By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 10/24/17 (Tue)
As another farmers’ market season comes to a close across
Farmers’ markets have grown by leaps and bounds across the state in the past 10 years, which we all appreciate. Since 2007, 42 new markets have popped up across
But the obvious imbalance is in the lack of vendors. Some of the markets have just one vendor while others have as few as two or three.
There are plenty of consumers because as we all know, we have to eat.
However, what happens when markets have too few vendors is too few consumers spend money at that location.
Thus additional vendors who create variety, bring all sorts of customers to the markets.
Traditionally, farmers’ markets in
Then somebody got the idea to bring baked goods such as breads and donuts. That worked out well and the next thing we all knew jams and jellies, salsa and cut flowers were beginning to show up.
That has helped increase the clientele, but I doubt there’s a single market in the state that would not want even more variety at their venue.
If we all sold cabbage and onions, that wouldn’t have a whole lot of appeal to customers.
But because the markets have diversified, they tend to bring new customers who are looking for specific items and while at the market, those consumers begin looking for other items.
Clearly, farmers’ markets are becoming a destination for people. For those of us who have visited the
Diversification has helped these markets greatly. Following are some of the items that have been sold at these larger markets: vegetables, locally grown fruit, beef, embroidery, rugs, flowers, pottery, mushrooms, kuchen, milk, ice cream, grains and legumes.
The market in
Farmers’ markets in
The Davis, Calif., farmers’ market has served as a model for the rest of the nation for the past 40 years because of its diversity and in recent years, states like North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and Missouri, have begun to catch on to this idea that is starting to pay dividends.
And that’s really why we, the vendors in
Whether it’s basic potatoes, colossal onions, organic garlic or gallon jars of honey, there will be customers for these items.
Some vendors are also selling in bulk because of the customer demand. A 25-pound bag of onions, 100 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds of cabbage and up to 50 pounds of beef, have been sold to people who demand those products.
So there is no doubt
As an example, a woman at the Town Square Market is earning $1,000 a week selling pies. Another vendor in
So why aren’t more people doing it? We are the agricultural leader in the nation. In journalism we say everybody has a story. In agriculture, every town could have a farmers’ market.
These markets are not only potential money makers, but they are also social events. Many of the vendors are having fun every time they set up their canopy, not just with their customers, but with the other vendors as well.
It’s a destination, just like a football game or a movie theater. People want to be there, they want to visit and they want to buy locally grown and locally produced goods. What could be better?