Sunday, September 14, 2008

Farm Stand

We're happy to be selling sweet corn. Like I said before I've found I really like corn. I made this sign to put out at the road. It's simply a piece of 2" Styrofoam that we got in the garbage that I spray painted. It was kind of cool. The paint etched it's self into the Styrofoam almost an inch deep and made for a highly visible sign. I painted it with John Deere green spray paint. There's actually two different pieces here sandwiched back to back on our gate. The gate has a wheel on it so it is very convenient to wheel it in and out when were opened or closed. I hang sheets on the signs also when we're closed so no one gets confused as you can still see them when they're wheeled in.

This year we put both shelters together and moved them back a little farther from the road so we can see the stand better from the house. We decided to tend the stand most of the time rather than being strictly self serve like we did last year. I think we sell more when customers can interact with someone. Though when we get tired of sitting out there or have other things to do we simply put out the money box and put up a self serve sign. However we have to do a quick inventory first so we know what sold when we're not out there.

It's still a group effort even with the stand and are selling produce and other products from various other growers besides our own veggies.

Our goal is to make both the CSA and the road side stand a two pronged marketing tool for ourselves and area growers to sell products. And it's working quite well so far I must say.

Since we are still basically in the experimental stages here, there's been one hitch. Though we got it all spelled out in writing for the CSA shareholders through a signed contract we did not do the same with the growers. During our meetings in the early spring we weren't sure how to do the money distribution and what the expectations for everyone was. Some had different deals than others, for instance a couple families wanted shares so traded help in payment of the share. Others were getting paid outright. So the hitch was that one of the growers who didn't make all the meetings somehow missed out on what we were doing and that we still didn't have a good grasp on how and when to divvy it all up. When she saw that we were selling some of her left over produce at the stand she was greatly offended and thought we were double dipping on the profit. I say left over because often we get more veggies for the CSA shares than we can use and then the surplus is sold at the stand rather than be wasted or returned. We thought everyone was on board with that but, somehow she missed it. So next year we will be sure to get it in writing with a signed contract for the growers as well. Live and learn.
There's been some other bumps along the way as well but, they'll get ironed out and hopefully next year will be even better. Already we have 4 or 5 more folks who want to sign up for next season. And as far as I know most of this years folks are still on board too as we've been hearing lots of good reports. One lady told Kelli that if we don't do it for anyone one else but her, please keep doing it. Plus her and her husband are retiring soon and she said they would love to come here next year to help out with the gardening. Wow, now that's encouraging!

Until Next Time


Blogger Patti said...

Your stand looks wonderful!! Wish you were closer.

7:28 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Thanks! Kelli always makes things look nice. I take no credit. If it was my doing it would look such a mess probably no one would buy anything. :)

4:24 PM  

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