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Logo of AdAgrA 2019: True Success

Introduction to Market Gardening - Part 4

John Dysinger Pamela Dysinger



  • January 16, 2019
    3:00 PM
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So just tell who you are and where your farm is and you know just one minute introduction to your farm and then tell us how you're marketing your produce. So my husband Matt My name is De Jura and we farm in South Dakota in the Black Hills and we have a small market garden there and we have kind of moved around the country and worked on different market gardens at some self-supporting institutions so we've been in Washington state South Dakota and southeast Utah and so this is we're going into our 3rd season back in South Dakota establishing our own farm there and we have 4 kids that help us on the farm and we homeschool and Farm School them there so so I think. Well for us marketing has been fairly easy. And you guys can have the same experience if you move to places where nobody grows feared. And there's not really competition it's it can work pretty well so you know North Pole South Pole you get that there are reason that people don't grow food in certain areas so we have like one of the probably the highest hill. You know and students of storms last year our kids I quit counting our kids counted like I think 12 different hailstorm whatever so last summer year before that we had a storm that had like 6 inches of hell so it has other you know so if you have food to market you're doing pretty good but. I think our for us it's always been you know if you have a good product it'll sell itself for the most part and. Not be afraid to approach anybody anybody and. Sell your products so you know for us. You know we sell a lot of salad well things restaurants are basically our experience has been with the restaurant if you can get in the door with anything you know some simple. Then and you can do that consistently and they're going to want more and we've had you know last year we had a restaurant that we were selling to the year before and the lady left which pretty much always happens which is another way you can do well because cooks move around like crazy and you know you treat them well and they're going to go somewhere else and you know then you can get that restaurant as well so we had one leave and her mom was not interested in our product at all and we called her and she pretty much just you know not interested hung up the phone. I don't have time to deal with you and her daughter was like you know she wants everything local so it was different so I just said OK and. Later in the summer when we had some different things I took some product over there and she was really concerned that we would not be able to deliver which is a problem in our area you know consistently and. But we took her some days all and she was like well OK I'll try some and then I took it you know so I took her like 10 pounds and this lady wants like 20 pounds a bezel a week at I think $15.00 a pound so it adds up pretty quick and so we took her to the baseball and then I called her next week and she said oh we're we've been talking about you all week like this is the most amazing days all we've ever seen and you know so the product sold itself we just had to get out there and. I was I just want to reiterate what he said is that having a quality product that you're not afraid to you know just really consistently push people like you've got to tell you've got to try it because when they do then they're really excited to have it and a lot of chefs you know talk to other chefs in the area and you are in a reputation and so that's just one outlet that we use as we sell a lot of wholesale produce to restaurants we also go to farmer's market so we have we don't have a great big farmer's market in our area like a lot of big metropolitan areas like Portland or Seattle where we kind of came from. And so there are smaller markets and so we attend you know several different farmers' markets a week in different areas and obviously we don't go to the largest farmers' markets on Saturdays so that you know it's kind of challenging but we've found that there's less farmers at the mid-week mid-week markets and so you know the people that come out get really excited to find good fresh produce and so you kind of get a following that way and then another avenue for marketing our produce is that we started a C.S.A. program so we've done C.S.A. programs in the past and when we came to this farm 2 and a half years ago and we were establishing it we did not want to do a C.S.A. program. For a while because it comes with some risk you are accountable to your C.S.A. members because you're taking money upfront and we didn't want to get in over our heads and not be able to follow through so that's like the professionalism and the quality that we're talking about so half way through the season we decided you know we have the nice thing about C.F.C.'s is you can move some produce that maybe isn't moving other places like farmer's market or you're not selling as much to restaurants as you thought you would and so it can be a good avenue for that for challenging people with new varieties and so we started a small C.S.A. program and that was really successful and we have had a 60 person C.S.A. program in the area before so we know we can grow it we're just not ready to do that now so you can kind of move different product in different avenues and so it's been official to have more than just one area to market your produce So one more quick thing. This might seem like counterintuitive or. What marketing people say but we felt that if we don't try and push our product we're trying to let the Lord open the doors so and usually we find out later that we didn't have enough product or we didn't have what we thought we'd have or whatever and you know a great example is we have a co-op that wasn't interested in our food and we're going to let the doors open and it's a growing autonomy now they've offered us to have a market there one day a week and will basically be the only vendor right out front of their co-op which is going