Angelica Harris wrote:I'm a little stumped. The situation is a market garden. The question simply how much and how little? Numbers were never my forte so I thought I would ask.
Benji provided the rough paper napkin calculations. Here is what is equally important -- Can you sell what you produce?:
* Go to the market in the morning right as they open. Notice what the vendors are selling and the associated prices. Leave.
* Return to the same market just before closing and see what those same vendors are selling now and their prices. What did they sell out of? What were dogs?
The difference in the two prices will give you a fair shot of the price range of produce. It should also provide an idea of what are the best sellers and which are not. But it is only a snap shot for that part of the season. You would really have to repeat this for 15-20 weeks to understand the dynamics of the market as it relates to seasonal pricing.
* Get a copy of the market rules. Some markets require you to commit to a whole season which might be a show stopper.
* If the market permits wholesalers pass on that market. You are competing against conventional AG and won't be able to beat their pricing.
* Based on the rules, define your minimum volume to break even.
It is useful to know what your bottom dollar pricing might be. A good place to start is the USDA retail market reports --
. These reports are published weekly and broken down by regions.
If you get good at a particular crop you might consider contract growing. I buy all my tomatoes that I can from a lady who just has the 'knack'. (She puts me to shame, snif). I put down a deposit based on how many #s I want. When they are ready I go to pick them up and pay my balance. Any excess she sells as a U-pick deal first come basis. Its not a CSA, more like a kickstarter kind of arrangement.
Good luck and hoping for your success.