Saturday, December 18, 2010

off to market

In a little over an hour the station wagon will be packed, the animals will be fed and comfortable, the coffee will be in the travel mug, and I will be on my way to my first ever farmers market. Butterflies are swarming inide me. To put it lightly: this is a pretty big deal for this little farm.

It's a small step, but as far as statements go it is huge. Sitting at a table with a sign and a product right next to other farms doing the same thing is a right of passage. It says I too am in this, I am trying to make a living as a small farmer. I'm in the divine brotherhood of folding tables and business cards set up alongside lifelong goals, dreams, and stories about land and animals. It will be a fine way to spend a Saturday.

I don't know how well I will do. People expect heirloom root vegetables and grass fed meat to cost more than store-bought but artisinal wool is not something people are used to seeing for the same price as a large pizza. So to invite people to the table (literally) I will have a wool carding/drop spindle demo ready to go and books as well. The goal is to earn enough today to cover the table and gas money, and spend the rest of the day chatting, knitting, networking, and meeting others in the market. Wish me luck!


Blogger karen said...

Good luck Jenna-wish I could be there today. Maybe next time. Karen from CT

December 18, 2010 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Good luck. And don't think of wool at a farmer's market as so entirely weird. Full Belly Farm was selling artisinal skeins alongside their vegetables at a Berkeley farmer's market 15 years ago. Still do, for all I know.

December 18, 2010 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Having done craft shows off and on for years, at the very least you will come back with stories. Good selling!

December 18, 2010 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Have fun on your first day of business. Just think about the experience you will have end of the day.

Have fun and good luck.

Andy from PA

December 18, 2010 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Anke said...

Good luck!! Wish I could be there and see all the goodies...

December 18, 2010 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger dk said...

Have a great day!! Will be waiting for a report this evening. ;-)

December 18, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

I hope it goes well for you!! Wish I were closer than four and a half hours from the market. :)

December 18, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Abbie said...

oh good luck to you! We go to farmer's markets all the time in the summer months and I never thought about what you said about being on the seller's side of the table.

And for those of us who dearly regard and covet, and even hoard a bit, fine natural wool yarns, I'd forgo that pizza any day for a skein. (And that isn't a bad price by the way. I've spent up to $50 a skein on natural wool/alpaca yarn.)

December 18, 2010 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

The very best of luck with selling today. There's a technique to it and ther's some buyer resistance to high quality artisanal products but with Christmas coming it's a good time to step into the marketplace.
Will be eager to hear how you do.

December 18, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Jenna and good luck today. I know you just got a feeder pig - I just did a series on how to grow them out (on the cheap and old school - without a lot of bagged food). Maybe it will be helpful for you?:

ps yikes! dont let your hens in with the pig, she might eat them.

December 18, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, this is so exciting for you! I am excited for you too! And I am willing to bet that you will make more than you think. I hope you have fun and have a great day? Is Gibson going too?

December 18, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Good luck, stay warm!

December 18, 2010 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

How exciting! I am happy for you that your dreams are being realized.I wish I lived closer, I would come visit.

December 18, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Good luck Jenna...I hope your day is everything you are hoping for.

December 18, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If enough knitters are there, they will swarm! Knitters are notorious for impulse yarn buys!


December 18, 2010 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Good luck Jenna, wish we could be there! Sending positive energy for a prosperous day!


December 18, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger DebH said...

loads of luck!! You'll be amazed! I sold for the first time at our Farmers Market this summer and boy was I also nervous. My daughter came with me, and consoled me with this, saying " Mom, come on...your goats milk soap sells itself". I didn't quite believe her, but by end of the market, I had all but sold out!! And every market after that was the same. I came to realize when people COME to the market, they WANT to buy from you and support it. I met some of my best friends this summer and I can't wait till next!

December 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

My sister and I vendor at a small town market and do pretty well. We always make expenses plus a decent profit. My hand dyed, mill-spun yarns are beginning to acquire a small following.

If I was selling farm raised wool I would have a small display with pics of the sheep/bunnies and a description of my farm. It is good marketing to make your product personal.

Hope you are blessed with customers willing to listen to your story and buy your products.

December 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Mary Lee said...

What a great idea Penny!

December 18, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Good luck, Jenna! If I weren't on the West Coast I'd be there! Can't wait to hear how you did...

December 18, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck - I hope you have a grand time!

December 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck - I hope you have a grand time!

December 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To market, to market, jiggity jig... enjoy!!! Cant wait to hear about how it all went.

Our mountains are under a seige of lovely snow. Perfect day to deck the halls.

December 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Mare said...

Good luck Jenna! I know you will have a good time and sell some of your lovely yarn. If i was there i would buy some...The yarn addict, mare

December 18, 2010 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger kayxyz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger kayxyz said...

Wish i lived close enough to visit. My advice: the figure eight of skeins are great; however, if you display swatches or finished goods, make certain they are at right angles and pressed, just like their big box store counterparts.

It's off-putting to me at least to see wrinkled and off-square goods. The people who disagree are free to state they disagree!

December 19, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

Farmer's Market Adventure is
what I am going to start doing also except it will will be called the "Big Flea" as soon as I "HEART MEND"!!!
Each small step will become
bigger as you gain a following so
CAF BLOG is a real inspiration to me, & I'm sure that
goes for a lot of your readers too!!!
CHEERS with a health drink!!!
RONNIE A Very Happy Seat Weaver

December 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM  

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