to really grow that market so let the Lord open the doors and do what you're able to do so one quick question for you Do you have an idea of percentages Fars restaurants C.S.A. farmer's market last year this is a it's very small but. So I think last year our 2nd year we grossed about 60000 and about 20000 of that was wholesale and I think 18000 it was a farmer's market and the rest was kind of local farm sales and C.S.A. OK So pretty equal between the 3 OK Next tell us who you are and where you're from and what you well were the children's Mark and Vernon and our 4 children and we live about 100 miles south of Nashville and the area we have is we have a you know we're doing market gardening that's what we're planning to do and what we are doing we. Have a reality there because the. Area that we would sell to is the Muscle Shoals. The Quad Cities area and it's just not that big and there wasn't there was a farmer's market there and there always has been but it's not a producer market and further complementing complicating the situation is the fact that we're not the only people growing there we have a large Amish community about an hour north of us and they have an auction produce auction there that somebody operates and so the dealers at the farmer's market would just go up there and get things for the you know. For a song well somebody else went to sleep. And so we had that to compete with we were going there but this last summer we just said we're not going to go there the spirit was not good there was a lot of competition and they their attitude toward us was not the most congenial So in the meantime somebody else started a farmer's market and somewhere else and kept town that was a producer's market but it takes a lot of work to do it and that was last year and this summer they continued but they just wore out so we don't know what we're going to do for a farmer's market next year. We are just waiting on the Lord on that one and then we had a small C.S.A. and. Also a couple of restaurants that we supplied and in this case one of those restaurants it was a restaurant owner that was interested so you don't worry about the cook so much as the owner like likes our stuff and. We didn't have a very good success but dados but he got those potatoes and he said Well I'd like to pay for the rest and you just keep them and bring them then. When they're ready so we made a guess of how much we thought would still be good then and we supplied him. So you know that again the thing is the quality of your produce has a lot to do with it and we also did set up. On the corner in town about 6 miles away that has about a 1000 people. Oh you're going to Madge and we didn't make a whole lot but it was a good way to get people to know us we yeah. The last year we decided to dive into a very small C.S.A. I did a lot of consulting with Pam that singers have been great mentors for us and Alan and and Bob Gregory we've. We've learned a lot from all of them but we started out with 4 customers. For 4 or 5 good start. We were scared to do to mash it not that we can't grow the food but we just you know it was totally new and we were scared of not being able to provide for our customers and so then. A little bit later with we got we got real good feedback from our customers and then there was one man he said Oh my brother I told my brother about the C.S.A. would you consider taking him on as a member and so they joined and then there was somebody else wanted to join and so we ended up with. $5.00 to $7.00 something like that total for our C.S. ace and we because the. The 2nd market the producers only market had a very nice spirit there we were really really really I love going to that market this last summer I didn't miss a single time because I'm like Pam that it's just it's food for my soul to go down there and be able to interact with the people and the C.S.A. customers and it's so thrilling what some of the things that can happen and. So. But they because of the burnout on the part of the. Of the managers they decided that. They weren't going to continue doing it so. The brewery which is adjacent to the market where we were going they decided they want to try taking over so we tell them Well if the brewer is going to take it over we're out but we have some loyal customers down there a lot of good contacts and we we hope that something will open up for market down there yeah right right and that. When the market closed to close the end of August this year which was rather early but we we made provision we offered. To to bring produce to people if they would order so it was kind of like the on line order thing where they could order whatever they wanted to but it wasn't on line it was it was via text or e-mail messages which was. That was kind of a little bit stressful and our. Our packing house situation was very bad but this when are thankful and we're getting a packing Shell said built and that will help us a lot and then. You know we do some local sales we have the strawberries are a really big. Help to us. And the blueberries in the wintertime. Plants. You know the children's propagate blueberry plants we've gotten quite a number from them so so this you know I gave you a lot of tips this morning and you know being within an hour's drive of a large metropolitan area and stuff and the children's don't fit into that. But they're making it work you know the Lord's leading and guiding and many times it's not exactly how you think it should be or how you want it to be but you know they're a good one to talk to if if you are living in maybe a little more remote area but one thing I just wanted to comment on they use the term producers only and I think maybe you failed to distinguish between the 2 there's what you call peddlers markets where the produce is not being grown by those who are selling it and then there's producers only markets you want to stay as far away from peddlers markets as you can because it's it's unfair competition you know like they say they're going to the Amish like they said they're going to the Amish and buying really really cheap produce if you live near Amish. That's that's hard. Because we talked