Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Discuss your tips, tricks and experiences growing and selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 10, 2016   #1
berryman
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: central utah
Posts: 192
Default sales stand design

I am retiring this year and finally going to start selling produce from my little farm. Yaay! I live several hours away from any decent size city and so it really isn't practical for me to travel to farmers markets so I plan on having a stand at my place which I will build from scratch.
I'm a former contractor so I can build just about anything but I have some questions that more experienced sellers might help me with.

I have great curb appeal from the street but I do not want to sit there all day like I have nothing else to do....I am worried about people stopping by with dogs and or kids and pawing through stuff in the short time it takes me to get there from the back acre. I'll be selling greens, vegetables, tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus and lots of tree fruits. I've got all that stuff going now as I've spent the last 20 years getting my place in great shape.

So, I don't know what to do for design. Open or closed? Refrigeration I guess. Leave stuff out on counters or keep it put away?
If anyone here has done this kind of permanent stand but not with a person there watching all the time, I would like to get some advice. There are probably some important things I am not even thinking about.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
berryman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10, 2016   #2
Worth1
Tomatovillian™
 
Worth1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bastrop Texas Lost Pines Forest.
Posts: 29,321
Default

Alright Central Utah.
Demographics.
I have never met someone from your state I didn't like.
They may not have thought the way I do or believed the way I do but they were good people and honest as the day was long.
This means a lot because not only-here at Tomatoville but at work this has been true.
I wish I could say the same for Texas but I cant.
I would put up a stand with a cover/shade and do the honk horn or honor system.
Pick your own for some stuff.

Worth
__________________
Home of Cactus Flats Botanical Gardens.
Worth1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #3
luigiwu
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: ny
Posts: 1,195
Default

If it's not out, people won't see it and definitely won't buy it. Depending how much you have, it might be worth while to pay for someone to sit there? Otherwise yeah, honow system.
__________________
Subirrigated Container gardening (RGGS) in NY, Zone 7!
luigiwu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #4
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 2,642
Default

I do pretty much an honor system, but I am not far from the stand usually either AND i have a driveway beeper to alert me when I am in the house because I can't see or hear them from inside. I also hank a "HONK for HELP" sign. I have customers who want help and customers who are there only for a quart of tomatoes... every day, and don;t need help. I also have a friend who comes and hangs out keeping busy in exchange for produce she can't grow since she lives in town and doesn't really have the space. I intentionally plant extra for her for all the help she really is.
I also package my produce in bags/boxes etc, to keep people from picking up and touching everything, but you will still have it no matter what... some people just have to touch everything. Children aren't generally a problem. a few, but not most. some eat a fruit or veg. right there, but I don't worry over that. I want them to eat it..I want them to come back.

signs sign signs. at road intersections in lawns word of mouth. make sure it is always quality top to bottom of the container. if there is something spotted or bad ... give it away with a purchase or use it yourself or compost it.

I keep a jar of small bills/change for people to make their own change, but I may have to make a lock box due to a few who know it is an easy target and a couple times I have wondered, one time the whole jar was taken... the day after a person (new customer)was shocked I would leave a jar sitting out with money in it. duh!
I keep chickens and sell eggs year round.. not many during the winter, but enough to keep a sign out many days. this keeps people thinking of you while no vegetables are available.

I keep an apartment sized ref. for eggs and small fruit, cukes etc. during the Summer.

I also do an open porch attached to a shed. I just think people tend to get what they want and leave if they are outside... even the people who might try to short change you by swapping fruit etc in a basket or adding a few extra from a different container tend to not do that in an outside area as opposed to where no one might see them. BUT I will say for the most part most of my customers have proven to be very honest.
__________________
carolyn k

Last edited by clkeiper; April 11, 2016 at 08:22 AM.
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #5
berryman
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: central utah
Posts: 192
Default

Super comments everyone. Thanks
I am starting to realize that I have been thinking and planning too long and have built an image in my head of a perfect stand with perfect customers and a perfect me! Last night I spent some time looking at images of produce stands and it was pretty intimidating I must say. Two things it looks like you really need are huge piles of gorgeous fruits and veggies and one (two is better) friendly looking young female shopper.
more comments welcome.
berryman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #6
twillis2252
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SC & NC
Posts: 248
Default

I have noted driving through parts of New England especially upstate NY, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, many utilize the honor system. I have discussed with several vendors how much thievery goes on. Amazingly they report very little. There are still a few "honor systems" in the Carolinas but do not see as much as 20-25 years ago. Other Carolinians may be able to provide additional insight.

