Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 2

farmers

Here is Part 2 of my farmers market blog, including the second round of tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. See Part 1 for the first five tips!

Two weeks ago I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can farmers make their stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What actually changes the most this time of year is the color palette, which can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter months, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to choose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Continue Reading →

Farm Bill Fits & Starts ~ 2014 Update

farm-subsidies

The following article appeared on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) blog on January 10, 2014. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocate for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while also protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

Written by NSAC.

The New Year’s hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill in the first half of January are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. At the beginning of January, the House and Senate lead negotiators were making progress on a compromise bill, and there were rumors of a possible meeting of the conference committee. As the week progressed, however, compromises on certain major issues eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be further delayed.

Continue Reading →

Farm Bill Fits & Starts ~ 2014 Update

farm-subsidies

The following article appeared on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) blog on January 10, 2014. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocate for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while also protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

Written by NSAC.

The New Year’s hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill in the first half of January are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. At the beginning of January, the House and Senate lead negotiators were making progress on a compromise bill, and there were rumors of a possible meeting of the conference committee. As the week progressed, however, compromises on certain major issues eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be further delayed.

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 1

cooking, Eva Antczak, farmers market, Marin, market-to-table, organic, Shanti ChristensenIMG_2914

This week I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can you make your stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What changes the most at the change of season, however, is the color palette. It also can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to chose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Here are the first five tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. (A link to part 2 is at the bottom!)

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 1

cooking, Eva Antczak, farmers market, Marin, market-to-table, organic, Shanti ChristensenIMG_2914

This week I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can you make your stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What changes the most at the change of season, however, is the color palette. It also can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to chose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Here are the first five tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. (A link to part 2 is at the bottom!)

Continue Reading →

A Treatise on Powdery Mildew in Strawberry Plants

Side view of powdery mildew on strawberry fruit. Photo courtesy Steven Koike.

Side view of powdery mildew on strawberry fruit. Photo courtesy of Steven Koike. (Photo 6)

The following article first appeared on Mark Bolda’s Berry Blog on March 8, 2013. Mark is the UCCE Santa Cruz County Director and Farm Advisor of strawberries and caneberries.  They work in partnership with farmers and ranchers across the county to provide assistance in developing more-efficient growing methods, solve pest management problems and develop crops and irrigation methods that use less water. Through a range of educational training programs and workshops, farmer-to-farmer mentoring and a wide variety of events and networking opportunities, UCCE is the bridge between local farming issues and the power of UC research.

Written by Mark Bolda.

Powdery mildew is a very common fungal pathogen in strawberries. What follows is a review on the biology and management of the disease.

Continue Reading →

A Treatise on Powdery Mildew in Strawberry Plants

Side view of powdery mildew on strawberry fruit. Photo courtesy Steven Koike.

Side view of powdery mildew on strawberry fruit. Photo courtesy of Steven Koike. (Photo 6)

The following article first appeared on Mark Bolda’s Berry Blog on March 8, 2013. Mark is the UCCE Santa Cruz County Director and Farm Advisor of strawberries and caneberries.  They work in partnership with farmers and ranchers across the county to provide assistance in developing more-efficient growing methods, solve pest management problems and develop crops and irrigation methods that use less water. Through a range of educational training programs and workshops, farmer-to-farmer mentoring and a wide variety of events and networking opportunities, UCCE is the bridge between local farming issues and the power of UC research.

Written by Mark Bolda.

Powdery mildew is a very common fungal pathogen in strawberries. What follows is a review on the biology and management of the disease.

Continue Reading →

FarmsReach Social Media Roundup

On the FarmsReach Facebook and Twitter pages, we’ve been posting a mix of news, inspirational quotes, photos and more each day.

All these social media sites are overflowing with information. For those who shy away from the information overload of tracking each of these social sites, we’ve decided to give you a biweekly “best of” roundup of posts.

If you like, you can “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to access the information flow. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy our digest of best picks!


Properly Managing Dry Periods For Healthy Female Ruminants

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.14.57 PM

With dairy cows, goats and ewes the goals are healthy, productive mothers that deliver vigorous offspring, milk well, do not lose too much condition and breed back on time. These goals can be achieved by properly managing the dry period and transition to lactation.

CAFF Produces Guide to Serve Farm Produce In Schools

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.20.45 PM

Farm-fresh food is making a comeback in schools — more than half of California’s 1,000 school districts are engaged in Farm to School activities, according to the USDA’s new Farm to School Census.

Continue Reading →

FarmsReach Social Media Roundup

On the FarmsReach Facebook and Twitter pages, we’ve been posting a mix of news, inspirational quotes, photos and more each day.

All these social media sites are overflowing with information. For those who shy away from the information overload of tracking each of these social sites, we’ve decided to give you a biweekly “best of” roundup of posts.

If you like, you can “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to access the information flow. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy our digest of best picks!


Properly Managing Dry Periods For Healthy Female Ruminants

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.14.57 PM

With dairy cows, goats and ewes the goals are healthy, productive mothers that deliver vigorous offspring, milk well, do not lose too much condition and breed back on time. These goals can be achieved by properly managing the dry period and transition to lactation.

CAFF Produces Guide to Serve Farm Produce In Schools

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.20.45 PM

Farm-fresh food is making a comeback in schools — more than half of California’s 1,000 school districts are engaged in Farm to School activities, according to the USDA’s new Farm to School Census.

Continue Reading →

NYFC Report: Conservation Tools Providing Young Farmers Access to Farmland

rural-urban

This blog first appeared on the Seedstock website on November 21, 2013. Seedstock is a company focused on innovation and sustainability in agriculture. Through the use of a variety of tools, including the news, an informational blog and live events, the company promotes agricultural start up companies, university research, urban agriculture initiatives, and farmers employing innovative new techniques and approaches.

Written by Missy Smith.

Recently, the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) released Conservation 2.0: How Land Trusts Can Protect America’s Working Farms. The report finds that a primary threat to new farmers is acquisition of protected farmland by non-farmers who allow it to go fallow. To gather research for the study, the NYFC interviewed 200 U.S. land trust leaders. One-quarter of those surveyed said they have witnessed a decline in production at conserved farms resulting from non-farmers purchasing land at prices with which farmers cannot compete.

Continue Reading →