about children you know they have lots of children and so they they've got. Very cheap labor. So anyway you're looking for producers only markets which are going to be much much better all the way around OK let's move on so my name's Alan Seiler and. And my sister and I and our family run better together farm in south central Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains and. From South Yeah it's all Matt's fault. So anyways but we're in an area where. The food movement in general is probably about 10 years behind the rest of the United States in general and so we don't really have any type of decent farmers' markets in our area. So that really pushed us several years ago to really start exploring the online marketing media. And how to do that and how to do that hopefully well in a way where. We can hopefully scale up to. A place where we can you know support ourselves and so it became really important for us to find a software that could help manage multiple customers because we do really like there are several reasons we do primarily direct to consumer sales where you get usually top dollar because you're taking out the middleman in that approach and I know I mean I have heard people doing who sell really well and I guess I mean we'll talk about that I think you do that so we haven't really explored that much we've really tried to to go direct to consumer for a few reasons and not that doing so sells is bad but for us we really like the idea of having direct interaction with our consumers but also when you have direct interaction with your consumers it also means that you have a lot of people to talk to which means that you're inefficient necessarily in moving a lot of products so trying to have a balance between the 2 has really been something that we're trying to do so Currently we use a software called Farmigo which is a great platform and talk more about that but it helps streamline a lot of the process and I think we will get better out that in the future the nice thing about the software is that it has a lot of different portals that can be utilized in the future whether host cell whether C.S.A. whether on market like you can manage a lot of different type of stuff and and it can grow with you and I think some people find it an expensive platform to use but if you're moving let's say in the future somewhere between $150.00 to let's say $300000.00 worth of product off of your farm in a given season. The percentage that they charge might be like let's say $10000.00 for something like that which if you look at it that way you can never hire someone to create and maintain a platform like that for you for that amount so that's kind of how I try to look at it if I was to hire someone to do this to design and to maintain a platform what would that cost and that's kind of how I get my mind wrapped around the cost of of the software so I really talk a little bit more about the the details of kind of how it works and why we've gone that way. Yeah this is our 5th year 6 year you know and I think we literally tried a different system every single season so just because we're recommending Farmigo to you this year doesn't mean we're going to recommend for me go to you next year and we probably didn't recommend it last year when we were doing something similar like this so we're constantly like OK what worked what didn't work what can we try better is or somebody because with the technology advancing so quickly there's constantly new products coming into the market and so we're always looking and like I have one currently open are sitting in my inbox I need to go listen to for another marketing software. Yeah I haven't told you about OK. Yet it's 101010 something like that and yes it's something I think. G.M. uses it or whatever so. Far me go we because we do direct customer although we do have a couple chefs that we've been working with through and it's working with chefs is actually it's it can be fun and it can be not so fun but the chefs that we have have been really fun and they're both guys which is I love seeing guys excited about like quality food that is just I don't know why that does my soul so good but just see you know guys there's like this beautiful lettuce and like. This is something seems really right about this. So it's been fun working with chefs and we had kind of to modify it a little differently so Farmigo hasn't really worked super Well I haven't been able to figure out a way to work for our chefs really well yet so it really shines in our direct to consumer sales and it's kind of like a modified C.S.A. because people purchase what we call a membership. Which does nothing but give them access to our online platform and then they buy the produce on top of that. So it just gives us extra income and it gives them feeling like they're part of something without us having to be promising them so much every season. I think the membership has been $49.00 season and we have 2 seasons a year so it's like $100.00 bucks per customer and they are pretty happy with that arrangement. Like I said we experiment and change everything change things every year but we found when we were looking into it especially for our demographic and if you live in a food desert this might be something that you want to consider as well I realize that if you're in the Pacific Northwest more than likely you're not in a food desert but if you're in Midwest or in the south you could be coming across something like this we found that our demographic really really really valued being able to select their own produce when they ordered online and we did a little market research and said OK if you we pick your produce like standard C.S.A. or if you pick your produce which do you prefer and it was like 90 percent want to pick their own so we're like OK now let's figure out how we make this work for people. And then we currently are we deliver our produce to a specific location Well we set up every week in the Pacific specific location People come and pick up their orders there and we box it really nicely in these clear plastic totes and they have their name on it and it's really nice for me go does all of well for me go