Only you know and understand your market the best. It is a judgment call but if you trust the neighbor who assists you, I would try to use her services during your busy periods...Good Luck!
twillis2252 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #7
oakley
Tomatovillian™
 
oakley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: NewYork 5a
Posts: 1,269
Default

We like the honor system. It is all over NewEngland, LongIsland. We take many long driving trips up through Maine, on up through Canada. We pass the same ones every year and only stop if they are open. A few that are small but have closed doors with people tending are often shut and we don't usually bother stopping.

If i have to wait for someone to come out of their home...feeling like i've interrupted something...we just never stop at that one again.

Friendly open stands with a shed roof are common. Most have a simple lock box and an open change box next to it. We usually round up and overpay for the convenience. Or add extra coin to help out. The lock boxes are almost always bolted down.

I checked google image and see many ideas as you probably did. You will know what will work in your area. I designed one about ten yrs ago thinking i might try it out but work got way to busy.

If you need more shelter and want an actual building, at least have your produce out and exposed to pass-by. And under a deep overhang to protect from rain/storms.

I can't see my entrance road from my garden and at that time we did have a few bad teens in the area that were witnessed by a neighbor fussing around our barn...very few bad seeds out there.

Paying someone would be much higher cost than a random stolen tomato or 20 bucks. Much more valuable would be to hire a summer vacation teen to help out in the garden and stock the stand. If you are harvesting in the mornings and stocking a few times a day you can empty the box and know quickly how its going.

We have a neighborhood share stand, three sides, deep overhangs that is for freecycle books and magazines and useful items so i have just dropped off my extra harvest there. My fruit trees are mature now and concord grapes are more than we can use...way more rhubarb than i can use. I pass it on the way to work and the rhubarb is always gone the next day...

Check with your SeniorCenter or some neighbors. Maybe some knitters would volunteer on the weekends and sell their winter knitting projects. Our favorite farm stand has added a new addition with local crafts, breads, an herbal bug spray, a cooler with local eggs, milk and cheeses. etc.

Could even end up being a late afternoon/sunset social time with a couple Adirondack chairs, and a freecycle bookshelf. (i don't want a bunch of neighbors in my home but a roadside Sunday afternoon a couple hours could be fun and social).
oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #8
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 7,181
Default

Cameras are cheap. Just get a nanny-cam.

If you put up a camera, also put up a sign that says PREMISES UNDER VIDEO SURVEILLANCE. In some states, the camera is illegal without the sign, depending on wiretap laws. That's why at wal-mart or the grocery store, you'll always see that notice posted somewhere. By going into the store and passing the sign, consent to record you is inferred.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #9
berryman
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: central utah
Posts: 192
Default

Super Oakley, thanks for the perspective and ideas. When you talk about a change box, how does that work? Coins, ones and fives?
I am not worried so much about thievery etc. as I will be around within rock throwing distance most of the time.
I was thinking I may get a commercial kitchen license as i have a space that would work well and I have run a restaurant before. So, more is better for the customers I guess. I could also use leftover produce in jams and beverages too.
Oakley--I make a great Rhubarb soda and it's pretty easy, the only way to use all that rhubarb!

Cole, do you know if it is illegal to put up a sign without the camera?

thanks all
berryman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #10
Starlight
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 1,967
Default

One of the best little home produce stands I saw, was a very basic, simple design. They had like a big table, bright plastic table cloth on it. Containers of the veggies and a simple wooden box dispenser that help paper bags, so folks could put their veggies in it and leave the containers for reuse.

For the roof they got some of that rain proof outdoor fabric for shade and weather and had it in bright colors and then took them triangle looking flags and nailed them all around. Couldn't miss the place with all the bright color.

