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  • November 11, 2015
    2:15 PM
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But my name is Nick connect. And this is my wife. Kiersten ass of about six and a half months ago. And we just to give you just a little moment. Background of our story. I came to the farm the deicing years farm S. an apprentice. Three summers ago and was planning on only staying for six months. And I had never left. And yet. So we we started our relationship in a strawberry fields and three years later got married in the same field down below. And have spent about three months. Three summers rather marketing. Together for about a full blast sings farm at different farmers markets so our experience is somewhat somewhat. It's heavily more in the Farmers Market area. But as we talk about it more. We feel like that's a really important area for a vast majority of small market gardeners if you're interested in that. So let's begin by just saying a word of prayer. Your Father in heaven thank you so much for this afternoon that we can come and learn more about the garden and about the step of marketing of the produce. We pray that you would give us wisdom missed we speak. Help us to share things that can truly be a blessing and. We just thank you for all of the blessings you have given to us already in Jesus' name in men. I guess I forgot one. One piece of our story which is still being built. This is Are we live in a little tiny house. And we built a ten by twenty two House on a trailer. So we've got it parked in a small quiet corner of the farm and. We'll be there until the Lord leads elsewhere and we can hitch it up to a truck and pull it away. So marketing. Marketing first some can be probably arguably one of the more difficult parts of the growing process. Some people have a green thumb. And can grow. And can learn to do that but marketing is like a whole nother realm and can be a difficult thing to master sometimes. But it's something that can be done and we don't claim to be experts. By any stretch of the matter. We're just sharing the experiences that we've had. And maybe they can be a blessing to you. I just wanted to ask how many of you out here. Have actually done a market garden. Like how many of you are market gardeners or do we have a room full of mostly want to be. Market gardeners. We've got a couple. So we've got most of our group here is on the beginning stages of the journey. That's great. The goals that we are going to be sharing that we're going to try to accomplish through our talk this morning. Why it's doing this his afternoon. I don't know why we always say morning. Because you go to church in the morning I think. We like to help give you some ideas for different marketing avenues that perhaps you have or have not explored. So far and pros and cons for each one of those from our experience it's not going to be a full fledged list. But from our viewpoint. What we have you Dysprosium Khan and will also spend a fair bit of time on some practical tips for farmers marketing and ask I mentioned before. Farmers' markets are a great way for just about every size and scale of a market garden. To to move produce. You know whether you have a C.S.A. where the you have an online market. It's always almost always it can be advantageous to to merge that with a farmer's market or have a farmer's market in addition to that. And so we. There's some there are some tips and things that we have learned in our farmers marketing experience that hopefully will prove. Prove helpful for the first. We're going to go through a list of the marketing options. First the first time when one that we had is going to land. The first one we have is the farmstand And ironically it's actually one that we have never actually done much with. But this is more dependent on your locations for us we live. Over an hour from any sizeable town where we go and sell our vegetables. So a farm stand where you have a little stand on your farm and people can come and buy from it that for us hasn't been a viable option. But it can be depending on your location. Some of our we are going to prison condo. Huge because it OK. So our second one is. It's farmers markets. And then we have C.S.A. online market. Restaurants wholesale which. That's a pretty broad list. So these are the things that we are going to cover the different marketing options that we will cover in this. So the question is which one is best for you an important thing is to accept. Assess your goals. What do you want from your farming experience from your marketing. Experience is what's most important to you dealing directly with the customers and having that customer relationship. And getting to know the people who eat your food. Or are you more attracted to the production. And the more profitable wholesale options. Both are great but how you want to go about your growing. What what your goals are is going to affect how you're going to market. Another thing is assessed your location. And like already mentioned for us. We live an hour from where we sell our produce. So things like the produce stand. Our farm stand. Isn't an option so you've got to look around you and see how far you are from town. And what's going to be the best option for you. And going kind of along with that. As does your market potential. You know what farmers markets do you have around you or. Where is the nearest farm to table restaurants. Just kind of look at what's around you what. What the competition is what other farms there are and those are all things that are going to play into which marketing of the lists that we gave you. You know. Or other ones there's other marketing options as well which one's going to fit your needs. So the first one. We're going to talk about in just a little bit more detail is the farm stand and. Just the most basic description of a farm stand. Is you have some sort of stand structure normally is out at the end of your driveway on the road. And it's a system where people just drive by stop by and Web Maybe you have it staffed. And people purchase from somebody. Oftentimes or just run on an honor system where you know. Prices you know leave money in this box. Generally how that works. So some of the. Some of the pros and cons that we came up with for this one is that one of the pros. Is that there's no travel involved. Really you know. You do you have to go to the end of your driveway and depending on your method of getting there in the length of your driveway. That could or could not be substantial. Most of the time it's not. There's really no commitment because you know you don't have a box that you have to deliver to place a time be. So there is a nice level of in on commitment there. There is the flexibility of involvement as far as how much you want to be involved with the customer. If. If you're a real introvert and don't really gain your joy by by interacting with people. You can set it out there you know. Go out there. After dark midnight put out your produce. And then you never have to see a soul. If you're a little more social you can spend more time there and make it work that way we think of all the options that we're looking at this is probably the lowest