doesn't box their stuff but I like it gives us their labels and things like that. I am really pushing us to start moving more towards trying to figure out how we either create drop zones where people can pick up their stuff without us having to be there waiting for them to pick it up or delivering it to their house. Because as we move further and further into the future when people order something online they don't expect to have to go pick it up somewhere usually they expect for it to show up at their door thanks to Amazon and so we're really like OK how do we make this work so if you guys think about think and think of an idea where because there's lots of I found lots of places that they all gather produce and like deliver it but they don't actually grow their produce or you have people that grow their produce that can't deliver it because it's just like how so as a small grower How do you combine those worlds without being completely financially ridiculous. So that's something we're toying around with and will report next year if we figured out something but if you figure out something let us know because that's that's the next like big hill we're trying to cross and the idea with that is just to try to lower the bar of access because a lot of the things with selling let's say at a farmers market or doing a C.S.A. where people have to come in actually pick up their product that's just another step and so I mean people are pretty lazy. No I wouldn't go pick I mean I would neither I probably wouldn't either so the idea is that what would what would what would have to happen for you to actually make that stop and so the idea is that well if you can just lower that bar enough so that it's simple as mud. Yeah convenient for them then then we feel like that's going to increase and then but then we thought about just OK just one thing so if you do that if you still want the community interaction we thought maybe having a meal on the farm maybe 3 times during the growing season where people can come and actually interact with us on the farm if they want that maybe that would be another place so that we wouldn't totally lose that interaction with their customers. Just a point on the people coming to the farm committee's folks my wife's parents Karen and Jenna SMITH They ran a C.S.A. at their farm in Arizona and they picked out some Around 1000 members so they had some experience there and one of the things that they learned was people really loved coming to the farm that a couple of events a year they put on food and it really built a bridge with customer loyalty. So really and I we heard with her parents having that experience in the C.S.A. type farm we started our farm thinking to go along that line Market Garden C.S.A. where the challenges though is that we live in a town that's about 4 hours $3.00 to $4.00 hours from a large metropolitan area and we had assumed that we would push produce in Vancouver and region where the interest in the local food movement is super high I mean we're on the West Coast here it's just it's hot so it wouldn't have been a problem. We don't think but fairly quickly you get into these things and you make some decisions so one of the cities we made is that I didn't want to travel twice a week 4 hours each way 8 hours a day 2 days a week spent doing nothing but driving. Now when you have to get work done and 2 out of 7 days or 2 out of 6 is spent behind the wheel it just wasn't going to make sense for me you know I can't really be with the kids it's hard for them to travel so we axed the C.S.A. fairly quickly we were using for me go it was great and we think that we could have gotten a fantastic following in Vancouver but it wasn't working going to work for our family incidentally there are some local farms a neighbor of ours as well as a neighbor but 40 minutes away they do it once to twice weekly trip into Vancouver and they sell their produce there that's a commitment they've done it's working for them they're putting on the miles and that's OK They're getting it but we didn't want to do that so we pivoted over to wholesale and initially we thought well we're right beside Whistler Does anybody know what Whistler is it's a ski town the resort town Kay was a really interesting sort of a set up we're all small town it's kind of a depressed economy especially after the fiber market that's the wood industry tanked back in the late eighty's early ninety's up there so that the economy is a little depressed but Whistler doesn't depressed because Whistler is subject to the world economy as long as the world at large has people of wealth and means we're going to do fine and what do you think the people who was for want to consume something of interest you know something new something local so that the feedback out of Whistler is fantastic for any local produce Incidentally there are high enough that they don't grow a lot of local produce is a bedroom community called Pemberton but 40 minutes away and they're able to grow some but certainly not sufficient to feed the interest there so we thought well this could be an interesting thing between that stores in our local area and a few other stores and he will have a little bit towards the east and we'll head a little bit towards the west where Whistler is and will get this following. In the in the stores one of the challenges with doing wholesale to the retailer is what you don't get when you're working with a chef for example or when you're working with a direct customer and what you get is forgiveness. So when you're when you're romaine lettuce is supposed to be 24 count case right and they're supposed to be equivalent of nearly a 2 pound head in the summer because you're competing with the stuff out of California the middle of summer when you when you need a big substantial head of romaine and you're selling that to the store you need to look just like the stuff out of California Otherwise why otherwise they look bad and I hate to say this but everybody's out to make sure that they look good so when yours marketing your produce wholesale that has to be paramount in the back of your mind you need to make them look good right because