Counterfeit Money At Northeast Farmers’ Markets

The Farmers Market Federation of New York is circulating the following message about the recent use of counterfeit money at farmers’ markets in New York and throughout the Northeast.  There is no specific mention of Vermont but it is something to be aware of if you sell at farmers’ markets.

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There have been recent reports of counterfeit money being used at farmers markets throughout the Northeast.  The perpetrator generally buy $10 to $20 worth of goods and pay with a $100 bill, getting change for the rest. These bills will pass a normal fraud check since they are made with bleached $5 bills, so please be on the lookout for any money that looks suspicious and alert your farmers as well.

Please see the article below for more information on what to look for and pictures:

Counterfeit Money at Our Markets by Brian F. Moyer, Penn State Extension.

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Vending opportunities coming to the new Boston Public Market

The Boston Public Market has taken a significant step forward.  Local farmers will soon be able to sell their products at a year-round indoor market in a 28,000 square food space in Downtown Boston, and will become a cornerstone of the proposed Market District. The Boston Public Market Association closed 2013 having made great strides with fundraising, leasing and design.

To date, the organization has raised $8 million in private and state funds and continues its fundraising efforts to complete planning, design, and construction of the Market. The board of the Boston Public Market just approved an 85-year lease on the site, a critical move towards beginning construction, and the organization has contracted Architerra, a local architectural firm, and design plans for the interior market space are almost complete.

Once open, the Market will house over 40 permanent vendors including regional farmers, fisherman, ranchers, winemakers, and more.  The Market will sell everything from meat and cheese to produce and flowers and recruitment for vendors is ongoing. Construction on the site is set to begin this summer in order for the Market to open in Spring of 2015. Beginning in May, over 20 vendors will begin selling their products at a new seasonal farmers market the plaza along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and will continue through November.  This is just a small taste of what’s to come next year.

Vendors seeking more information on participating in the permanent market can join our growing list of interested vendors by visiting: http://bostonpublicmarket.org/#vendor

Those interested in the 2014 seasonal markets can reach us by visiting:  http://bostonpublicmarket.org/seasonal_markets.php

University of Kentucky Study Shows “Sampling Impacts Purchases at Farmers Markets”

A University of Kentucky study has shown that “when vendors offered samples at their farmers UK_ag_extensionmarket booths, they saw an immediate effect on what customers purchased. [Their survey] determined that 55 percent of respondents purchased the sampled product the same day, though they had not originally planned to do so.”

Miranda Hileman, who worked on the study along with Dr. Timothy Woods, noted that some producers cited uncertainty about the benefits of sampling as a reason for not providing samples at farmers market. The study’s findings may help incentivize those skeptical vendors to trial sampling their products at market.

Sampling at markets and stores can be a great way for new farmers to promote their product and gain recognition.

The U. Kentucky researchers have put together “A Practical Guide for Farmers Market Vendors: Best Practices for Sampling at Farmers Markets” which is available in its entirety online.

Londa Nwadike, UVM Extension’s Food Safety Specialist, has put together a fact sheet on “General Food Safety Practices, Providing Samples, Selling Fresh Produce” as part of her “Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors Series.”

Note: The University of Kentucky publication references the need for a certification for providing samples at farmers markets, in Vermont no certification is required although certain food safety precautions are required and they are outlined in Londa’s fact sheet.

Opportunity for Farmers in Wells

Re-posting this message from Cynthia and Rich of Larson Farm:

We are trying again to open an online farmer’s market in Wells, and are looking for high quality local producers to join us, particularly those who produce cheese, poultry, pork, lamb, vegetables, fruit, artisan bread, and value-added local products. As a farmer or producer, Yourfarmstand offers a free account online in our virtual Wells Farmers Market. Here is the website: http://www.yourfarmstand.com/

I tried to get this going last fall, and didn’t, but the concept is a good one! For those of you who didn’t get a good sense of how it works then, I’m including a detailed description below

PLEASE get back to me promptly if you are interested in being part of the Wells market. I will make a decision whether to proceed on JUNE 18, NEXT MONDAY. If I get enough response, I will take a poll for a market day of the week, and set a first market day.   A day far from Farmer’s Market Day may have advantages like evening out produce sales, or evening out labor.  Then we will work on attracting customers, by combining our lists, and contacts.

Together, we can all sell more!

Cynthia and Rich Larson
www.larsonfarmvt.com

YourFarmStand.com Description:
Vendors log onto the site and list each category for sale with price by weight, volume, number, etc.  Each week you can add individual items for sale based on their availability. For example, you post “frozen pork chops” for $8/lb, then enter your inventory by the pound.  When a customer buys an individual item it is removed from the posted products. Once a week, at midnight on “market day”, sales are automatically tallied, and farmers are informed via e-mail what they have sold during the past week. The next day, farmers deliver sold products to the market at Larson Farm, where we consolidate it according to customer, and later that day customers come to pick up their bags or coolers containing what they have purchased.

The computer will track the inventory of your products, which is instantly updated after each purchase.  Yourfarmstand handles all financial transactions, full inventory management and sales records for farmers, and generates a printable label for each product sold which includes the customer number for accurate sorting. Customers put money in a PayPal account ahead of time, then buy from their credit. Farmers get a check from Yourfarmstand. Local folks can sign up to sell a few dozen extra eggs to their neighbors, or larger producers can sell more.

The service is free to buyers, who can browse and buy goods 24 hours a day on line. Farmers pay a total of 15% of what is actually sold as a marketing fee. 6% goes to pay for the use of the computer service, and 9% goes to cover the costs of hosting the market and sorting the orders.  There are currently many Yourfamstand markets operating in different communities in Vermont.

There are many benefits. (1) We as farmers do not need to develop web-marketing and sales tools, because Yourfarmstand has used their experience to streamline the web-site and the technical processes for an online market. (2) The inventory and accounting are taken care of for us by the program. (3) Customers can purchase a wide range of products at their leisure from several farmers in a single simple transaction, and pick up their products at a single site. (4) Customers have the ease of using their credit card to deposit money in their account, while the farmer gets a check!

Check out the website to see more clearly how it works. We at Larson Farm are actively recruiting farmers. We hope to start as soon as we have a suitable market variety, and continue year-round. Variety, quality, and reliability are the keys to expanding our local sales.

Mettowee Valley Farmers’ Market Looking for Vendors

The Mettowee Valley Farmers’ Market is accepting applications for new vendors. Interested vendors should e-mail Helen Wood at mettoweevalleymarket@yahoo.com or call her at 802-325-3478.

About the Market
The Mettowee Valley Farmers’ Market is located at the beautiful Mettowee Valley Community Center on Route 30 in North Rupert, VT. It is 1/4 mile north of Herrick Brook Road. The market is a producer only market, meaning you can trust that our vendors grew or made their wares themselves. The Market is open Fridays from 3 to 6 PM.

At the Market
Cheese, Maple Syrup, Apples, Asparagus, Fresh Baked Cookies, Hot Mama Mustard, Handmade Pottery and Glass, Iced Tea, Shetland Shortbread- just some of the amazing local goodness coming from the Mettowee Valley Farmers’ Market!

Unsure about the farmers’ market? Try a trial run at Castleton!

The Castleton Farmers’ Market is looking for new vendors for the 2012 summer season. The market meets Thursdays from 3:30 – 6pm. The season-long fee is $80.

Not sure if it’s the right fit? Try it out for FREE! The market is offering a free trial period for interested vendors to try out the market for ONE FREE WEEK before committing to the whole season.

Interested vendors should contact Lori Baker at (802) 273-2241.