The journey to running a farm market stand has been a fun and challenging learning experience. We built a home in the country in 2013. This was my first time as a country gal, and I fell in love! I fell in love with the slower pace, the fresh air, the tasty food, and taking the time to prepare some products instead of purchasing them. I started making my own lip balm and room sprays. I gave samples to friends and in the summer of 2014, prepared a small batch for the Farmer’s Market. I quickly sold out and made a decision: The Farmer’s Market was the place for me!
Unfortunately, occasional doubt sets in. During frugal moments, I tell myself, if you really want to make money, contribute more to the family budget, and help your children even more with college, you would make much more teaching full time! However, something draws me back on this path. I keep returning to why Farmer’s Markets are important:
- Making a few bucks…While no one gets rich at the Farmer’s Market, I do make a few bucks to contribute to family needs.
- Offering fresh and natural products…People in our community appreciate a fresh product sans chemicals. We also use these items at home, helping all of us lead healthy lives.
- Coining a phrase from my college mentor, John Willson, Family, Church, and Local Community…Farmer’s Markets all across our beautiful country have a common element, community. Every week, we visit with regulars who might not purchase a thing, but thrive through interaction within their communities. When I have a poor day financially, I remind myself that perhaps I was there for more important reasons.
- More about Community–Farmer’s Markets are full of amazing people. From the Maple syrup vendor or the gals at Nodding Thistle who always help me put up my tent, to the little girl who hands out extra bouquets to people at the end of market, these kind and helpful people are there to lend a hand, aid in problems if they arise, and share news of other markets worth visiting. They make the market worth attending for both vendors and patrons.
- You never know who you will meet…At a recent farmer’s market, I was discussing my husband’s Great Grandma Timinski’s famous pickles. The lady in the booth next to me said that name is not familiar, we must be related! After comparing notes, we discovered that her Grandfather and my husband’s Great Grandfather were brothers who emigrated from Lithuania together!
- Teaching my kids…The Farmer’s Market offers many lessons for children, how to write a business plan, product display, advertising, money management, sales, taking inventory, and most important, when those regulars stop by to visit, remembering their name, looking them in the eye, and welcoming your community.
As the summer season draws to a close, I appreciate the few market days remaining. Have you visited your local Farmer’s Market? There’s still time! Thanks for reading!