there's a store right down the street from them so yes you need to make the store like it because a story down the street from them that's trying to eat their lunch and if they have big beautiful produce at the same price that their. Story you're selling to has local less than beautiful produce it's tough for them to swallow so your job in marketing here is to try to make in wholesale markets try to make your customer look at what makes it easier interesting Lee is having it in a package soon as it's in a package it's no longer the produce manager's responsibility it's my brand now. It's my responsibility and so you know when we 1st started out we're now doing. Baby salads and garlic and everything that we do is in a package that has a U.P.C. code and you put the U.P.C. code on it so it's easy you're lowering just like Alan saying you lower the barrier to entry for my customer in this case it's a produce manager you lower the barrier to entry so it's not difficult for them to run it through their till all they have to do is that new product comes to their store 3 entered into their system and boom it scans on all their tails it's easy for them that's key so all of our products are in packages with a finished label on it and then has U.P.C. code on it and now when the customer is unhappy with the product guess whose fault it is mine they don't go and talk to the produce man and say hey this lettuce isn't what I expected if it was unbranded product on the shelf in the bulk sort of proto Syria they would go talk to the produce manager it's not their fault but that's who they talk to so and my labels on it they email me they say hey this is what we found or didn't find and honestly we've never heard any feedback one of the things by the way about never heard feedback to the negative except for this last summer I have to admit there's a little dog that occasionally you know sneaks in and one customer found one of these little bugs so we got some feedback yes we congratulated them on having found the one that got through and so on it's organic produce after all. Loring the very day entry when you're working with it was for the notion of learning the barrier to entry when you're dealing with wholesale as well baseline sort of right to play permission to play in that game is certified organic So we're sort of fighter Gannicus well because as soon as you're going to try to make a sale that's one of the questions like What are your features you know do you have air conditioning and leather seats and so on and that's the same conversation to produce what are your features what can you put on there where we can say you are more special the other the other thing that's interesting I should just comment about the salad so you know when we 1st started doing salads these are these are baby salads in a you know finished package clamshell style the safety seal and so on and we're doing $8.00 to $10000.00 packs a week these days and so there's some reasonable volume there but. What we are it's coming I mean. That's 821-0000 packs week I've you know roughly think you can do 25023000 packs per week per acre depending on how you manage your you know you need the heat units you need the solar energy but you know sort of around there so we have 4 acres available for salads right now and we can push another if we needed to we put another 1015 acres into that but we're doing 4 acres for now so when we 1st started you know you don't have this off figured out you don't have the timings the growth the seeding. The seeding frequency and so on relative to your harvest and so sometimes our baby lettuce was this big and I mean which of you have have. Bought a package salad with baby lettuce was that we've heard nothing if we had done that in an unknown branded product we would have would a lost a sale but with our customers so you get forgiveness with the person who's eating it you get forgiveness with the chef you get forgiveness with the C.S.A. member you don't forget forgiveness with the produce manager whose name his name is on the line so the other thing to consider by the way when you when you start putting things in your own packaging when you start managing your brand beyond the label on your your. You tend to you know at the farm stand. Your your past your label your package your advertising stuff it gets you your 1st sale it gets you introduction it gets you what's called trial now you don't make any money on trial you spend money on trial when you can if you're going to get into a larger marketing program and so on is over they're going to dump all your interest in your energy your your your graphic design your your. Printing costs and so on you're going to dump all of this to get trial you don't make any money on trial you make money and repeat make money in the 2nd sale and the 3rd sale in the for sale how do you get repeat quality product. So as many people have set up here once you know the court the product needs to sell itself so for us we have British Columbia because local this big that's all the marketing we have on our label that sells the product when people look at it in the store but well there's no other source of this product that's grown right here so they automatically buy it now what gets them the 2nd sale is the fact that that produce lasts for we get $21.00 to $30.00 days on our cut salad. How many of you go to the store and buy a package of earthbound or can excel it and find that you have to pick through the stuff to get all the little slimy bits we don't do that yeah actually I don't know how long they get to the research I've found is that they're actually getting 13 to 17 days on their product so I'm not quite sure how we're getting more but we are and so that sells itself so quality of product quality of production gets you your repeat it gets your loyalty your label it just needs to be simple and he speaks clearly communicate your attributes your local your Cannick whatever simple it's going to get that trial repeat depends on the product OK so I love the fact that we've got diversity up here and diversity of size and diversity of marketing I just wanted to point out something that that in me and