pressure. Because again. If you don't have produce. He just don't have to put it out there and especially if you make the habit of going at midnight you don't even have to see anybody. But a lot of hand in hand with that with that low pressure. Comes unpredictable sales. Especially if you. You know aren't consistent the people you might have stopping by. If they can't count on stopping by your place and finding produce the new you may lose some customers that way. It is potentially disruptive because you have large potentially large numbers of people coming by your farm and. And we experience this on our farm. I I see. I see dad. Having people come in stop by and like oh. We just wanted to ask you this and and. It can be disruptive for. You know actually trying to run your farm. And it is very location dependent. It may work well for you. It may not work well for you as we previously mentioned though the farmer's market I'm sure everyone is familiar with that either been to one or gone and soldier produce that one. So you set up and it doesn't need a time once a week normally. And some of the pros and cons that we see for that you have lower growing pressure. You know you don't have to have a certain thing at a certain time. You put out on the table whatever you have. And so it is a lower growing pressure. You have the ability to have more one on one interactions with the customers. If that is important to you you. You get to invest in the customers that come. You know for us to we have a core customer base that come every single week and. So you develop those relationships which is very rewarding and. Something that kind of unique with the farmer's market. Aspect. As you get higher dollar for the items that your first to market with. So I kiss your first to market with tomatoes. For those weeks that your first there you get higher priced. Because you're the only one. And that something that kind of unique to farmer's market where the fewer wholesaling. You would just have to charge whatever they were asking or whatever the going rate was. But there is a change in changing prices depending on the season. And if you're able to tap into that venue. You can get higher prices for things. The cons. It is very weather dependent. Like this year we had so many rainy market days and if you have a rainy market day that really affects your sales. So you're it's very weather dependent which in turn. You can have inconsistent failed. There's also the competition aspect which can be good for you and it could be bad for you. And then the more successful. Your farmer's market stand becomes the less one on one interaction time. You know if you have a long line you are able to spend that time that you might like to spend. And there's also more waste. Which kind of goes with the first two you know you have inconsistent. Sales. It's weather dependent if you've had a rainy day you might have a ton of stuff that you don't know what to do with so that is definitely a con for that. And then our third one is C.S.A. which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically the essence of this marketing method is in some form or fashion you get a group of people to sign up to commit to to purchasing and picking up a box of produce from you for X. number of weeks out of the season. And that has some pros and cons. The pros are that they are guaranteed sales because really whether. Most times I believe it's worked this way that they have already paid in advance and. If they don't show up to pick up their box. They've paid for it already. And that their loss and not yours. So that's a guaranteed sale. Oftentimes you do you get the money upfront they will pay you know however much it is. Several hundreds of dollars. To to subscribe to this box. And you can also make payment plans so they can do it if that doesn't work for them. But the comes at a great time of year when you need seed money. You know right in the spring before your season starts and that can be. That can be a real nice thing. You probably have some of the best customer interactions with C.S.A. of any of these marketing. Methods that we've talked about so far. Or that we will talk about. Because you get to see the same people. Week after week after week. And you get a former relationship with them and can easily. Transition to an evangelistic sort of relationship. Which is really neat. There's a shared risk. Because if your crops failed. The understanding. It's pretty pretty broad about C.S.A. is that. If your crops failed. The customer is kind of in with you. Together you know if. If you don't have corn that year because you know there was an overpopulation of. Raccoons. You know it's their last two and it's your loss. And so it's kind of a shared risk. Once you make the initial marketing endeavor to get your C S A subscriber list. As far as T.S.A. goes you don't have to do any more marketing the rest of the year. So you can just grow and that can be an advantage. There's less waste because you are harvesting exact amounts for exact boxes. There are some call and. It's higher pressure. It's quite It can be quite high pressure because you have people who have paid you. You know five six seven hundred dollars for your subscription and and. You got to be committed and. And can deliver to make the value of that box. What what you have made it sound like it's worth. There's more planning required because you can't just have a wall in the season where you know. My first planting of squashes out in my last planting is still two weeks away. And that happens to all of your crops you need can't have an empty box. For too many you can't have an empty box. You're also forced to focus on variety. As compared to high profit crops. I have heard in some different seminars that broccoli particular is one of these crops that. When you run the numbers on broccoli. Broccoli per square foot of garden space an input. It's very difficult to make any money on broccoli. And if you were doing a C.S.A. you might choose to hey let's grow lettuce there is something. But the C.S.A. customers want broccoli. So you have to. You have to grow it. And so your focus becomes much more on variety and less on the crop that can get you the most bang for your square foot in your farm. So we do want to emphasize the essay. Because we feel like. That is the really beautiful. Opportunity for witnessing and evangelism. And so if you want your farm to be more evangelistic. And more of a mystery rather than a business we'd really encourage you to consider this option. Not necessarily to start out with you know you might start with a farmer's market or something. But it is a great thing to work towards and. You can start small. I was thinking back to our first season which I don't know how many years ago. I think we had twelve twelve C.S.A. members and. You know they became family. You know we had them. We had one lady for Christmas another for Thanksgiving you know they weren't just our customers they were our family. The you can't. Don't be too intimidated you can start small and you can just do a handful of boxes. A week. And actually our market manager. Runs a C.S.A.. She has a little garden in her backyard. For and she has like for C.S.A. members and