Saturday, December 22, 2012
2013 FARMERS MARKET
While it is still the middle of winter(December 2012) we can do some planning for the 2013 Farmers Market.
WHAT SOLD LAST YEAR:
Tomatoes (yellow, Rutgers, Beefsteak, Roma, and cherry) Since we had a fairly severe drought here in my area of Missouri so the tomatoes were a little wanting, but we managed and sold quite a few. This was the first year the we sold yellow tomatoes (requested by buyers last year) and the sold extremely well so YELLOW TOMATOES are on our list for this, no doubt. All the other types of tomatoes were sold in previous years and were good sellers.
(above, photo of 2011)
For the first time had a good crop of cantaloups and water melons, not only did they sell but these items really solidified us to people that we had good produce. We had people coming back the next week to get more and only stopping by our booth to get them. Wow, that really make a person feel good.
We planted onion plants (the ones that look like tiny onion sprout when you buy them, not the sets) and we wished we had put more of those in. This was another veggie that people came but specifically to buy. We plant CANDY WHITES, GIANT WHITES and REDS. If you have never tried CANDY WHITES and you like sweet onions you are missing one of the best onions out there. As far as I know these are not at the grocers so find a Farmers Market and starting asking the booth owner. I can't say enough good things about them. They are so, so good. So we will be tripling our production of onions for 2013.
Everything else we took was our standard stuff okra, cucumbers, cabbage, string beans, broccoli, jalapenos, chili, green and cayenne peppers, lettuce, radishes, turnips, beets, zucchini, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash, egg plant was new and sold well. We planted brussel sprouts but because of the drought we only had enough for me and Jr, and we froze four gallon bags of those. mmmm, good stuff in the middle of the winter.
OUR BOOTH SET UP:
We tried a new booth set up this year that worked very well. I made a tilted platform that held 6 oblong boxes about 15" by 8" and 6" deep, spray painted them green. In a space on my table that would only hold maybe 4 of these boxes I was able to get 6. This is where we displayed the smaller or small quantity items like the 3 kinds of onions, radishes, peppers(three inserted plastic containers per box), okra, cucumbers, some squashes. This also put the items "on display", instead of flat on the table people were able to see a better selection from a longer distance.
(pictured above is the first day of 2012, we don't have the slanted platform up yet)
This new display area then left lots of extra room for tomatoes, cantaloups and watermelon, all of which take lots of space.
next year(2013) for the booth
I wanted to make an additional slanted platform with bigger boxes (probably 3) for the tomatoes. I have discovered that tomatoes need to be in one layer, flat against whatever they are in. If you stack them, you are doomed to throw away all the bruised tomatoes the public picks up and just throw back in on top of the others as they are selecting their purchases. The key...low flat containers, single layer big enough for a good selection. Unless it is a product that is hard, one layer with side just tall enough so product does not roll out is the rule of thumb.
COMING FOR 2013:
Three times as many onion plants, 4 bunches of CANDY WHITES (should make 3 to 4 row in our garden), 2 bunches of GIANT WHITES, and change for red for larger sweeter variety, 2 bunches of those. All in all on onions we will have 6 to 8 rows. We only had one bunch each of the onions in 2012.
ONION CONSIDERATIONS: Onions are planted early, they like the colder weather, they mature early with most being out of the garden by the end of June and they keep fresh so they can be sold until you are sold out. We ran out of onions by the first part of August and people were disappointed.
A larger plot of watermelons adding long oval and round solid greens and keeping our long oval and round striped. The same size cantaloupe patch, decreasing pepper plants except for bell peppers, keeping the same amount of okra, string beans and lettuces. Decreasing the amount of cherry tomatoes and adding the sweet grape type. Everything else is staying the same.
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