Fall & Winter Farm Market Items

jumpinjuniper(6A Nova Scotia)August 2, 2004

Hello,

I wanted to know what you all plan on selling for coming fall and winter markets. I'm specifically interested in those selling in cooler climates such as our own, 5B/6A. We plant to sell houseplants, fall bulbs, wreaths, and cards and artwork by local artists with a plant inspired theme, as well as evergreens. However, that really just covers things up to the Christmas rush and we've toyed with the idea of chocolate items after that. Our market here really shrinks in size for winter (Jan-April) and any items we do sell would have to have a mass appeal to most market goers to make it worth our while. But our market is growing too. Any other interesting ideas for fall and specifically that long cold period from Jan to April? I'm thinking comfort stuff?

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ohiorganic(5/6 SW Ohio)

Our open air markets end the beginning of November. We plant a lot of onions (red and yellow) garlic, winter squashes (butternut, delicata and acorn), carrots, turnips, rutabagas for winter sales, mostly off of the farm and at at a couple of small locally owned health food stores/Co-ops. though yesterday we talked to another farmer who does mainly meat/milk/eggs and is looking for produce for his farm store and a year round market he goes to. So we will likely pick him up as a winter market.

We also do a lot of hoophouse growing in the fall/winter. We get late zukes, canteloupe, cukes, tomatoes, peppers and strawberries through December usually. We also do a lot of greens like lettuce, kale, spring mix, chard in the fall/winter. As long as we don't go below zero for more than a day or two we can usually keep the greens going all winter. though lettuce/spring mix tends to quit growing in January because of lack of sun but resumes by mid Feburary

The one truly value added item I started doing last winter was garlic powder. sales were very slow at first but are increasing dramatically as more and more people try it

Lucy

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 8:58AM
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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

We sell a lot of perennial herb plants in the Fall, or for that matter, perennial anythings that can be planted in time to get established before the first hard freeze.
This Fall we are going to go out on a limb (for us) and try selling hot gourmet coffee by the cup. There is another vendor who has always sold cups of coffee but theirs is pretty pricey and about half the time they are "out" and waiting for another batch to brew. I can think of several value added items to go with coffee such as fresh hot muffins and the like.
And this year, for the first time, we have been selling basil plants in gallon and three gallon pots which can be brought indoors when Jack Frost comes calling. These are special basils that will not outgrow these containers. Anyone loving to cook with basils and make pestos would really love to be able to obtain one of these beauties during the Fall or Winter to bring into the kitchen.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 11:56AM
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pattimelt(z5/nw)

Wow! I just wish we had a climate that allowed us to grow and market year round. That would be awesome.
Patti

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 12:20AM
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Yodergoat(z7 west TN)

Since the weather has been unusually cool around here lately, I have more of an idea of what people like for autumn. I made muffins to sell on Friday, and people especially wanted to try the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip variety, since it felt like October weather. I plan to try new varieties soon, and hope to build up a customer base. I haven't yet devised a way to keep them warm, but most people are buying them to take home or to work, anyway.

I can't add any more ideas to the hoophouse and cold weather crops, but there is something which I noticed at a neighboring town's "trade day" market, and that was fresh fried pork skins. The vendor had a deep fryer hooked up to propane and two big clear popcorn machines where he put the cooked skins. They were warm and fresh and good, and I don't usually like pork skins. Plus, I think people were buying them because (I believe) they can be eaten on the low-carb diets. The vendor sold paper popcorn bags of warm skins for $1.25 and full size prepackaged bags for $2.50, and he was doing a BOOMING business. Just an idea.

The coffee idea sounds fantastic, and that brings to mind hot chocolate or hot tea on cold days. Ooooh, and warm cinnamon rolls!

Good luck,
Shawna

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 11:06PM
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