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Farmers Market

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Farmers Market

Postby Basil » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:12 pm

Some friends of mine have a small operation with garden produce, herbs and cut flowers they want to sell. The farm is remote so sticking a bucket on the side of the road with a sign is not really an option. Does anyone have any suggestions how a person with a small operation can access the marketplace in Madison?

Dane Co. Farmers Market has a five year waiting list. (That’s not how it used to work but I won’t go there now.) Other farmer’s markets appear to have a plethora of bureaucratic hoops which is difficult with limited internet access.

Life is tough out there for folks growing our food for us this year. Are there resources that can help them find people willing to buy from them?
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby seemunkyz » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:36 pm

http://www.serrv.org/

Their offices are on State St. and their actual storefront is on Monroe St. This is a not-for-profit that helps smaller farmers, artists, and businesses. If they can't help directly they may know who can.

They may also want to talk to REAP Food Group.
http://www.reapfoodgroup.org/
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby rabble » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:39 pm

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Re: Farmers Market

Postby sallybell » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:02 pm



I think most require that you apply to be a vendor prior to the beginning of the season (I know that's the case for the Northside Farmers' market and the Westside Community Market, but I suppose others might vary).

Fair Share (formerly MACSAC) might be a resource? They've got some info here for growers: http://www.csacoalition.org/resources/growers/

Do you our your friends know anyone with a business/storefront/etc. in town who might be willing to help out? There a guy who sets up a van in front of Warner Park on N Sherman and sells stuff (I've never stopped, and suspect he's not selling things he grows himself, as he often seems to be advertising things not in season here). Not sure what kind of permit is needed, but maybe setting up a stand in a parking lot could work?

Good luck to your friends. It's always tough to be a farmer, this year is worse than most.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby Basil » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:38 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. We are going to the grocery stores too. I was surprised to discover that most of the farmers markets don't allow sellers to just come in and set up for a day anymore. It's a pity though there appears to be less diversity in what's available at the markets now. Every third stall on the square looks the same with identical produce.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby Athena » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:05 am

I'm sure a large part of the reason vendors aren't allowed to set up for a day is quality control. If a guy shows up with a truck load of Florida produce it's harder to stop if he didn't have to do anything except show up. If everyone has to sign up at the start of the season, there's a lot more time for anything odd to get noticed. I know that the downtown market is trying to encourage diversity and will bump up anything different on the wait lists.

I'd recommend trying Metcalfe's and the Hilldale farmer's market. Metcalfe's has a section for local produce although they might require a certain quantity. The Hilldale market isn't nearly as crowded as the downtown market and a lot people prefer that.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby rabble » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:22 am

Jenifer St Market and the Coop both sell local produce.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby Basil » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:47 am

Please let me know if I understand correctly. In order to protect the consumer from a guy buying produce from Florida to sell at a farmers market, the administrators of our local farmers markets are denying that same consumer access to local producers who happen to have a bumper crop of raspberries they would like to turn into some cash? That may explain why I have seen so many more roadside stands at the farm gate in the last few years.

Thank you for the names of local grocers that buy local, BTW Woodman’s is known to buy local too. The reality is there is a difference between retail and wholesale prices for produce.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby scratch » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:16 pm

Basil wrote:Please let me know if I understand correctly. In order to protect the consumer from a guy buying produce from Florida to sell at a farmers market, the administrators of our local farmers markets are denying that same consumer access to local producers who happen to have a bumper crop of raspberries they would like to turn into some cash? That may explain why I have seen so many more roadside stands at the farm gate in the last few years.


I suspect that you understand it just about as correctly as you intend to. Reasons for having restrictions on who can sell at certain farmers markets include avoiding brawls when jockeying for the best sites and enforcement of certain rules-- like locally grown stuff only and standards for how the stuff is grown. I know, I know, fascistic as hell.
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Re: Farmers Market

Postby LargeMarge » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:55 pm

According to their Facebook page, the Mazomanie Farmer's Market allows table for $5/week with no long-term commitment. I think it is partially covered, too.
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