Starting a Farm and Preparing for Market
We are weeks away from our first market and I wanted to document what we have done up to this point and then once we get a couple markets under our belt, we'll let you know what worked and what didn't! There are a lot of little nuances that we didn't know about it until we got our feet wet. So our hope is that we can help guide you through the things that we've learned.
I cannot stress this enough -- Get in contact with your local branch of the small business association! They are an amazing resource. They will connect you with lots of local resources and programs to help network and build your audience. One thing that we found super valuable is learning about all of the certifications and licenses we needed to operate legally in our state. Each state will have different requirements for the things that want from you, so it is imperative that you have someone help you make sure you're getting all your ducks in a row.
Get all your licenses and certifications first. Make sure that you know what your local market requires as well. For example, we needed a producer certification, sales tax id number, business license, insurance policy, and some other licenses to be able to sell certain things at the market. Once we got all that together, then submit your application for your farmers market!
Start thinking about your set up and how you want to catch the eye of potential customers. What will your table look like? Do you have special products that need a certain type of display? Are you providing testers for anything? How will you display pricing? You get the point, there are lots of things to consider.
Once you have your display design, it's a good idea to do a test run. Maybe some things you thought would work out to hold your products don't. It's better to know early and be able to make adjustments versus finding out on market day!
Use every market and event as an opportunity to learn and grow. You will meet all kinds of people and learn from different vendors and learn from your own experiences. You'll figure out what things work and what things need to change. Give yourself grace while your work out all the kinks!