said in just kind of emphasize it. If you're selling wholesale and you want to get the best price you really need to be certified organic if you're selling retail and you get a reputation and people know you you know my wife told you we're not certified organic we were for many years but for a number of reasons we chose to drop that and we don't feel like it hurt our sales at all because of or selling retail but wholesale It's really a requirement you need to be certified organic in order to get a good price OK last one so I think for most people if you've been here for the whole time you've kind of gotten an overview on our farm as far as how we. Market stuff I don't know I know mom went through all the pros and cons on no she really said exactly what we do. But definitely C.S.A. is been our staple for the last 12 or 14 years I guess. And farmers market and then what we use wholesale for is honestly. Overflow and we're boss to have a pretty simple way to move produce to restaurants in our area and I don't know how common it is but there's a. There's a guy that started a a food hub in Nashville for Rush Terrans where we can go and list up extra produce that we have he delivers twice a week and so we have to list up like 2 days before his delivery restaurants will just go and order and it could just be one little thing. But multiple rush ons order and then we just meet him and we give him the orders for all these restaurants so we don't have to worry about if there's little orders because it's a bunch of orders combined. And so that's been a really a really neat way and easy way to move some of that excess. Either after farmer's market or just crops that grew you know better than we expected. So that's that's something to look into if you have options like that in your area. And you know pretty much just like everybody said for farmers markets you just need to be the stand that catches everybody's eye you have to have the best produce or at least make it look like you have the best produce at the farmer's market. You know have a stand that's that's pretty like we have people our farmers market. You know they have 3 tables and 3 table cause that you know look terrible together and stuff is just kind of laid on the table and those does not much that is that equally pleasing about their stand even though their produce might be fine. So that's probably the biggest thing with farmer's market is just have to stand out. Also being being at the farmer's market as the farmer. Is a is another thing that people appreciate and that draws them to your stand if they know that you know about what's on the table and you can tell them about things. It gives more of a connection you know a lot of people's Stans are run by in turns that have only been on the farm for you know by the end of the season they've been on the farm for a few months but at the beginning of the season you know they don't really know much of anything about so people ask questions and they can't really answer and so people aren't necessarily going to want to go back to that stand so being as the farmer yourself being at the stand is another thing that we've found that really. Helps with that interaction people. Coming back. Just to what you're saying with the farmer being at the stand as well as to your point on about not needing to be sort of fodder again a queen you're selling direct reason why is because when you're selling directory of the farmers down which is selling its relationship so your relationship with you farmer that's a big difference and we really tried to capitalize on that you know because we live in a world that is starved for meaningful relationships you know you don't even. Grocery stores and in stores or even trying to get away from checkout people right you know they're trying to get you to go to self checkout I mean it's crazy but people literally were convinced people come to farmers' markets people sign up for our C.S.A. just because it's a relationship it's a real person they can they can talk to I think the common theme through all of this what was the common theme that you heard quality product and relationships those are the 2 key things. Again in me and has a unique situation there but they're making the most of it and I totally agree driving 8 hours to city is way too much. So just a quick comment is that there are going to be a certain amount of people that are willing to have that type of relationship with you and then there are some people that could care less but they still want your product and so I totally agree about the relationship thing but also don't be scared away about reaching out to other avenues because those people probably still want your product that don't necessarily need to see your face every time to get it either so I'm I'm not down in that I'm just that's something that we've been considering it's like you know it's like that entry level lowering the level but it might mean that so there's less of you involved in that but that's also a potential sale for someone that would still value it even though they don't want to directly come and pick it up quite frequently because we're selling direct to consumers we have spiritual conversations with our customers on a fairly regular basis. We've actually had some of our customers come to church we have actually had certain customers come to our house and we've done cooking schools with them like in our house so had people come over and actually want to work on our farm with us and talk with us about things just in general or specifically trials are going through it's amazing when you're selling some one something that's so fundamental to life food how much they'll open up in other ways and you know I like the I like the quote from ministry of healing healing that says one well ordered well disciplined family speaks more volume in favor of the Gospel than all the sermons that can be preached OK And so in many ways. Being overt I'm not saying that's a bad thing but the sermon that you preach with your life like I believe it's Paul that says you're my pistols to be read of all men he wasn't talking about that these people had a pistols written to their shirts