8: Rack Cards, Brochure Holder, 2.5’x4′ Vinyl Banner with Grommets and Reinforced Sides, 8′ Limited Print 4 Side Table Cloth, Table Clamps, and (2) 12″x24″ Car Magnets
Food Storage from Menards: Criterion® 7.0 – 7.2 cu. ft. White Manual Defrost Chest Freezer (Model Number: F72019), Bestek® 2000 Watt Power Inverter (Model Number: MRI20011 – will plug into the truck adapter), and a Smart Choice®Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer (Model Number: L304432837)
I also got a PDG® 8′ Folding Banquet Table ( Model Number: 803) from Menards too.
Shirts and Hats from a shop our daughter’s friend’s family owns in town, Frederic Design
Obsiously, you don’t have to have hats or shirts, and our market organizers actually gave us a shirt (they rock), but it sure is fun to design and wear your own gear! Samples coming soon here. If you opt to go this route, be sure you design and order your items well ahead of time, so you have them when you need them!
As far as the rest of it, I personally designed our own marketing materials. I have been doing graphic design for quite some time. For some of us, that might be intimidating, and I really like how Vistaprint has an option to have their team help you design your own items. Here are some examples of what we did:
Magnetic Business Cards
4″x8″ Rack Card
For the homestead I decided to also purchse a 10′ Flag for the front, and a flag auger to secure it well. We live in a windy area and I don’t want it to blow away! Here is the design I made, and again, don’t get intimidated, there are designers that can help you and it’s as easy as opening up a chat box to get going at Vistaprint:
I hope you find this all helpful! Happy farming!
Some more helpful information on signage and labeling that I found was that if you gross $5,000 or more in a year (that’s before deductions), you need to not have organic in your materials unless you are certified. There seemed to be some debate about “organically-raised”, but to be safe, I decided not to do this. With our site we emphasize how we raise our animals and make our products, which are local (only sold within 400 miles of our homestead), pastured (spending the majority of the time with access to open areas – we live in Northern Wisconsin, so our animals are in a barn or coop over the coldest parts of winter briefly), and organically-supplemented (we give very small amounts of organic grain to our sheep, so they are not 100% grass fed after weaning, and we also give organic grain to our chickens, because despite that they are pastured, they could not survive off of grass only and therefore no chicken is ever grass-fed). Cutting to the point, I had to redo some of our marketing materials and signage, so here are our updated versions: