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Old August 5, 2016   #16
Cole_Robbie
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June is the month to sell tomatoes in Illinois. By mid-July, it becomes pointless.

That's part of the reason I let my garden fall apart at this time of year. As the summer progresses, it becomes more work to keep everything pruned, trellised, and sprayed while the demand for tomatoes disappears.

I can still sell about $200 a week worth of my mixed color cherry and saladette mix at this time of year, but that's at $2 a pint, $3 a quart, which are prices so low that they disgust even me. And that's going to two markets. My stuff should fly off the table at that price, instead of taking all morning to sell, but I still take a few home.

It would make the most sense for me to grow everything under plastic, sell it in June, and be done by the first week of July. And then figure out something else to plant besides tomatoes.
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Old August 5, 2016   #17
Nematode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
June is the month to sell tomatoes in Illinois. By mid-July, it becomes pointless.

That's part of the reason I let my garden fall apart at this time of year. As the summer progresses, it becomes more work to keep everything pruned, trellised, and sprayed while the demand for tomatoes disappears.

I can still sell about $200 a week worth of my mixed color cherry and saladette mix at this time of year, but that's at $2 a pint, $3 a quart, which are prices so low that they disgust even me. And that's going to two markets. My stuff should fly off the table at that price, instead of taking all morning to sell, but I still take a few home.

It would make the most sense for me to grow everything under plastic, sell it in June, and be done by the first week of July. And then figure out something else to plant besides tomatoes.
Anything you can grow out of season will bring a premium.
There are some good crops that can be winter harvested if grown under plastic, but not too many sub zero farmers markets out there.
Im sure you all are familiar with Elliott Coleman's work.
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Old August 5, 2016   #18
pmcgrady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
June is the month to sell tomatoes in Illinois. By mid-July, it becomes pointless.

That's part of the reason I let my garden fall apart at this time of year. As the summer progresses, it becomes more work to keep everything pruned, trellised, and sprayed while the demand for tomatoes disappears.

I can still sell about $200 a week worth of my mixed color cherry and saladette mix at this time of year, but that's at $2 a pint, $3 a quart, which are prices so low that they disgust even me. And that's going to two markets. My stuff should fly off the table at that price, instead of taking all morning to sell, but I still take a few home.

It would make the most sense for me to grow everything under plastic, sell it in June, and be done by the first week of July. And then figure out something else to plant besides tomatoes.
I took 2 beer flats of mixed cherry tomatoes to the market... Didn't sell 1 cherry tomato. The only people making any money there were the peach and melon sellers.
One lady did sell a lot of new potatoes and green beans, but only put out one bowl full
at a time, making the customer "think" they were getting the last off them. Soon as they pulled away in their car, she would fill the bowl back up and put it out on her table.
I'm too old to think about growing peaches, so I'm thinking, blackberries,melons or weed
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Old August 5, 2016   #19
Worth1
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I stopped at our market because I saw a pickup load of watermelons.
So there you go.

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Old August 5, 2016   #20
Cole_Robbie
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My mom and step-dad did well with blackberries this year. The season is only about three weeks, but they probably made $3,000 or so. By contrast, they planted as many tomato plants as me and probably made closer to a grand sum of $30 off of them.

Fruit always sells; that was my grandparent's experience for the past 30 years. Gooseberries, pie cherries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, yellow and purple plums, then apples in the fall.

A pumpkin patch can be worth a couple thousand or so for the fall. Deer don't seem to eat pumpkins and gourds.
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Old August 5, 2016   #21
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Everyone around here focuses on the first tomatoes of the season. I'm not so sure that's the smartest move for pure monetary gain.

Back in the early 90's at our market there was an older gentleman who focused on early white half runner beans, and cured bacon sides for seasoning the beans. He grew a bunch of them. I mean the cattle racks stacked full of half runners on his old GMC pickup, and three or four sides of bacon hanging from the racks with baler twine. He would always sell out! He would keep coming to the market until beans started showing up then he would quit.
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Old August 5, 2016   #22
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Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
My mom and step-dad did well with blackberries this year. The season is only about three weeks, but they probably made $3,000 or so. By contrast, they planted as many tomato plants as me and probably made closer to a grand sum of $30 off of them.

Fruit always sells; that was my grandparent's experience for the past 30 years. Gooseberries, pie cherries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, yellow and purple plums, then apples in the fall.

A pumpkin patch can be worth a couple thousand or so for the fall. Deer don't seem to eat pumpkins and gourds.
I used to grow pumpkins and sold them in the field to peddlers for highest bid. VERY profitable! For around $100 and very little work, I would take in a couple grand in September.
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Old August 6, 2016   #23
dustdevil
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I took 2 beer flats of mixed cherry tomatoes to the market... Didn't sell 1 cherry tomato. The only people making any money there were the peach and melon sellers.
One lady did sell a lot of new potatoes and green beans, but only put out one bowl full
at a time, making the customer "think" they were getting the last off them. Soon as they pulled away in their car, she would fill the bowl back up and put it out on her table.
I'm too old to think about growing peaches, so I'm thinking, blackberries,melons or weed
Big Box grocery stores sell a ton of cherry tomatoes. You have to educate people that yours are tastier and don't have chewy sausage-like skins. Give one out as a sample and you can make them feel obligated to buy from you. Be sure to point out that commercial fruit/produce is often ripened artificially with gas.
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Old August 7, 2016   #24
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You can always put the No GMO and Gluten Free signs up.

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Old August 7, 2016   #25
Nematode
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Free range tomatoes
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Old August 7, 2016   #26
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Paleo.
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Old August 7, 2016   #27
Hellmanns
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Just tell the customers that Euell Gibbons endorsed them. Now I'm giving away my age.

Last edited by Hellmanns; August 7, 2016 at 08:59 PM.
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Old August 7, 2016   #28
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"Stalking the Wild Tomatoes"
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Old August 12, 2016   #29
kameronth
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I mix all my cherry size tomatoes together and put them in 1/2 pint boxes for $2 each. People like to see the mixed colors together. The customer picks what box they want and I dump them in a brown paper bag for them. Last week I sold out(about 24 1/2 pints) in 30 minutes.

My slicers are at $3 a lb and take about 3 hours to sell out. I have almost double the amount of tomatoes this week than last, so I may not sell out. Our market is small, only 15 or so vendors and I'm the only one that sells cherry tomatoes. A couple other people sell slicers at $3 a pound too.

The local news paper did a little piece about our market and took a photo of what was left of my cherry tomatoes last week.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Market.JPG (148.5 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by kameronth; August 12, 2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Old August 12, 2016   #30
BigVanVader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
June is the month to sell tomatoes in Illinois. By mid-July, it becomes pointless.

That's part of the reason I let my garden fall apart at this time of year. As the summer progresses, it becomes more work to keep everything pruned, trellised, and sprayed while the demand for tomatoes disappears.

I can still sell about $200 a week worth of my mixed color cherry and saladette mix at this time of year, but that's at $2 a pint, $3 a quart, which are prices so low that they disgust even me. And that's going to two markets. My stuff should fly off the table at that price, instead of taking all morning to sell, but I still take a few home.

It would make the most sense for me to grow everything under plastic, sell it in June, and be done by the first week of July. And then figure out something else to plant besides tomatoes.
This is what I am working torwards. Get a early crop then a very late fall crop and in between do Okra and squash/cukes as they are easy and bring good prices for the effort involved.
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