Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The produce stand

A few years ago I set up a little table by the road, just to sell the extra zucchini from the garden. It was either that or start dropping it at my neighbors door steps and running away. Hubby even built me a little shed for my table (which also doubles as a bus stop for the kids in the winter) Over time I started adding a few more things: some eggs from the chickens, other veggies,,,whatever extras we had that I wasn't already canning, freezing, or drying. 


This year we started thinking about making into a real market stand. If we're lucky, even a part time job. Our location is good. Even though we live in a very rural area, there are a lot of lakes with summer homes around them, so May through September we get a lot of tourist traffic.

We made up a bunch of signs. Just some 1 x 6's painted, with hook and eyes to hang them, and stenciled with the different veggies on them. Whatever is available at the stand is hung up.

I still have more signs to make. I seem to be painting them as the crops are ripening. They're done with an exterior gloss paint so they're fine getting wet. With some old storm windows I made a few dry erase boards by painting the back side of the glass white. One is my price list on the back wall of the stand. The other is my open sign and also for notes like products that are coming soon, or things I haven't painted a sign for if I'm not planning to sell a lot of it. 

As we've added more things to the stand I've been surprised what the big sellers have been. At first I added a few beets just to give me more variety and make the table look good. After selling 40 beets I'm starting to think people like them, and maybe I should plant more next year. The wild blueberries are always a good seller, a lot of work to pick, but worth it. Green beans sell well. My zucchini and patty pans have just started coming, but now they should be on the table every day. I keep a cooler with ice in it for things that won't do well out in the heat like eggs, and bags of lettuce and spinach. 

One of my biggest problems was figuring out what prices to sell our vegetables for. Hubby found this web page for the "USDA Agricultural Marketing Service".
You can search a particular vegetable, even by variety. It will give you an average price for that item with more detailed statistics below that. You can select nation or regional prices, and the dates you want prices for. It's a really great tool.

So I guess this year is a bit of an experiment, we'll put out a bit of everything, see what the good sellers are so we know what to plant more of next year. Hubby wants to put up a few big hoop houses, it addition to our little hoop, so we can grow a lot more. I think we could do well with this!

my cute little produce stand

1 comment:

  1. I love it, and I love that your children have a place to wait for the bus when the weather is not at its best.