she's just delighted to tells every week about what she had in her box and. And so don't be intimidated by even though it is higher pressure you know people have paid upfront. You know you can start small and work. Work towards gaining C.S.A. members and it's really a beautiful. Option for marketing. So. Online marketing is something that neither of us has really had a lot of experience and there's. There are other people that have had more experience in this that. I'm sure could share. More than we know. This is something that our farm has done often on through the years. We've had an online market. And we've just chosen to focus more on some of the other areas of marketing. So we don't have a lot of experience in this area. Yes they have done it some even before I came around so the idea. This is just a part that I don't have any experience with but like she's saying there is there is some. I don't have very many on there I have more on my phone because I talked to Allan filer the filers farm. They do online marketing. Quite well and it's this is an area that you really have interest in I would encourage you to speak with one of them. So some of the. Some of the pros that Alan share with me I was just talking with him. Again like the C.S.A. you do harvest. To order. So there's less waste you know what you're picking is what you're going to sell it all and said that it could shorten his market time and. Because you're going just mainly for those people maybe take some extras too which is similar a C.S.A.. It's the same thing as C.S.A. dictate delivery time you can do that with C.S.A. again it's a prepay option. And that you know again if people place an order for getting produce tomorrow. Then. They've whether they come and pick it up or not they paid for it. It's just coming to be another farm that does this again. I think very well is the Smith farm. And they kind of do it online marketing you can look at it in a way it's like a non-committal C.S.A. box. Because the C.S.A. is kind of ordered in a sense online. And you can take an online market everything to from a simple S. You could even say you know. People could buy a box. Ask They want to. You know week by week. Or they can choose what they want to get in their box. You know week by week it's probably good if you're doing an online market you might want to consider having a minimum order so that you don't you know it just taking you know. One bunch of carrots for Sally. But you know have a ten dollar fifteen dollar or something minimum charge. Probably the biggest con that I see for me is that it can be difficult or expensive to set up with. There is an exception of the expensive part. And maybe somewhat The difficult. I don't have this experience myself there's a website you can see it at the bottom. Locally grown dot net. Some of you may be aware of that. It is basically a an online marketing. Site that is already out there that you put in your information. Your farm your location your produce and it's kind of us. Store fronts. Kind of for you already feel free to take a look at that. Do they charge a percentage it would only make sense that they would. So there may be a little charge. Involved in that. But again of course you could take this all the way to developing your own. And that could provide some of the greatest custom of customization and flexibility for you. But that's really where the difficulty and the expense. Comes in. So it may be for you it may not be for you. Restaurants it isn't another area that we haven't focused a lot of our energies on. But we have had some experience in these are some of the pros and cons that we feel. You can get higher price for whole tale quantities. You know chaff they're willing to pay. Pretty much. Well when we've worked with just. We just give them our market price and cut ten percent off. So they're. Yeah. I mean you want to find a restaurant that's a farm to table who are were looking for a local produce an organic produce are interested and paying that much I mean that's really. Probably the only way that it's going to be worthwhile for you don't you just often talk about all the changes and I'm going to take your best girl. So. Another thing you can sell more of your specialty items like dandelion greens for instance. We grew a lot of D.M.D. angriness for a specific restaurant Those are things that do not sell and market. I have one lady who buys them for her. Rabbits and so. There's just certain items that you could sell to a restaurant but you can't sell otherwise. Now C.S.A. you can put anything in your C.S.A. box. As long as you give them some idea of what to do with it because that's that's a beauty you're introducing people to new things that they haven't tried before. And you. We like to get recipes that something that we didn't talk about but we we like to send out a newsletter. With our box at all tell them what's in the box and what to do with the produce. So that's off the topic of restaurants but you're introducing people to new things with C.S.A. and cons in conspiracy and consistent. Chefs are always changing. And the menus are always changing. So you really cannot. You can't know for sure that you're going you can't. It's hard to plan ahead. You know some one chef will say why like dandelion greens. Well by the time those genuine Greens are grown and you're ready to take them to them all that chefs might be gone. So that something that you have to take into consideration. So it can be difficult to plan ahead. And that sense. And then also you are missing out on the interaction with the consumer. You have interacting with the shaft but you're missing. Who you're actually feeding. Which for us to the important to have that as part of our marketing. And I'll just mention also about the restaurants I think restaurants in particular as well as so many of these are marketing ideas that are meant. Often to be combined. Restaurants particularly I think could be a difficult soul market in and of themselves. There are people who do it and you can do it. But that could be challenging. We had for a fairly short amount of time probably one of the best restaurant relationships that there was just ideal. We go to Farmer's Market. We'd have stuff left over. We had this one chef that we made friends with up in Nashville. We drive about ten minutes past market. And we'd say all right we have twelve bunches of Chinese cabbage left. Take it. We have you know. Thirty pounds of beets give me twenty and. You know we would make a several hundred dollars sale. To this guy. After every market. If you can find a chef like that that's gold. Treat him very well. Give him. Maybe your team percent discount or something. Whole Sale is another marketing option. Some pros for that you can focus on the high profitability crops like tomatoes. Like lettuce. All sorts of high profit crops that you would definitely have to mix with variety if you're doing a C.S.A. your pie profit. Will be cut. Somewhat because one of the cons of wholesale is that you get less return per item. Oftentimes that percentage can be anywhere between thirty and fifty percent. That sounds about right. You know you're going to take a cut on some of these things but you know if you