Besides bolting down the locked money box, not sure how far the range would go, but maybe you could strap and bolt a walky talky to one of the main frame legs. That way if you heard folks drive up or if your busy and they have a question, they could page you. Or maybe a big old cow bell or one of them old fashioned big triangle dinner bells.
Starlight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #11
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 7,181
Default

The answer is always "it depends." The law likes to use the word "reasonable" a lot. Is it reasonable to assume Wal-Mart is filming you? I think so. Is it reasonable to assume that a roadside vegetable stand is filming you? I don't really know.

http://www.detectiveservices.com/201...ecording-laws/

Utah – An individual legally can record any wire, oral or electronic communication to which he is a party, or when at least one participant has consented to the recording. Consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication.

Legal concerns aside, I would consider the sign to be the polite thing to do anyway.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #12
oakley
Tomatovillian™
 
oakley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: NewYork 5a
Posts: 1,269
Default

oh, rhubarb soda. Sounds super.

I have so many rhubarb recipes. I use it in everything. Fantastic in bbq sauce.

Recipe cards are a good idea. Nothing fancy. (like the glossies you get with a crock pot) I did some for a friend that were garden farm-ish. Card stock B&White but nice.

Another good friend has done well with a small building attached to his dairy barn. He left NYC after 9-11 and moved upstate. Maple syrup, jam, freezer with pig parts and sausages...a neighbor sells her eggs and pickles in his 'shed'. He is making great cheese now selling in the city but always has some in his honor system fridge. Busy with an organic dairy business but needs to do all he can.

10 bucks in coins in that side pot. Usually paper money goes in the till. I rarely see paper money in a coin change pot honor system.
I do a bit of product for charity during holidays and find that those with fat wallets more than make up for those that are young and might snip an extra. (i make a killer smoked tomatillo salsa)....it has some rhubarb

LongIsland gentleman farms are a bit different. They have hired help to tend the 'farm' and have honor system farm stands for a tax break. Rich folk.
oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11, 2016   #13
Worth1
Tomatovillian™
 
Worth1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bastrop Texas Lost Pines Forest.
Posts: 29,321
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
The answer is always "it depends." The law likes to use the word "reasonable" a lot. Is it reasonable to assume Wal-Mart is filming you? I think so. Is it reasonable to assume that a roadside vegetable stand is filming you? I don't really know.

http://www.detectiveservices.com/201...ecording-laws/

Utah – An individual legally can record any wire, oral or electronic communication to which he is a party, or when at least one participant has consented to the recording. Consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication.

Legal concerns aside, I would consider the sign to be the polite thing to do anyway.

People need to know they are being taped or recorded out of respect unless you are trying to catch someone in your business home or car doing something your suspect them of.
Worth
__________________
Home of Cactus Flats Botanical Gardens.
Worth1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old April 12, 2016   #14
berryman
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: central utah
Posts: 192
Default

Maybe I'll just keep the hours to a reasonable amount. Something like tuesdays and fridays 2 to 6 pm or something like that.
I am not really worried about security. Good neighbors here and I live a few hundred feet down the street from the farm.

Starlight, I love the cowbell idea. I have a big Belgian cow bell that used to belong to my mom and I think people would get a hoot out of smacking it.

Oakley, thanks for the rhubarb tinted ideas. I used to own and operate a winery here and one of our best sellers was......rhubarb wine. So I have soooo much rhubarb. Our winery sponsored an annual rhubarb festival and some of the best times I ever had was M.C.ing the Rhubarbarian Rhubarb Eating Contest. Also had a parade featuring the Queen of the Rhubarb and her consorts. Much fun.
berryman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12, 2016   #15
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 2,642
Default

I think trying to keep a tuesday and friday schedule will be wasting a lot of produce. It won't ripen on a schedule to suit for harvesting monday and thursday... nor will you be able to develop a consistent customer base who thinks of you first before going to the grocery store. I sell 6 days a week and am rarely inundated with multiple customers. I have had customers who shopped with their car headlights because it was late and didn't know where else to go at that hour ... for tomatoes for a funeral meal she was helping with...
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:45 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★