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Do farmers’ markets need managers?

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Starting a farmers’ market is a form of community organizing. It happens on two levels, organizing the market members and organizing the shoppers. Working with these two audiences takes very different forms, and I will concentrate here primarily on how the market members are organized. Community organizing can take many forms depending on where the […]

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Product Liability Insurance Q & A

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Hi Tom, I got your name off the internet at the MFFM website. I am a farmer and I currently sell at a local market. The question on “product liability insurance” has come up and it looks grim for the small farmer (once again!). The market master has come to the conclusion that we will […]

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Limiting market membership?

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We submit that there are two questions in the issue of limiting market membership. These two questions are: “Does the market have the right to limit membership?” “Is it a good idea for the market to limit membership?” Does the market have the right? When it comes to the ability of market members to limit […]

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Dependent markets versus independent markets

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Consider for a moment the way farmers’ markets are organized. Not whether or how they are incorporated, not how many or what kind of members they have, but rather how and whether the membership is involved in the management of the business of being a farmers’ market. There seems to be two general categories: those […]

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Market slogans and longer pieces

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What does your market say in its advertising? Several of the markets doing brochures or print advertising have used slogans or phrases to better communicate with their audience. Many other organizations also attempt to influence the public consciousness toward paying more attention to localness and community in making purchases. This page is presented in an […]

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Don’t Use Hanson Hanging Scales

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by Tom Roberts, Selling Outdoors, 1992. The first issue of Selling Outdoors contained an article about the State Bureau of Weights and Measures ruling on the Hanson scales that are commonly used at farmers’ markets. That ruling made it clear that in 1992 there should be no more Hanson hanging scales in use at markets. […]

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To peddle or not to peddle

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by Tom Roberts (from 1990’s Selling Outdoors) Whether to allow market members to buy some or all of what they sell could be a hotly debated subject or an easy consensus. Which occurs at your market depends upon your market’s history and its current makeup, as well as on your members’ vision of what your […]

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Buying in for resale

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(article from 1990’s Selling Outdoors) There are few questions which bring more division among market ranks than whether to allow buying for re-selling, and if so under what terms. The state law, of course, says a seller at a farmers’ market must have at least 75% of their items grown by them, and 100% of […]

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Filling market voids

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(article from 1990’s Selling Outdoors) Does your market have voids? This is another way of asking if there are times during the year when an item is in season, but no one at your market is offering it. Some markets, especially new ones, often don’t recognize that “market voids” or “supply gaps” are one of […]

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