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Re: Re: FRom community garden to farmers market?

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Re: FRom community garden to farmers market?
  • From: Don Lambert grower@flash.net
  • Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 10:11:08 -0600

We have one garden that sells directly out of their garden. A kind of pick-on-demand no market cost arrangement. Twenty-some gardeners lay a few things on tables near the front gate, and then do their gardening in-between customers. After a few years they figured out what to plant to meet the demand, othen following suggestion of customers, and learned to increase profits by planting some monocrop high-yield produce like mustard greens, amaranth greens, and Malabar spinach, while enhancing the market appeal by diversifying into peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and longbeans. The good part is there are no transport costs (these gardeners do not drive anyway so reaching a farmers market is not feasible), no stall fees, no one sitting at the farmers market all day (gardener can not find time to waste away from their plots), and no over-picking wastage (much is picked only when needed). Lucky, there are no city or state laws disallowing the selling of self-grown produce from your own property (not on city land, thank heavens). It is very equitable in that it is easy for even the smallest grower, someone with only a couple of cucumbers, to readily reach a buyer. There is no gardener cooperative to mess with, as each gardener operates independently. Everyone makes enough to cover the cost of seed, tools, and water, and most suppliment there incomes by several hundred dollars each year.
This may not be possible in many other places, but for us it has worked very well for over 17th years now.

Don Lambert
GICD
www.gardendallas.org






Steve Smoot wrote:

Hi Cordalie,

Some farmers' markets are not likely to be welcoming to a community
garden's proposal to sell produce. I recall that this was a problem in
Boston and likely, elsewhere.

As Adam points out, it will be difficult to compete with a truck farm but
a lot of the vendors at a farmers' market aren't large farms and are most
often a family farmer trying to make a living.

The perspective towards a potential community garden vendor may well be
that the gardeners don't need to make a profit and the garden production
is a highly subsidized operation.

I'm NOT saying that this is a justifiable attitude, just that you should
be prepared for it. One thing you should not do, if you are admitted as a
vendor, is to undercut the prices of the market farmers. The US is losing
over 20% of its farmers each decade and some of these folks are taking
this approach of direct marketing as a last resort. They are not only
growing and harvesting their produce but processing, transporting, and
selling it. If successful, small farms can be an important part of local
food security. But, it is a long, difficult row to hoe.

Steve Smoot, Secretary
Spokane Farmers' Market Association
P.O. Box 7424
Spokane, WA 99207
spokanefarmersmarket.org
steveshome@juno.com


On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 12:00:15 -0600 community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
writes:

Message: 2
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 15:56:05 -0500
From: cordalie benoit <cordalie_benoit@snet.net>
Subject: [cg] FRom community garden to farmers market?

We in New Haven, CT are lucky enough to almost 50 community gardens. We are hoping to bring some of our production to local famers' markets. Has anyone out there done this? We were thinking of a combination of profit return to the parent organization for a try at sustainability and maybe some return to our gardeners for there own efforts. What rules might you have? And so on? Thank you, Cordalie


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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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