have a. If you have a knack for growing some of these high profit things. This is certainly something to consider giving a go at and wholesale can be consistent. You know you get in with a few stores that want certain amount of stuff. Every week. You know it can be good. It does have some cons though you again. This is one of those marketing options where you don't have much customer interaction. Unless you happen to see them when you're dropping it off at the store. There can be more insurance and other legalities. Especially when you get into the larger rest. Wholesale markets such as Whole Foods. I think they require like a million dollar insurance. It's two million two million dollar insurance plan. Of some form. And you know that's just something you have to consider this one potentially requires more lands. That is kind of dependent upon your place. But if. If you're wanting to provide to somewhere like Whole Foods. You know they're probably going to need a large amount of of product from you and you could potentially need more space to do something like that one kind of niche in the wholesale market that we want to just spend a few a few minutes talking about our food hubs in this is kind of a term that's gotten out there for. You deliver. Produce to kind of a middle man who then distributes it. To anywhere from restaurants to schools to government to kind of like a middleman so you don't have to do the delivering the marketing. You do take a cut on some of that. But I don't want to say too much because we're going to have Joshua come up and just share a little bit about it because Josh on our farm has been the. This guy has been dealing with whole sales and food hub. Particularly and Nashville we have one called Nashville grounds you want to tell us a little bit about that. And you can mention that. So they're already mentioned about Rush Tronson we haven't done much as they said. Working directly with Russia wants to have done a lot through this food have called National grown and man that started it. He he just started small with with different restaurants and has a website that. I can go on and I can list. What we have. And then he uploads it to rush out to the chef go on to Andrew's website. The that the chefs go on to you and place their order. And then I can just print off a or should pick a list and has everything I did I need a pick. And it has breakdown of the different restaurants and I just pack it into those boxes. And so we've actually sold a lot through Rush Strong's that way and. I guess the pros and cons are pretty similar to the other Rush pros and cons. Well of course it's. It's a cut. Because you're selling on more of a wholesale price to the restaurant. And then he also takes a cut it's not very much. It's like ten or fifteen percent. So it's pretty good. And we've done we've done a lot through him. And it's nice because it's more of a excess. Produce. You know. Excess orders we just put up. We don't have to commit to have anything on. It's just if we have excess we put it up. Restaurants are not. As they mentioned before they're not very consistent. And so a lot of times we'll have a lot of excess. And we won't get orders. But a lot of times will get will get pretty good size orders. There is one other because of the food hubs. That we work with and it's. It's a similar thing. Except it's two individuals. And it's a guy that has an online market for individual people and the same kind of thing where we list it up and that we get higher prices. He actually sells his stuff for quite a bit of a higher price than we would even sell at our market. So we end up selling to him for a similar price that we would sell at our market. And then he bumps it up twenty percent I think. And so he's definitely got a better price through him. But we get we get smaller orders. So those of the two food have that we've worked with. And I don't know what. You know if there's similar things. In other cities I would assume that you could find some other things but we're blessed with the National groan. You know our in Nashville. It's. It's been a good thing for actual produce. So yeah so that's been a blessing for us. And just networking getting to know your area. Hopefully you can find people who would do a similar thing one one point that we didn't touch on to food habits kind of a broad term. But one thing. And we listed it under social justice. One area or aspect of who food had you might have in your city somebody who was trying to get fresh local produce to some of the darker. Parts of the community. You know places where people have no access to fresh produce and it's really a. It's a sad vicious cycle that people live in. When they have no access to these things that are there is a growing number of food hubs that are trying to get produce into those areas and that's that's a neat thing that you can be a part of to. So now we're going to transition into practical tips and tricks that we can hopefully share with you about farmers markets farmers markets can be a great way to get your business started. You can bring what you have is not high stress of having to have certain items. And even if you continue on to a C.S.A. or other sorts of marketing. A farmer's market can continue to be a great addition. That you know you make even if you make you know somewhat small amounts making those every week. Can really add up over your season. And another thing that all add is is. It's a great advertising tool. If you have a C.S.A. drop off at your farmer's market. Because the other customers. See people coming to get their produce an act of Oh. They What is that and she get to tell them about C.S.A.. We have gotten a lot of T.S.A. members through our farmer's market so. Combining the two cigarette gather is a great model. OK Just a few basics on how to choose a market you know if you're starting at the beginning. Lots of cities have multiple farmers' market. The which one is the best for you. You want to look for producers. Only market that is very important in our early days of farming. When farmers markets were not the cool thing to go to. You can find producer only market. And not really that really hurt you when you have them be next to use bringing and produce from the Amish and they're selling their tomatoes for fifty cents a pound I mean I don't know. But just way last than you could ever afford to sell your tomatoes for that that really hurts and so you've got to find a market that's a producer only. Another important aspect is a good market manager and that's something that you're kind of out of control of. But meeting the market manager before you commit to a season. Is there is a great thing you know. Finding somebody who is invested in the market enough to cut. Effort into advertising. Because they're the ones that make or break the market. They've got to put their hearts into advertising for the market and just little things like not allowing people to start selling stuff before a judge ignited time. If you don't have a market manager who sticks to that your market role everybody will be selling at different times and people start selling earlier to people come earlier and so having a good market manager is very important and like I