he's saying the way you live the way your life is different speaks more volume. To the world around you and in that way I think the power of of the farm and how we're doing things you can't the problem with that is that it's not a very easy way to quantify success because you don't know where you're touching people in the heart. But I think all of us know that even though we might not tell something someone there are people that have influenced us even though they might not have it as a number like number of Bible studies or whatnot. One quick thing so our 1st farm that we started in Washington we called healing foods farm and we offered a 10 percent discount to anyone that was sick which open the doors wide open for conversation so you know you can do stuff like that to get creative we actually had a cancer ward that was wanting to buy our produce and it was pretty cool people would ask if toenail fungus counted I mean if people would just try to get a discount and they mean it's funny for 10 percent. But I want to speak to that too because our garden is called Tobias garden and our tagline is growing the goodness of God and that is on our banner at farmer's market it's on our business card it's on our website it's on our Facebook page and social media posts you know we talk about the Sabbath we put that before people you know God's creative work when we put pictures up and so we do put it before our customers a lot. And what else is it about that. So you know we don't push it on people but it's there and they can read it when we put labels on our packages when they go out to the local Co-op and we package our salad mix it's right there it's just our tagline and then just our name to buy a garden like that was a divine intervention like our the whole reason that we've come into farming it's just a story of God leading us every step of the way and you know people say how do you get into farming and we can talk about the Lord and how he's led us into health and he's led us to farming and why we're raising our kids on the farm and pretty much anything that people ask us about our green house it's a story of faith and how we have stepped out in faith and the Lord has worked in our lives and so I totally agree with you that the life we live is. You know witness to people you know and the food and the health that you're giving to them is just an interest so OK so she's asking about Agora tourism and if any of us have. Used that opportunity to. Generate income OK Does anybody want to speak to that in particular we in when we were in Black Hills we did a farm dinner for the community like a farm to table event which went over really well. But you know we've only done that and then like farm dinners for C.S.A. members and so we haven't really done a lot of Agra tourism type stuff but would like to in the future but we're just kind of been jumping around so I sit on a local agricultural board and this is really it's a pretty old topic so it's something that's appropriate to come up here depends on your location right and it depends on the volumes of travelers you have going through and then are those travelers looking to purchase something or are they looking to stay so in our region for example we're Rivera much a pass through community we're not a stop and buy community so 15 minute stops for the buses when they're going through you know there's not a lot of other activity so people are looking to stay overnight so if we're doing a good tourism in our community it really needs to be something small that they can bind take with them because they don't want to spend 2 hours if you're in another region where you know the sort of ethos was different. It has potential but it it is it does complicate your farming operation substantially so you need to recognize that as being probably a primary business model instead of instead of a secondary because if the secondary is going to distract from your core core intent. There hasn't been anything I haven't heard anything about flowers this year yet and I just wanted to mention that the flowers are really a ministry as well as a business and our girls have started and it's it's become a flower business but. Every time somebody comes to the market that has any children I like to give them a flower and I made some special little friends that way and then one time. We were we were snapping beings and begging him. To sell to people there at the market just doing it right there and there were some little girls that came over there and they wanted to join in doing it and they were just thrilled with it and then one of our C.S.A. customer says Can I come and do what I used to do this when I was you know when I was growing up and just little things like that that people feel. They get to Ike this some of our customers just hang around for quite some time because they just enjoy being there. And we usually have enough of us there so that you know once there is quite a it's quite an operation to get to a farmer's market and then setting up can take an hour. Quite well anyway for the amount of time we have we need several of us. Success tailgating produce on a roadside corner any anybody done there I haven't personally but I'm closely connected with the academy and 20 to 30 years ago they had a very weekly twice weekly actually trailer in town you know old Mr Lee check would come into town and he would set up shop and even as a non Christian non Adventist of the time we knew he was going to be there and we bought our produce there and they ran a little business out of it I can't comment on that success must have attacked SR has passed but. It was you know he sold out yeah. I think it depends on your location and a lot of there's a lot of variables it could work. Probably you're not going to have the same quantity of customers as you would at a good farmer's market. But it could be much more convenient I hope that was very helpful. Gave you a lot of different thoughts and you saw some repeating patterns and you saw some differences and so you can take that and run with it this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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