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Farmer's Market "newbie" AND promoting Permaculture.

 
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Well,  I'm doing it.   I've been searching for a local farmers market on one of my days off that is accepting vendors.

I found one,  on Thursdays,  AND they provide a tent, table, and have NO fee!   It's a community incentive to support local produce and help new folks, pretty cool.

I'll be selling a small variety of cut flowers, fresh herbs, veg, and plants too.  

I've decided my tag line is going to be "home grown with love and permaculture"  and I plan to put together a small flyer/brochure as a basic permaculture intro!  

Wish me luck,  starts in 2 weeks if all goes well with insurance and whatnot.  

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Heather Staas
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Hey is there a BB for this?   Lol.   I need to go look...
 
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Awesome! You need insurance to sell at a farmers market?!
 
Heather Staas
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Yeah,  most here require it with the market listed as an additional insured.  

However, I already carry a full small business policy and I THINK I can get a certificate to cover me under that at vendor events even though it's a different type of activity.   Especially if  bring cards/flyers/etc. and promote the existing business at the table.   Waiting to hear back.
 
Heather Staas
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I'm also coming up with a list of KIDS ACTIVITIES to feature as well.

First one will be a 1-2-3 make your own flower bouquet.

They'll get a small jelly jar,  then get to pick from three buckets (1 big flower,  2 small flowers,  3 leaves/stems) and then pick a ribbon :)  

I ordered "home grown with love and permaculture" stickers along with my banner.

Additional thoughts;  make a bee waterer,  face paint a beneficial insect or flower, grow a pollinator plant, paint a mini pumpkin...  
 
Heather Staas
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Let me see if this works.

Here's my first draft.   Target audience is LIKELY folks that have never grown a tomato, never mind heard of permaculture before.  They probably look for buzzwords but don't really know what they mean in depth.

What would you change?  What would you add/delete?

It's a big topic and I need a focus to make it clear and simple why it's in my market stand tagline.  I know it's not encompassing.  For this purpose, anything glaringly wrong or misleading?  
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Hi, Heather,

I think the message has to consider the target, and I don't know your target. But I think they might not be willing to read long texts.

"PEOPLE & WILDLIFE = SHARING"
"Working with Nature instead of fighting her!"

These are very short, maybe a bit too hippie, with more questions than answers, and might force you to give further explanations, but that's good, isn't it?
 
Heather Staas
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Thanks for that!   I was stressing about not having "enough" information to really portray it accurately.   But I totally need to look at it from the OTHER end.  Shorter sound bites.


On another note,  I think I'm going to offer a discount for "bring your own" jar/vase/container for flowers to repeat customers.   Encourage them to think about bringing reusable containers and not purchasing a new one!  

So many ideas,  I need to slow down and take it one week at a time.  I'm so excited though.  
 
Abraham Palma
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On another note,  I think I'm going to offer a discount for "bring your own" jar/vase/container for flowers to repeat customers.   Encourage them to think about bringing reusable containers and not purchasing a new one!  


Excellent!
That's something I miss in our current recycling system.
 
Abraham Palma
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How about selling the jar separately?

Flower 5$
Jar 1$ (you can bring your own.)

In Europe, we have this law thatmakes us pay for the plastic bags, and everyone is used to it now.
 
Heather Staas
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That's on my radar too.   For now it's a display/packaging/transporting decision.  I'm concerned that psychologically that is a turn off to people.   Having to pay MORE vs.  getting a DISCOUNT.   Even though it's the same price,  it feels like a punishment vs. a reward.   I'm not set up to do wrapped bouquets,  need to test the market and see if I want to invest in having other options aside from what I'm prepared for now.   I'm excited though.   This is a big experiment as I make connections and learn to adjust to the crowd.   I'm growing a lot of permaculture plants that other folks aren't familiar with, so I'm looking to connect with permaculture FB pages/groups as well so I can let them know what I'm selling.  Plus it will bring people to the market and encourage even more permaculture discussion/support (I hope).   While I'm excited about the potential extra income for me,  I'm JUST as excited about meeting people,  getting children involved (I think activity #2 is going to be to grow your own Moringa tree) and introducing permaculture to bigger community here.   One week to go!!  Waiting on insurance process (adding an additional DBA name and waiting for that to be processed to the account so I can have it on the certificate of insurance,  no problems just processing delays).    

:)  
 
Heather Staas
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Today was my first market day. It was great all the other vendors are amazing.. Now I have a better idea of how much to bring next time.  Interestingly encouraging people to try the French Sorrel with a recipe and talking about it sold more than any of the familiar herbs. So I'll keep that in mind for next time. I may try a bundling herbs along with a recipe, like "ranch dressing" etc.
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Abraham Palma
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Beautiful and inspiring!
Congratulations!
 
Heather Staas
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Thanks Abraham!  I had a really nice time, it was so motivating!

What I did with my leftover produce/flowers:

I put the flowers into recycled cups/bottles and passed them out to the other vendors to take home

Herbs went home and into my air dryer in the shed;  I give out dried herb collections to family for holidays.  A few, like tarragon,  went into chop and drop mulching, I just have SO MUCH TARRAGON!  lol.  My herb spiral grows enough herbs for an army.  