say that something that you're not always in control of and you can't always dictate who your market manager is but if you do have a choice in markets that's something that could play into which market you might decide. Another thing is that desirable location. You're looking for a market that's and mid to upper class. Part of town. That family friendly. You know are actually the only market that we have done this last season is in a park and. It's a great place the moms bring their kids and just hang out on the grass. To bring their dogs. It's a very desirable place for the whole family to come. So you're looking for. We've done them in parking lots before and you know if that's what you have. Then you make it good. But having a location that is more family friendly. Helped with that. And also looking for a market that is large enough that has enough vendors to attract people. You know not just a couple tens. You know our market has about thirty five vendors only five or six of those are produce growers of other than enough there's enough tents enough canopies enough people to attract people from off the street with us. That's important as well. Yes. Yeah and our area. The best market for years and probably still the best market is on Saturday. And that's been a way to share our faith because everybody asks why aren't you at the Saturday market. And then we can explain why we're not there but that is a challenge and especially in our early years. There really weren't good market. On other days. And so just look in your area. Farmer's Market they're becoming so much more popular there are so many more options that. Normally in a city or town. Saturday market isn't your only option. But just going to knowing that usually those are the best ones. But the Lord really. Honors. Honors you for that and we have seen our sales only increased. And you know going up. Each year. Whereas you know people. I remember in the early years people said oh you can't farm because everything's on Saturday and that's not true. You really can in the Lord honors that. OK. So some essential equipment this is just a basic list the things that you. You have to canopy and wait and wait. Are very very important aspect. Every year we always have at least one storm that comes in and demolishes all the canopies that are not of any substantial quality this one you can kind of see in the background this was from this year and it was actually sort of like a mini tornado there was a. There was the whirl. And it came through the through the park right in the middle of market and completely flattened. We. Fifty percent if not more of all the canopies. And so having weight and a good quality canopy my dad says nothing under two hundred dollars because we think we spent a few years where you just get. You know whatever you can find at the Wal-Mart and you get a comb and can see and it won't last for long so a good quality of the brand that I was going to suggest is easy up. That is a good quality tent and they have quite a wide variety of ray of different ones that you can get and that. That's what we would suggest for can at these from experience this. This year. I think are their second season on these canopies and they've been through a lot. Table. Getting folding table. Essential aspect. Tablecloths and we'll talk about some of these more in detail as we go on a scale. And every market will require that you certify your scale so you have to get a good scale that it's and certified. And then bags preferred Lee with handles. For the customers. Something that is very easy for them to grab and carry with them. And some sort of banner farm sign. So those are kind of like you. Almost like you can't do a market without these sort of things they're essential. We have another list of things that are helpful additions to perhaps in some ways take your market to the next level. We found that having bag holders that are spread throughout our table. It's good thing it's a good thing to give people a back to put your stuff in you know. They can put more in it. Well. We have these ones that check out. But we're not super happy with the way that we have spread bags out around on the table. But we definitely found that having big bags around for he will put their produce in is good but these have that we have the same ones are at our checkout register. It can be helpful for speed and efficiency. To you know. Pull out a back of your stuff and here you go. When you have a long line on these they're a little bigger. So I haven't spread them around you want to have bagged I had it later in the note but you want to have bags in prominent locations in several different locations on your table for Billy next to things that are going to need to be back like potatoes. So these bag holders are a little bigger you. And less you just have a lot of space which we normally don't you when have that just spread around so one thing that I've done it's. I have tied. The bag onto the canopy in a way that you can just pull them off really quickly. So I just tie them on to the post. Not just something quick and easy I haven't. Right when the people walk through the door. I have them on a on a post there. Had them on post in the back and also you can do. The bags on a roll. That's also very easy to have throughout. But these ones with a handle. Especially at the checkout so they can put everything in the back is easy to carry. So we're going to move on through these pretty quickly. Baskets boxes. For displaying we've built some little rustic ones. Kind of. You know what farmer's market he price tags are really good to have they're often things that go. If we don't have enough time they don't get out. We've been trying to do better this year because price tags are great for people to know what they're paying people like to know what they're paying. Just like I want to know what I'm paying cash drawer This isn't something that really is help us in our check out. We actually Joshua and a friend. Welded those top. Little bars on to just your standard cash register you can buy one Amazon for thirty dollars cash drawer. And that's just the right wit so we can just slide it under our table. So it just kind of sits down there it's read it in nice high. Cash Management. Drawer like that is really nice to have chalkboards you can note sales and it's something we'll spend a few several minutes on. Later is a credit card reader. They're free. The readers anyways. And charge minimal percentages. To take credit cards. You know from your phone anywhere. And that's you more you more than make up for the percentage they take by the ability to take credit cards is we have people come by every week multiple people. Heidi. You take credit card. It probably is probably we re probably do about fifty percent cash. Fifty percent credit card and that's critical. No reason that you shouldn't have one of those and they've. The company we use square has also come out with one that except Apple Pay now so you can. You can take credit cards the cool way. Is something else that is really nice is a farm brochure and. OK. We can we can talk about that we brought a few of them that you can see just as. Just some ideas of printed materials that you