1. It’s best to get here earlyBut if a customer can’t make it until later, the produce they’ll get is still fresher than any that’s been shipped to a supermarket, as most farmers pick the day of or the day before a market. In the case of perishable products many bargains can be found at the end of the day.
2. Many of us depend on this for our survival
Farmers depend on the income from markets to get by, as almost all farmers who participate in farmers markets run very small operations, and the profit margin is slim.
3. If you spend $100 at a farmers market, $62 goes back into the local economy — and $99 out of $100 stays in the state.
If you spend $100 at a grocery store, only $25 stays here. So, where do you want your money to go?
4. Ask to taste, before buying.
Almost all farmers are happy to provide a sample. If they won’t, I don’t buy.
5. Please stop saying how expensive I am.
My products would sell for much more in any specialty store and are NOT available in a supermarket.
6. We don’t do deals.
I don’t encourage “dealing” with a farmer. The prices are fair and this is a symbiotic relationship. The best way to get a good deal is through consistent patronage.
7. I love my job because my business is not about retailing and then goodbye.
It’s about cultivating a relationship with people who are willing to spend a little bit more for something better.
8. Standing out in the summer sun is nice, but this job isn’t easy.
When it rains that keeps the customers inside and can easily damage my products. Plus this is a physical job, although loading and unloading heavy boxes keeps me strong.
9. Many produce vendors are really only retailers.
Customers need to ask questions because often times the large supermarkets buy from the same vegetable wholesalers that produce retailers do. If a vendor sells citrus products or tropical products in an area of the country where those clearly don’t grow they are not farmers.
10. I care about where the products are coming from.
If a vendor has a retail store I WILL NOT purchase from the vendor because I do not feel they belong in a farmers market. Unfortunately some markets are letting in franchise / chain businesses and that hinders the small vendor.
11. We cannot get you everything all the time.
We work very hard to provide you with the freshest, best tasting food we can at a reasonable price. There are seasons when certain produce isn’t available (even in California). No peaches in January!
12. We are sick of these buzzwords too:
Natural, specialty, estate, artisan, local, and organic
There are some farmers that will say their produce is organic, but in order to say that they must be certified by an organic agency, and undergo an inspection. A customer can always ask to see their organic certification. Most organic farmers are proud to display organic certification.
13. The age of the Internet has definitely changed my job for the better.
The Internet brings me customers from all over the U.S. and enables me to continue business with my customers when the season ends in a particular area. It’s also great for customers who chance upon my stand while on vacation and want to continue purchasing my products.