While farm stay lodging can be an added source of revenue, most farms focus on growing for their living. Many sell wholesale, but, more and more, local farmer’s markets are offering a direct farm to table revenue outlet that allows small-scale production farm to cover costs and even make a profit.
Farmer’s markets, once seen as the hippie alternative, have gone main stream in the past 10 years, tripling in numbers between 2000 and 2009. It is estimated there were 5300 farmer’s markets across the U.S. by fall 2009 (Farmer’s Market Coalition). As of summer 2010, the Chicago Tribune reports there are 6132, a 16% increase from a year ago!
Many of the farms on this site sell at their local farmer’s markets. We are highlighting just a few, but an Advanced Search for Activities/Farmers Market will let you know many who sell this way.
At Bee Green Farm, in Three Rivers CA, all produce is grown and certified organic. Seasonal fruits includes apples, apricots, oranges, persimmons, plums, and mulberries. Culinary herbs are also available. Bettina sells at the Culver City and Echo Park farmer’s markets on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dog Mountain Farm, in Carnation WA, serves the Snoqualmie Valley community and Seattle area by providing farm-fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, herbs, flowers, and poultry meat. The farm uses sustainable, organic growing practices and their poultry ranges free all day. They can be found on different days at four Seattle farmer’s markets: Queen Anne, Phinney, Magnolia, Broadway.
Serenbe Farms, in Palmetto GA, is a certified organic farm in the rural Chattahoochee Hill country. The farm produces over 350 varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs, mushrooms, and eggs on about five of the 25 acres. The Serenbe Farmers and Artists Market is an eclectic market comprised of small local and sustainable growers, artisans, and craftsmen and is open from May to November
Whitefish Bay, in Sturgeon Bay WI, produces Corriedale sheep and thus participates in a different sort of market, the Door County Shepherds’ Market every spring. The Market is held to promote products from sheep, goats and camelids, and to educate the public about the animals, the fibers they produce, and the traditional handcrafts that use these fibers.
As a creative extension of the farmer’s market, Nina DeBar, of Ambrosia Farm in Bridgewater NY, was awarded a USDA grant to launch a company called Farmers Frozen Foods that freezes the day’s left over produce from farmers markets and packages it for home freezers, thus extending the life of the harvest bounty.
No farm sells all its produce at a farmer’s market so usually there is some remaining for farm stay guests! Whether you are allowed to graze the gardens or are charged for what you pick, you’ll be eating about as fresh as it comes.
Want to know more about farmer’s markets? There is a great page on Facebook with over 47,000 members, all sharing regional information. It’s called, I Support Farmer’s Markets. Join in and become part of the conversation!