can. You can think about. So now we're just going to look go through some specifics of what's what we do at our farmer's market stand or what we really strive to do. And you want to have a display that's attractive. Visual presentation is key to the selling of anything and that applies at farmer's market just as this applies anywhere else. You want something that sets you apart. There at our farmer's market there's a wide scope of vendors who still produce you have the ones. We have one other vendor who is who is to me kind of kind of like us and have like some nice wooden boxes and stacks things nicely. We've learned a few things from them too. But then there are some that more or less just have a table and. Not quite literally but just throw their stuff out there. And it makes a difference. And one something that's unique. That sets you apart. Table clause. It's important to have the matching to have a color that's not distracting. We actually are technically going against good counsel. By having ones that have a checkered pattern. I've heard it recommended that it's good to have solid ones and. This is probably the only exception that I would really go for other than some solid color because this kind of has a far me pick Nikki feel brand. Yeah and that's it's been kind of a part of our branding on the farm so those are our table cos they're all matching Nanda striking design make sure they're not equate link to cover the tables well. You just want people. You can stuff all your stuff that you know and people see underneath and hide your been for you know the next being of kale you have. You know hide it under there without people having to see all of that stuff and display. Something that's very helpful is having multiple layers not only is this attractive to the eye but it gets you through you can put more produce on a table with us. And yes in a guy built this table together and it has partitions underneath it you can put different kinds of vegetables but then on top you can just back it. And. And saying stack a high and watch it fly. Is very very true. You know if you only have three branches of fennel or let's say Swiss chard because it's in the picture three bunch of this twist charred. The three are going to last a super long time whereas if you had twenty you will sell those twenty. That we watch. We watch it every market you know if you have a pile of stuff it gets down to the very last few you can solve the pile very quickly but you get down to the last year and they don't sell very quickly at all. So it's very very important like if you sell. Eighteen bunch of this week you've got to bring more next week. Even if you had a three left over. So just continue to bring as much as you can. And put it all out there you know if you don't have a lot of. If you don't have a lot of stuff. You've just got to put it all out there and not hold anything back. Produce quality. We try to keep it for a are on hand. Ideally with ice water to keep things fresh especially when you have your greens and that. That's also key you want people to come to the stand and find stuff that looks. Alive and fresh and not wilted from the sun which is hard to do in the middle of the summer. Having stuff clean and only sell the best that you have. And this can be hard sometimes because we know the past can come in and especially when I grew the Asian greens. You can if the voice or any of them back to you will be riddled with little little holes and use your saw the best that you have and if that's all that you have you sell it by really try to keep the standard high for farmers markets. And for any for any really branding and signage we kind of already talked about this but have a have something that is consistently year that you're not always changing that's the same every year have a logo. With your foreign name consistent. Style. For us it's more of the rustic look. Farm information. We have a brochure. We can. You're welcome to take one of these just for ideas for yourself we have quite a few at the end of the season. But we created a farmer sure that's on our table that we try to give to all the customers through the season. And that's event. A great tool for ministry as well because it gives a little bit of our testimony it tells about each one of us on the farm. So I really help the customer connect to you which is another way that's going to bring them back to your stand it's very important that that you connect on it on a deeper level and that they they see us somebody that they want to come by from so having that personal touch. That way. Everybody who comes by your stand can grab one of these and learn about the farm and get to know you through through the printed page. So that's been very very key for us. Large chalkboard. I have this usually sitting out at the front and will list items that I have for the day and like to change that for the season. And have sales. And so it's changing in attract people. And also if there's a line or something and people want to know if you have something they can look at the chalkboard and see if you have it for that day. And then you just cross it out when it when it runs out and it's also helpful because people who come at the end when your tables empty so that you actually did have a bunch of stuff at the beginning you just crossed all out and bought it. So they see what you did have a name I try to be there earlier next time. So these are little things that we know the rush of market sometimes it's hard to actually do these things and get the chalkboard redone. Each week so there are weeks for it doesn't get out but it is helpful for your sales. And then running specials. The day. Again. We mentioned earlier that price tags are really really important. And we have we really just still don't feel like we've come up with a perfect solution for price tags. But we're making progress. We sometimes we tried to make sign. Price tags that looked so good and took so long to make. But they were so difficult to change that your prices change to the season your items change you need to erase them and we had these awesome little creek rocks that we found. And we writers. Prices on them but you can erase off of rocks I guess. And that. You know it looked great while it did but it didn't look great for a while so Kiersten came up with this. This one. This is very very simple I just took black card stock. Because I wanted the chalkboard look without the actual mess of a chalkboard. And so just black card stock that I used actually a chalkboard marker on but you could. You could use whatever. And so it gives it that chart the chalkboard look but it's very simple and easy what I found. If it's not simple and easy it doesn't happen. Yes chalkboard markers. Sorry. Yeah. Stock workers. Not their mom. Their markers. Yeah. No no it's just card stock that I taped on to skewers. So I just have a bunch of extra one teacher week that are cut up to the right size they're all kind of different sizes but anyways. And I can just add. I can make new tags or whatever needs to be done but it's very very simple and easy. And just haven't. On skewers taped on skewers. And then you can stick it in a basket or wherever else and it's an easy simple thing