Farmer's Market in New Hampshire

The farmers market season unofficially begins on Mother’s Day weekend.

If you're preparing to bring produce and products to market, you know your work is cut out for you.  Whether you’re making the trip to a new market, or returning to one you’ve participated in for years, the process can be nerve-wracking after a long winter. But it doesn’t need to be.

Here are a few steps you can take now that will help give you peace of mind and set you on the right path for a successful selling season.

  • Clean and check out your canopy.  Is it in good condition, without holes or tears? Are all the weights and bungee cords for securing it within reach? (If you decide it’s time to invest in a replacement, remember that the color you choose matters. Stay away from dark colors. White absorbs less heat in the summer, filters light and allows your produce to show its true colors.)
  • Pitch the canopy in your driveway or lawn.  Practice erecting it so you and your crew get familiar with the process.
  • Keep track of the time it takes to fully erect and secure the canopy. This will help you figure out how much time you need to get ready once you arrive at the market. You don’t want to be setting up when customers begin to arrive.
  • Check your farm signage. If you use a wooden sign, is it still all in one piece? Does it need a fresh coat of paint? If it’s been printed on the side of your canopy, is it still readable? 
  • Getting organized for the small space at the market is critical. Make a list of your anticipated produce and/or products inventory for the first week. On a piece of paper, sketch your display and figure out how you will arrange your products. Update the sketch whenever your inventory changes. Pre-planning will save you valuable time and give you a better chance to be strategic with your layout.
  • If you took notes from last year’s market, review them now. Were the lines too long at the cash register? How will you process sales more quickly this year? Did you show up without everything you needed? The list may be long so start tackling it now.