Newbie from Northern CA

AlexieNicholeApril 5, 2013

Good Morning... Its Friday finally

Hoping no one minds this type of question too much. Was wondering if selling your produce at local Farmer's markets can be profitable? Without having a huge farm

I'm thinking only like 1 maybe 2 acres with fruit trees, lots of flowers and veggies of course.

thanks

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myfamilysfarm

The answer is Yes. It will take awhile unless you already have everything (equipment wise) that you need. I would still expect to NOT make a taxable profit until at least year 3.

I made a profit the first year. I only had 1/3 acre in veggies, no flower and the only fruit was strawberries. Did I make minimum wage, NO. I did cover all of my expenses, since I didn't have many. When I started to expand is when I really needed to add equipment and labor help, along with more seeds/dirt/pots and such.

My first year expenses were: seeds and plants -- less than $150, market fees -- $200, didn't have/use a scale that year, had all the tables, purchased bags --$15, gasoline to get to market, gas price less than $2 --$200, labor to son --$300. Bought a used tiller $250. I had some other small expenses that might have added up to another $400 max. That year I sold $1700 and was extremely happy. Didn't make much but decided that I could make more if I expanded.

At that time, our market barely had 20 vendors, the last year that I was at that market it had 85 vendors and others on a waiting list. I did very good until the number of vendors increased more than the number of customer did. After that happened, it was more stressful fighting to get that customer's dollar to my stand. Now I market at a much much smaller market, that is growing. I'm not making as much as I was, but the stress is usually lower along with the prices.

The key to marketing in a farmer market is to be sure you have a good market with a consistent customer/vendor base and having a great product that YOU can sell to people.

If you are not a people person, it does make a big difference. Some people can grow great, but can't sell. Some people can sell, but not grow. Being able to do both, that's what it takes at farmers markets.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:14AM
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randy41_1

its profitable as long as you don't think of your time as an expense.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:22PM
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