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Author Topic: Doing the Farmers Market thing  (Read 158 times)

Hiddenone

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Doing the Farmers Market thing
« on: July 04, 2017, 05:01:00 PM »

   Sorry I haven't been on the sight in a while. We have been working very hard in the gardens this year as we are doing 4 Farmers Markets. We have had a real strange growing season this year with wet cold weather then dry hot weather followed again by cold wet weather. It to say the least has been a roller coaster this year for sure. We do market Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and have very little time for anything else. Sales haven't been too bad with all the flakey weather and we are starting to get more veggies coming on in the gardens each week. Since we do smaller towns with a population of 10000 or less we feel we serve just the right amount of customers and don't run out of produce until the end of the market. The people we serve tend to be older and a lot of poorer people. I would venture to say at least half of these folks are on some kind of government program and some times 1/3 to 1/2 of are sales are with food program coupons. It is very rewarding and fun to sell fresh fruits and veggies to people and visit with them on how we grow our crops and how to prepare them for the table.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 07:59:57 PM »

It's good to see those on government assistance buying fresh food.
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Hiddenone

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 09:29:31 AM »

   It's not a bad program for those who are elderly and we always give them a little extra. I do have a problem with the younger ones who come in with 3 kids and cover in TATS. If they got money for those then why aren't they putting their money towards other more important things. This also gives us a chance to visit with people and if they are interested in gardening and trying to be self sufficient we talk a bit about our lifestyle. I have some who tell us they really would like a garden but have no space to plant one. We have offered them all the fruits and veggies they can use for coming and helping take care of our gardens and still haven't had any takers on the offer. Kind of funny they could have a free source of food and will not take advantage of it.
   The real interesting ones are the elderly who can't do any type of work in a garden but they have some real good stories to tell. I makes me sad to see them being poor after being successful and raising families who for the most part never visit them or try to learn anything from their experiences. Have one old guy who did some blacksmithing and welding for a living and he is a wealth of information. He has even offered to give me advice on setting up a small blacksmithing shop here on our place.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 08:21:58 PM »

Yeah, I have a problem with younger people who have money for toys and extras but not food. To be fair, some of them did that but exhausted their savings when things went south for them, but they are the minority I think. Sounds like lip service to me, those who won't take you up on the offer of food for work.

I spent a lot of time listening to my grand parents who lived through the Great Depression, so much so that I live the way I do and prepare for the worst as well as I am able to. Even when I only had a $5 a week budget to spend on prepping I was able to put aside food and other items... it was slow going but it was possible.

Blacksmithing (and weapon and armor smithing) is something I had lined up as an apprenticeship until I got married. I keep my eye out for old forges and eventually will run across one when I have money to spend on it. I know I can build one, but it's another thing on the list for when I have time.
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Blueduck

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 12:36:27 PM »

The coal forge is something you can build easy enough, if you find the right parts from and older one that is no longer usable or needing repaired.  I prefer a blower to bellows and those are hard to build but around here ive seen em sell for $100-150 in working condition. 

Anvils on the other hand, people thing are made of precious metal for yard art.... i cry when a near new anvil sells for $5 a pound and ends up a yard decoration, and get angry when some idjit trys to pass off an anvil that has no sharp edge left or chunks missing from the edge as usable [the horn or hardy hole maybe]  When my dad in law passed a few years forge we used, and it was constructed in his shop for his shop so it did not fit elsewhere and was sold mostly for scrap.... insert tears in my eyes here cause i miss both him and the forge and foundry set up...... but i do have the tools we made, hammers, tongs, and such, and some knowledge of metal working..... and the books

our farmers market is a joke, it turned into mostly a yardsale flea market once a week, someone recently opened up a downtown market coop for produce and such that started out as a good idea, but had to do other things to make rent on the space..... then one part owner died in an auto accident.... total shift away from decent ideas..... still open but not the same.

Ive a friend in Canada that does a market once a week, he bakes bread, sells out withi a couple hours and he bakes way to many loaves at fair market prices... has increased his production, and lends a hand at running the market as well.... I appluad folks that can do that sort of thing.... knowing that post collapse, the market will be what after a couple years helps to rebuild civilization if such can be accomplished.