and that way. You know if a rainstorm comes in they all get messed up. You can just read in a very easily for next time. OK. We're just going to go through these last and through a quick you can write it down if you like. It's great to have specific variety names people can get attached to a certain variety of something you have and want to keep coming back. We have this variety called Tommy Marinucci you. We grew last year and probably the finest name of tomatoes we've had. And we have people coming back this year we didn't grow that variety this year but it's like where the Tommy Mari. How me what is it called and. Now we don't have those so it's good for people to know and if you've got a good one you can stick with it. Something for selling it's great to ask people when they're coming to check out you know you kind of sensor done shopping ask them what else would you like or what else can I get for you something that is not an easy. You know if you ask. Are you finished now. Or something like that where they can just say yes or no ask I'm worth a little bit harder for them to say yes or no is it that they're done. You know what else can I get for you and I have had a number of people who are like Oh I'm well all male take some cabbage and. And it works. Get personal with him get to know people's names I've been trying to work on this. This year and have learned a few more. And people really appreciate a personal touch that they'll come back because they know that you have established a little bit of a relationship with them and that starts with learning your name. It's very helpful to know to know your produce know how to cook it specially when you have that variety that comes when you're a C.S.A. grower you know what do you do with us crawl and I'm like ask her. It's good to know or have somebody who knows. You can suggest items that people. You know will do that most often when we have a bulk of things that are moving like how do you tried. Chinese cabbage and that sells some to you know every little bit counts. It's important to have a convenient plag bag placement for efficiency we mention this already. Something we're going to going to take a minute on is the layout and traffic flow. Oh and this is something that's really important especially ask your market numbers increase. We have tried some different things. We now have multiple lines we have multi we have to actually check out locations and sometime we whip out a third one. Let me just I made this little graphic just to visually explain how we how we've done this years previous to we had the same set up. But we had the two of the lines. Going right up the middle. To the middle tables because that's just how we felt like it was going to work well but we realize there was congestion because we had this long line right in the midst of art can at the door and people had a hard time getting from the left side to the right side. Blocked views. So what we did this year and I think has worked really well is. We move the registers all the way to the end. So now the line kind of forms. Outside of our little canopy store. And it leaves the middle open for shoppers to feel free to pick up stuff yes. I believe. They tend my ten. We have to ten by ten canopies. And so I'm going to I'm going to show you a few other layout options. Sometimes like the middle of the summer are produce was kind of slim. In some ways and so we. It's better to have fewer tables and have it look like it's full than to have a bunch of tables. And it to look sparse. That something will even sometimes do throughout the market. Asked that asked people buy stuff and our table began to look empty. You know let's pull back this table and combine the stuff so it still has a nice full look. So that's how you could you know that's getting rid of three tables. That's set up that we've done in just one canopy. Where you still kind of. You know leave traffic flow. Free in the middle. Again if you just wanted three tables you could put your register at the ends. And you know you could scale it all the way down just so you have a flow of traffic you want people to kind of feel walk in a certain way and leave the congestion. Low. We mention the cash management for having your cash drawer and something. I do want to spend just a moment or two on Square Register and if you knew you heard this presentation last year we did part of this. And a little bit more expanded. Own. Square. How many of you heard of square. You familiar with square OK. Square makes an app that you can use on your i Phone or Android phone. And on your tablet and there tablet. App is very much superior to their phone app. And I'm going to try to plug this and so I can actually show you what it looks like and just give you a little visual demo because this is this is been transformative. For us both on the say on the front of selling at market and on record keeping and all of that has come with letting us do less and focus more on the customer let me see if I can get these things from opening. Again both on the phone and the i Pad. The way that square works. The readers they send you are free. The mag. The magnetic striping readers are the. The Apple Pay readers they are having. You need to pay a little bit for them. I think it's fifty dollars but it's not a big deal you don't have to have that you don't have to be cool. But it helps. They just charge a standard two point seven five percent. OK. I think I'm getting in here. Were you know. We bring it over to the screen. OK. So this is what Square Register looks like when you have it open on your i Pad. This is how ours is set up doesn't exactly come like this it comes with a with an empty grid of these items. So we've created items. You create items for the different things you sell. You create prices. For those that have set prices. You can leave the price blank. For those that you have done by weight and the price varies all the time. So for instance. Let me just give you a demo of somebody checking out. They've walked up and I can see in their arms that they have kale. Swiss chard tomatoes and potatoes. So I can top kill. It's always three dollars a bunch who just tap it. It's there. Tap it it's there for the Swiss chard. It's all editable will often edit things at market. Well you know if we get there in the price is wrong. Tomatoes for us are by weight that we weigh him. It brings up a screen. Punch in the price. Three dollars worth of tomatoes. And what did I say potatoes which are on our second page you can add multiple pages if you have more items. And they got a dollar fifty worth the potatoes. So there's a total ten fifty and one nice thing that this does not like you can't add yourself in your head. But if you're not having to think about that you can. More fully interact with the customer and engage in the costs in know in talking with the customer without having this. In the back of your head and the other nice thing that this does. So already this increased efficiency by doing this when it comes to to making the payment. You can hit charge. You can swipe a card. That's when it charges you two point seven five percent. Or you can just hit one of those buttons at the top. For how much cash they give you. They