Use the Farmers Market for Selling Fresh Produce

By taking your produce to the farmers market, you can sell those unusual vegetables you have.


| May/June 1978


Farmers markets, in which gardeners and other growers can set up stands and sell fresh produce directly to the public, are popping up once again in cities and towns all over the country.

My family signed on as regular vendors at Omaha's downtown farmers market. The experience was a good one. It taught us firsthand that almost anyone should be able to use a farmers market to turn surplus garden produce into extra cash. The experience also showed us several ways to make selling fresh produce more attractive, easier to run, and far more profitable than it might otherwise be.

Unusual Vegetables Sell!

Perhaps the most important of all the lessons we learned last year was that "variety crops" sell, and sell well! It took only a few days at the stand to show us we'd been far too timid when selecting the vegetables that we'd planted for sale. We had figured that most customers would want only the "tried and true," and that very few would be interested in trying anything new.

Surprise! About half the farmers' market crowd — we soon learned — were there to find adventure! Spaghetti squash and sugar peas were sellouts . . . even to people who'd never heard of them before. Broccoli was a strong mover (as opposed to the more-ordinary cabbage, which we practically had to give away). Even ming beans, which didn't sell the first week, were a big hit the second, after I'd put them into four-ounce packages with simple sprouting directions.

Perhaps more amazing yet was the way that flowers sold. Even simple little bunches of zinnias, which we'd really planted only for ourselves. Apartment dwellers — it seems — generally have no place to grow fresh flowers of their own and, consequently, often jump at the chance to buy even small bouquets.

Herbs were another pleasant surprise. They turned out to be some of the most lucrative items we stocked! And probably the least work too! Actually, the herb garden was our 11-year-old daughter Barbara's project. And, being less than enthusiastic about outdoor work, she did little more than "drop in the seeds" in the spring, then pick, package, and label the herb leaves on Friday nights before Saturday market. Still, she sold everything she took to the stand and made good spending money with very little effort.





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