Sharing Booths at Farmers Markets

MountainGardner(No. Calif. Z8)March 14, 2005

Hi. Our very small farmers market is considering encouraging local backyard gardeners to sell their extra produce at our market, via a kind of "drop in" co-op booth, for one or all growers who show up. As we aren't able to fill our booth spaces, and our philosophy is to support local sustainable agriculture, we see this as a way to bring more produce to our shoppers and support local small gardeners who aren't able to commit to a booth for the entire season.

Does anyone have any experience with this, or feedback?

Thank you!


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I think it's a great way for the smaller farmers to sell their excess. My concern would be for the regular members who have paid the brunt of the fees for advertising, insurance, etc. I would think that they would not be happy with a "farmer" who just shows up once or twice a season and probably would offer produce at a lesser rate.

I know that at our market we have a few backyard gardeners who pair up and share the expenses. They split the cost of membership and weekly fees. One backyard gardner in particular grows only heirloom tomatoes and he sets up with an small herb grower. They both benefit from it because if one cannot be at the market the other one usually is and they still have a presence at the market. Our market does allow people to pair up and join...some do not.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 9:40AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

At our market we have a consignment booth. That's how I got started selling cutflowers! The market takes 20% of whatever your sell, but you don't have to be there! You drop your produce, flowers (no potted plants due to licensing issues), eggs off at 8:00 and come at 3:00 to pick up what's left.

The dilema is finding someone to staff the booth!
Last season I teamed up with another vendor and we each had our own booths on either side of the consignment booth (me with flowers and she with soaps and scarves). We both handled the consignment booth. We also had a sign that said it was a volunteer booth and please be patient if we were helping our own customers.

The great thing for our market was we had a greater variety of participants and produce! The booth usually paid for 1-3 booth spaces, so the market made money and it wasn't that hard to do for either of us. The market owns a canopy just for this idea.

We asked each person to bring their items neatly displayed, and priced (or signage). We also steered clear of 3 for $1.00 since someone always wanted just one or two! Everything basically was priced in $.25 increments! Made our bookkeeping much easier. We also asked them to bring grocery sacks for their items (i.e. for corn, heavier items, etc.).

The booth was successful...we usually always sold out and had regular customers each week. We also made flyers for prospective new consigment booth vendors and had them ready.

The idea works and I'd recommend it!
I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 8:26PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

I wish our market would allow sharing a booth - it is great for a grower who only has one product or cannot staff the booth every single saturday.

Also good for new growers getting their feet wet.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 2:47AM
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FlowerFan86(z6 WA)

I shared a booth last year with someone. It worked out so well that we are going to do it again this year.

Gosh, I would have thought all markets would have let you do that.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 11:49PM
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I am starting a Market. Would anyone be so kind as to forward me any forms regarding fees, sign-up/registration,
licensing, rules/regs, actually anthing you feel would be relevant?

I will take such information and incorporate into my own market's package.
ANY & ALL adivce would be so truly appreciated. I am working on a tight schedule, so ASAP ;-)) would be great!!!

Send to : my state is MICGIGAN

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 9:07AM
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Gayle - if you google 'farmers market' you will see tons of farmer's markets websites listed, most include downloadable forms so you could gather as many different forms you would need in minutes. Good luck

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 1:43PM
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Here in CA we can sell ours and two other farmers stuff at our both provided we are listed on there CPC and they are listed on our CPC, this year my wife is managing a market that is struggling ( THEY HAD NO CONSISTANT FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHO WANT TO GO OUT AND NOT EAT AT THE MARKET)( and the market is around dinner time) she did not get an application back from the strawberry vendor that was there last year, I stopped at their road side stand and asked why, they said it did not pay for them to send a body + truck + stall fee ..... .SO as a bluff, I said, well, I could take them (I know the family well) Well they came back and said OK so we did all the paper work and it has been great for me because I don't have that much at my table yet but what I do have there gets looked at by all those folks coming to buy berries.

I think it is a win win because the market get berries, my both gets the heat (traffic/ customers) from the berries and while they are there they buy other items from me.

Just follow all the rules....The owners wife used the word WHOLESALE, in front of a market manager who is a friend, like she said we were buying WHOLESALE and then reselling them.....NO... NO... NO.. First you need a RE-sale pass (permit/license) from you state or county,( and I think it violates the sprit of the farmers market to have some WHOLESALE mutt rounding up stuff from TED produce barn and bring it to a farmers market and I would not have brought their Strawberries to market if they were not doing markets themselves, I do sell at another market later next month and they sell there, so, this for me is a one market deal just to have them at the market my wife is managing and I asked and they said it was fine for me to roadside them as well from our home stand we are 7 miles from them) SO, be careful, we are allowed compensation for gas and both fee and thats what our arrangement is. (Not to mention the fact that the people flock to my both)
This was my plan from the beginning I would bring other farmer product to market, like our neighbor has apple trees and they just go to waste, SO ,we listed there land as leased, had the lease notarized and we are good to go.

Just ask, most of the AG department folks want to make things work so they are very helpful. (provided your not pulling some scam)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 6:14PM
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