I would like to know why young farmers are not selling at farmers markets. I am on the board of the Greeneville Farmers Market, and 85% of our current Farmers who sell at the market won't be around the next year or two.
There is a real need for young farmers at the market. We have a lot of customers looking for fresh, locally grown produce. Most want it as close to organic as possible. We are working to provide them with as many different options as we can at the market. Most farmers tend to grow the same things over and over every year. There is diverse population of people out there, that no one is addressing. There is money to be made by the farmer who grows something different for other cultures. Why are none of the young farmers doing that?
We need YOU, at our market. Please give us a chance and your community the experience of meeting you and enjoying what you grow.
It is nice to see heated discussions in our Ag Community. I wish all involved with this network took this passion to suburban counterparts who are doing everything they can to abolish how we make a living. I think it is important to have the farmers markets as a way of educating the dunce public. Farmers Markets have their place. But if anybody thinks that the safest and cheapest food in the WORLD is a fluke, they are greatly mistaken. It takes our modern ag practices to sustain this. I don't see organic VS "Factory Farm" as a legitimate arguement simply because it isn't one. Anytime I have been in a discussion with the words Factory Farm, it is with a very uneducated individual that read a ridiculously slandered article written by HSUS or some bozo with an agenda.
We can produce cheap and safe food due to our modern agriculture practices, and there are people trying to stop us. I am not going to grow any small quantities of produce and market them on the tailgate of my truck.....i don't have the time.,.......but you can bet your ass I will be buying tomatoes from our FFA kids on Saturday mornings at the local farmers market. You know why?? Their parents are buying steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn flakes that I have a hand it raising.
I guess my point is that whether you are selling produce or calving hundreds of cows (thank you snow in IA), or getting ready to plant 2000 acres of corn, we all need to be advocates for Ag as a whole! It reminds me of Cattleman fighting corn growers over Ethanol subsidy....sure there are valid points from both sides (BTW I grow corn and cattle), but at the end of the day, we will have our differences, but we ALL need to be advocates for Ag. I want my kids to have the opportunity to be 7th Generation on our place and make a living the same way I do, my dad, grandpa, great grandpa, and great great grandpa did.
You are so right. If every politician had to intern on a farm for 6 months before they were allowed to even think about voting on any kind of ag bill, then at least they would have a better understanding of who and what farmers are all about. I am just a very small farmer, raise enough food to support 3 or 4 family's, can, freeze, dehydrate enough to last a couple of years for everyone, and then sell the excess at the market, raise chickens for the eggs for us, and a couple of others, and raise boer goats to sell for the meat. But since I started ( and I was a city girl until about 14 years ago), I never appreciated how hard a living it is for a farmer, and all the heartaches a farmer goes through just trying to keep their own families fed and supported, never mind feeding the world. Everyone should experience farming, they would have to come away with a better appreciation of farmers. I am ,personally, very proud of every one of you, big farmers, small farmers who love what you are doing, and providing us with the very substance that we need to live.
hey todd, what do you use to control the grass in strawberries and where can I get it?
We are a small farm and we arent able to grow organic because we live in the middle of thousands of acres of wheat and cotton. We attend farmers markets both of which we started and we sell tomatoes as high as 300 lbs but we have good quality produce that you cant buy in the stores!!! We dont allow someone who does not grow 70% of what they sell at the market. that way those of us who do grow will not be undercut. we also have a floor price set so there isnt alot of undercutting. we are competitive with even walmart in our area. ex: walmart squash 2.75# we sold at 2.50# we attend farmers market 4 days qa week and wholesale farmers markets 2 days a week and we have no employees. its just my husband and I we dont make 100,000 a year b ut we support 3 toddlers and we arent lacking by any means. farmers markets are what you make it. you cant come into my market and be a stranger and make any money you have to put time and personality into this.
The Farmers at our Market make Hundreds of Dollars each day with their produce. Growing without the use of pesticides makes produce more valuable. Our customers want locally grown, fresh produce, without pesticides and are willing to pay for it. It does take a little time for customers to get to know new growers, but once they know you, and you answer questions about yourself and your farm, and reasons for growing honestly, they will start buying from you. Just make sure you have a fresh, clean, produce stand, you are dressed in clean clothes and clean, and all your produce is fresh, and good, not your culls.