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Making the Most of Farmers’ Markets in 2013

No doubt about it, opportunities for sales at farmers’ markets are on the rise in Massachusetts. David Webber, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Farmers’ Market Program Coordinator says:

The number of winter farmers’ markets has grown from 6 in 2009 to 41 this year, so there are definitely opportunities for local growers with winter vegetables or storage crops.  The number of summer farmers’ markets also continues to grow from 203 in 2009 to 255 (in 2012). 

Winter market opportunities are increasing at a faster rate than summer markets, so now may be a good time to visit a winter market and talk to other farmers or the market manager to get a sense of what to grow if you are interested in expanding into the winter market. The MassGrown & Fresher Map is a good place to find these Winter Farmers’ Markets: http://massnrc.org/farmlocator/map.aspx

In fact, while you’re at it, why not put yourself on the map!  Submit a simple form and get your farm listed on the MassGrown Map. If you would like to be included, please click here (.pdf, .doc) to fill out the form and email it to Rick LeBlanc: Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

Suppose you are already a vendor at a farmers’ market in Massachusetts, what are some ways to increase your sales and build loyal customers? Here are some tips for expanding your sales at farmers’ markets in 2013:

With these tips for successful marketing, have a fruitful season!

written by Katie Campbell-Nelson, Instructor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, UMass Amherst