don't charge a percentage of all on cash it's just record keeping and. It gives you the most likely cash. Amount that they're going to give you. They're either going to give you exact ten fifty with it might give you a leaven. Or if it's not that probably fifteen or twenty. And so you just say. The OK. Here's a twenty I hit twenty. And on the next screen it says one fifty change. And so it makes it look like a math with because I'm like are your changes nine fifty S I'm pulling it out. And you know you get at our market especially during peak season we'll get you know one hundred sales. Individual sales in the three hours that we're there and this is really really helps to speed it up. You can send a receipt. You can text an e-mail receipts to people in series. You can issue refunds on people's cards. The. There's accessories you can get if you want like a barcode reader or an actual receipt printer. There are things you can do. And here in the settings. If you need to collect tax you can collect tax. You can also and this is a feature that hasn't always been there. You really it's better to have an Internet connection of some kind whether you share a hotspot from your phone or your i Pad is connected to the Internet or maybe your market has Internet. But if you don't it also can work offline The only thing that that is bad is it can't check that to make sure that that card was accepted. You know it's going to. It'll read the card correctly it gets the numbers right. You know all the time if it doesn't it'll tell you. But if for some reason their card is inactive for has a problem and. Our whole season. I've come across the. Twice I think. It doesn't happen much but you could potentially be out a sale. Because you were offline. But you can do that next twenty four hours. I think that's right you need to connect within twenty four hours of making those sales. To let them actually run through for Foursquare to process the credit cards. So you get home. Connected to the Internet. And it's fine. We've never had an issue with that. So that's just one aspect of it very customizable. Oh. The one other piece of this I didn't quite show you when I was checking out. You can have a set price. Or you can have an item that has you know multiple prices. Price for a smaller head price for our larger head which is really makes it makes it simple. The other really cool thing that I don't terribly have easily accessible here. Like there's my sale from today. It'll show us a list and at the end of market. We can. We can just swipe this over and look at this panel and see exactly how much we earned at that market. How much cash came in. How much credit card came in and we can see a full summary. And you can see. You know how much you've sold of course this is just an example I've only sold one of these things that you can say Man we sold a lot a lot of celery today. And this not only is on the i Pad. But sinks to the square website which I don't have a. I don't have the opportunity to show you. But it keeps a record of that and you can go at the end of the season. And for your. Whole season you can see how much money to the sent the you make on everything on carrots on everything. And that can be really helpful for planning for your next season. And you can see no hopefully how much better your market did this year than it did last year in your whole totals. And it's free. I mean you don't have to use the credit card reader part if you don't want to you can just take cash. And it's just just for that it's an incredible. Last skate me. Management tool here recordkeeping tool. Yes. The app is free the service is free the only time where you get charged. Is when you swipe a card. And if you choose not to do that you know you won't get two hundred put in a tax for that little amount that we haven't chosen to you know help this week to week. If we have been good at keeping record of what we've taken to market. So we can see. OK Last week we took eighteen bunches of carrots. You know this week. We're going to take twenty five. So it. It really helps week to week. It helps when you look back on the season and it's been a huge huge improvements are marketing. So we're out of our time we'll just take a hair question or two. Just real quick. That's amazing. How do where do you go to now I'm sure it's probably not with square itself but another similar. Perhaps program. So the comment was that he was saying that the the U.S.D.A.. Is it for those. If you just accept food stamps period and any food. Do you have to accept. Can you accept food stamps plus other things too. Yes So he's saying that. That's out with the U.S.D.A. if your market link. Dot com or something. OK. So Google market link. Potential for receiving the necessary equipment to get to do these kind of sales. OK. This is not fancy like square but it's the same idea. So dad just passed out some of our marketing materials from the past I was a C.S.A. information postcard that we did a few years ago just to give you some ideas. We were unable to find in the OF. Some of our more recent stuff for promoting the C.S.A. and stuff but that just gives you some ideas of some ideas for your own marketing and advertising. Yeah that's something we didn't get to talk about for us. We really haven't had too much challenge filling up our C.S.A.. But if you do. Passing them. We've put posters or postcards before and Whole Foods. Just asking. On Bolton boards just asking around and. And seeing just different places you can put them go to like Whole Foods and and put postcards around or business cards. And the best thing is word of mouth. Really if you had a satisfied happy customer. That's going to tell their friends that is the best advertising that you can get and that really works. Newspaper. And there are so many people who want to documents. And we have two magazines. In our area that. It's basically just a classified for farmers for different markets. And they come to us and ask us you know can we put you in our magazine or. You know people are very anxious you. Advertising market for you so you've got to take advantage of that. So if you have any other questions about any of this you can come in C.S. afterwards for a little bit over time but thank you all for for listening and hopefully some of what we shared could be useful for you. OK OK. If you provide your own i Phone. Then there's no subscription cost just. If you're following your schedule closely you'll notice that we varied it a little bit here. We had a longer schedule. And the program after lunch. Just because that's what we're going to do the next couple days but we're going to go ahead and take ten minute break. Now. Meet back here at three fifteen. And we'll go to hell for three and then for thirty to five thirty so it. It's. It's a little bit different than your afternoon schedule but we'll have two more sessions each an hour and give you a little break here. Thank you you can see why we value these young people. The the technology and the creativity. I've often said I don't know what. My wife and I are going to do if we ever have to do it on our own some day. But not as good who gives us what we mean.


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