William
North Central Idaho
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William
Central Idaho

Hiddenone

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 08:28:14 AM »

   Been keeping really busy with the markets. I know I need to raise a bunch more than I did this year due to the demand. We are starting to run out of things and since markets run until the end of September we hope to have enough to keep going until the end. One of the bad things is we will also no be putting up as much for ourselves this year because of all the produce we have sold.
  I would be safe in saying that I will have to increase at least 50% more to accommodate the customers as well as our needs. If SHTF food will not only be a great thing to have on hand but also to sell. The price of food will skyrocket in SHTF mode. People have no idea just how cheap food is at this time and are going to be shocked at not only what it will cost but how much they do consume. Just think of how many canning jars you would need to have on hand to put up food for a family of 4. If folks understood this there would be a huge run on canning supplies. There would be no way that the manufacturers could even keep up with demand. Just think of it this way. (4 people consuming 4 qt. jars a day X 365 days a year you would need a minimum of 1460 qt. jars for your own use and that is a minimum.) This would also amount to only 2 meals a day and a cut in caloric intake of 25 to 30%. That number is huge when you think of how many hours would be spent harvesting and preparing the food you would need to can. Also this is not factoring in the amount of time raising the crop as well as all of the other things you would be doing during the day to keep a homestead going. (Even with the extra time you would have if you were unemployed it would be sun up to sun down.)
   When people think that being prepared would be a piece of cake they are mistaken as it would be nothing but hard long hours of work. It is just too easy to go to the store and pickup what you need. I really get a kick out of the idea that many pundits think you can raise all the food you need out of your back yard garden. At several of our markets a number of the vendors are Mennonites and talking with them they put up tremendous amounts of food during canning season. One family last week put up 250 qt. of peaches over the weekend. They have a family of 7 and they were going to do applesauce the next weekend (around 400qt.). How many people have a cave to store root crops? Not many and it is high on our to do list as we use a friends. Food is a hot commodity and people haven't figured that out just yet and it scares the hell out of me when they do. We can expand our gardens but with out a willing work force it would be impossible to accomplish. Since we save seeds we would have an advantage over others but there are still many seeds we buy every year. About $1200 a year goes into seed purchases and if we didn't save seed it would be more than double that number. There are so many factors in producing a crop for ourselves let alone others on a large scale.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Doing the Farmers Market thing
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 10:33:55 PM »

Food and food storage is a big deal. I have a good selection of dehydrated food in number 10 cans. I have lots of seed, not as much as I want but enough. Where I will be going if TSHTF is a farm, and my friend already has a good garden. A friend of his works at Menards and at the end of the season when they throw out all their seed he grabs it and gives it to my friend. His garden area is all peat moss and produces a huge amount of food, and it's only a small section of the peat bog. He has plans to till up the rest, so next year's garden will several times bigger.

Although there isn't a cave there we could build one quickly with his skid steer, and the old farmhouse does have a good size root cellar. There is a shallow river running through his property, so water is plentiful. His land has lots of deer, wild turkey and there are fish in the river. There aren't many neighbors, and one has quite a few cows. We've talked about raising pheasants to release on his land. He has chickens and ducks, plus we have 11 chickens.

My deer plot seeds - sweet corn, turnips, pumpkins, sugar beets and collard greens - are all heirloom, and I have more than enough of those for deer plots (and human use).

Most of my friend's property is sandy aside from the peat bog / garden so things will grow well there. Since there arelots of rolling hills and both houses are in a small depression it would be easy to dig out a sheltered strip for a year round green house. There is lots of lumber and lots of insulation so we could build all the necessary cool storage we need.

Despite all that, I still worry about food. I still pick up Keystone canned meats, Mountain House and other long term storage foods. Plus the meat we all have in our freezers we just need to make it through until the first crop comes in.

I want to start watching craigslist for insulated windows, enough to cobble together a greenhouse and a pit greenhouse as well out there for year round food growing. Although it can be done with plastic I'd prefer to use windows, but I'll use plastic if I have to.

If things hold together until March I'll be buying Mountain House #10 cans of freeze dried meat, plus some other brands of freeze dried meat. I'll put in an initial order to get at least a year supply for two then consider doing the monthly Amazon subscription or watching for good sales and buying a bunch. With a minimum 30 year taste guarantee, Mountain House keeps extending it as they test older products, it is a good long term investment. All my long term storage food is stored in "weathertight" storage totes that have a rubber gasket to seal out humidity.

If I can get 10 years for two people I'll breath easier. If I can get 10 years for 4 I'll wonder if I could use more, but it won't keep me up at night. At a minimum that would give me a year for 40 people, and I figure the first year is the critical part.

I have at least a month of food in my various bug out bags and camping back packs, probably closer to two months. And that doesn't touch on the regular pantry.
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