Rhubarb,  last of the season I thought it would sell but nope.   BUT everyone that saw it stopped to tell me about childhood memories of grandmothers/aunts connected to rhubarb <3  Lovely.   I'm making pickles this weekend anyway, so now I'll also be making and canning rhubarb juice and compote for ME.  YUM.   And maybe gifting!

French sorrel left over will be going into the cream sauce recipe that I passed out, and probably onto scrambled eggs for lunches this weekend!  

Things I learned:  people need suggestions knowing what to DO with things.   People prefer ANNUAL herbs (lots of basil requests, and my parsley sold instantly).   Bring half as many flowers.   I need my own lightweight table;  theirs are SUPER heavy and you have to carry it up and down 15 stairs..  I'm too old for that nonsense!   I need a market journal to consolidate my notes, thoughts, questions, ideas in one place.

The kids activities are still in the works, but I think it will need definite promotion ahead of time.  A handful of kids came, but mostly parents were shuffling/rushing them through the stands.   Being a DESTINATION for kids may take a change of mindset.   I might get a small table to set up as a kids spot separate from my main table.   Will have to see.  At this point advertising ahead is hard, I don't have a permanent spot/schedule with this market yet.   They are trying to rotate as many new vendors in as possible with limited resources,  while they process a nice grant and buy more tents and negotiate a bigger location.   I'm HOPING they put me on a regular every-other-week schedule!  

I found this super cute free bug coloring page.   It works well split in half for a smaller (faster for parents) coloring page.   Maybe I'll put up a board for posting them if kids want to leave them :)  

I met a SUPER nice woman that completed a PDC a little while ago, and invited her to contact me and visit.  I hope she follows up!  Would be super to have a permie friend locally.
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Heather Staas
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I've been waiting to hear about an available date, looks like I get to do it AGAIN tomorrow!   Exciting.   I'm updating how I do some things,  bringing different amts. of inventory,  I have been learning to instagram as well as a FB  page (which I'm very familiar with already).   Let's hope that drives more people to the market.   It's supposed to be much milder weather tomorrow so I hope that helps.

I have peppermint, moringa, and sweet woodruff plants.   I'm still looking for good options to let permies people know what I have for plants,  I think they are most likely to know what I'm selling, as well as coming to support local small growers/clean foods.   Groups on FB to join,  #s to use on instagram,  etc.  

I'm still reaching out to other markets that I might be able to pick up on other days, if I think I have enough materials to bring.   I'm signed up for a one-time weekend community event in October, so I'll get to test run my "kids activities" themes then for sure!  

I AM doing "ranch dressing herb bundles"  This week,  along with the recipe.    I can't do samples without a board of health kitchen inspection ahead of time, bummer.   Homemade ranch sells itself if people can taste it!  
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Heather Staas wrote:Let me see if this works.

Here's my first draft.   Target audience is LIKELY folks that have never grown a tomato, never mind heard of permaculture before.  They probably look for buzzwords but don't really know what they mean in depth.

What would you change?  What would you add/delete?

It's a big topic and I need a focus to make it clear and simple why it's in my market stand tagline.  I know it's not encompassing.  For this purpose, anything glaringly wrong or misleading?  


It looks like you are living a life and not just waiting to die! Good job.
The only glaring thing I would change is to replace "diversity" with "variety".
What you need is called Certifiacte of Insurance, it's very common for insurance companies to make these for you. Every broker I had a contract with needed one for their file.
Good luck.
 
Heather Staas
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So,  week/event two accomplished and under my belt!   Things learned,  ideas validated, more friends made!

I'm learning how to use Instagram @@ that's interesting.   I DID do the bundled recipe herbs and that was a GOOD seller!   Who doesn't love ranch dressing?  

Next time I'm introducing a "grab and go" lower price point flower bouquet.   I don't think this market can support even a moderate priced arrangement (mine are a few dollars less than markets around in more affluent towns),  although maybe people stop and look wistfully and think about it but decide they can't.   Still, lots of conversations with folks asking about different flowers,  watching the bees,  and stopping to chat!  

Looking forward to week 3 with more display tweaks and marketing ideas.   Not sure what herbs/recipe will be on the "menu" next time.   I think the spoon tomatoes will sell when they are actually fruiting,  and that may be by next event.    Same with peppermint when it gets a bit larger.  

Still actively seeking out and engaging with different local FB pages to get people to the market,  and promoting other vendors and products as well!  
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cheese/mushrooms from another vendor
cheese/mushrooms from another vendor
 
Heather Staas
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Thinking... maybe a sweet herbal tea bundle/recipe will be next.

If I have enough Stevia ready for next time.   This one was just lemon verbena and stevia, but I have also added lemon basil and it was very nice too.

I'm starting to seriously think about having a kitchen inspection and getting certified to give out free samples.  
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Botany Bonanza Bundle by Thomal Elpel
https://permies.com/wiki/240272/Botany-Bonanza-Bundle-Thomal-Elpel
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