Row by Row Episode 64: Best Small Scale Market Farming Model!

Market Farming Strategies

There are a few different methods when it comes to small scale market farming. The two most popular models are the community-supported agriculture strategy and the farmers market strategy. However, many factors play into which model would work best for you in your location and what you prefer for your vegetable garden.

Small Scale Market Farming Model

Travis uses a little different market farming strategy than the normal community-supported agriculture or farmers market strategies. He uses a weekly bag model strategy which requires no upfront money and he takes bag orders from week to week. Each bag is $20 and contains five items each week for the customer. However, for the most part, customers do not get to customize their orders due to the vegetable garden variance and it can be a time-consuming process. When it comes to the quantities of how much is in the bag based on each item Travis likes to put enough for a family of four to have a side dish for supper. Travis shows off an example of what typically comes in the weekly bag model. The bag contains a set of four slicing cucumbers, four Goldprize squash, three Nubia eggplants, two small wonder spaghetti squash, and one hai kabocha squash all from the vegetable garden. There are a couple of differences between buying a weekly bag instead of buying vegetables from the grocery store. Travis mentions that most the vegetable varieties that if he offers in his weekly bag model you cannot get in the grocery store. Another benefit of buying the weekly bag of vegetables is the taste. With green vegetables like collards and kale, the taste is a lot better than in the grocery store because they tend to be healthier and the home gardener watches what products he uses in the vegetable garden. Another advantage you can add to the weekly bag model is by branding the bag and making recipe cards to go along with the vegetables inside the bag. Due to some of the different varieties of vegetables, recipe cards will help people learn how to cook these unfamiliar varieties like the Kabocha squash. Travis main marketing strategy is done through Facebook and a little email to customers.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg talks about his Cherokee Tan Pumpkins that he tried out in the garden this year. Although they turned out smaller than he anticipated, the disease resistance was excellent during the growing season this year in the vegetable garden. He also has a Blue Bayou Pumpkin variety that has a great disease resistance as well. It is a hybrid variety that improves production and contains a high sugar content that makes it great for eating. Travis shows off a new fertilizer product that we now carry called Ammonium Sulfate. This fertilizer comes in handy when growing onions, garlic, elephant garlic, leeks, and shallots. The guys also share a little information on what is going to be available soon in the new seed lineup for this year.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about cut flowers and planting a fall garden. When it comes to selling cut flowers at a market, Greg mentions that his cut flower expert friend Lisa Ziegler recommends using a CBVN tablet in order to preserve cut flowers for selling at the market. Travis mentions the first thing to get started in the garden is transplanting Tiger Collards, Lacinato Kale, Cheers Cabbage, and Green Magic Broccolli. These four varieties grow maximum production and are easy to grow in the vegetable garden.

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