10 Principles for a Successful Farmers Market

Just in time for the Farmers Market Kickoff Potluck, check out these 10 guidelines for a successful market. Come discuss these with other vendors at the Ag Center this Friday at 6PM.

1. A time, location and a season that coordinates the needs of farmers, consumers, and the local community.

2. A central, visible and permanent location.

3. A diversity of products and producers.

4. Fair and enforceable rules and regulations.

5. A strong market manager who is passionate about the market.

6. A management structure that allows for vendor input.

7. A marketing plan that clearly defines a target audience with a strategy for reaching that audience.

8. Adequate Funding.

9. A successful market involves the community in which it serves.

10. Continuous self-evaluation.

Read a detailed explanation of this list at: http://agmarketing.extension.psu.edu/ComFarmMkt/PDFs/marketprinciples.pdf

Market Vendor applications now available!

Join us for the Tailgate Market Vendor Potluck and become a 2014 market vendor!

Want to be a vendor in Columbus or Tryon this season? We will have information about the upcoming market season at the potluck this Friday evening. Hear what’s new and great about the markets this year, join in a celebratory meal, and register with the market committee.

Information session and potluck: Friday, February 28th at 6pm — Mill Spring Agricultural Center

Download the vendor application: polkcountyfarms.org/markets/vendorapplication.pdf

Brewer’s Grain for Fodder & Cattle Alliance

After our Friends of Ag Breakfast last week there were a couple of great ideas put forth about feed for animals. Comparing dry weights versus wet and more. Two great resources came out of breakfast and are listed below!

To help you find access to brewer’s grains, connect with the WNC Brewer’s Grain Alliance

Running cattle? Check out the Mountain Cattle Alliance for help with marketing and selling your stock wholesale.

Farmers’ Market Vendor Potluck

Do you grow fruits or vegetables? Is there a craft that you’d like to bring to the masses? The Columbus and Tryon Farmers Markets are the places to go to get your great product to great people.

Join us THIS FRIDAY at the Mill Spring Ag Center for an informational vendor potluck. Meet vendors! Meet the Committee! It is also a great time to fill out that pesky vendor application and get answers to any of your questions.

6pm – Mill Spring Ag Center

Taking All the Trouble Out of Picking Seeds

This is plain amazing! There is nothing quite like getting new seed catalogs in the mail during the doldrums of winter but I have always found myself at ordering time overwhelmed with the choices and having six different catalogs laid out before me can never quite choose. But today we can rejoice for life is about to get a whole lot easier – we found this site through farmhack.net (and if you haven’t been there it’s a great place to go) but the website www.pickacarrot.com compares seed catalog prices and varieties and takes it all the way down to how many seeds you are getting per dollar spent.


Grow and Sell Medicinal Herbs

John Vining tipped us on this upcoming workshop, see the info below. If you are really interested in growing herbs for the medicinal market come by the Ag Center as their are some other resources you need to know!

Mountain Rose Herbs (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/), a much-loved and respected medicinal herb supply company, wants to buy medicinal herbs grown and sustainably wild-harvested from our Southeast region with a particular interest in our native botanicals. Brian Russell, the buyer, will be attending the Organic Growers School (http://organicgrowersschool.org) on March 8 and 9 in Asheville, so we have taken the opportunity to put together an afternoon workshop on Friday, March 7th so interested growers and wild-harvesters can meet Brian, learn what he would like to buy from this area, and what you need to do to sell to him. It will give him a chance to learn what we have to offer. There will also be presentations by Joe-Ann McCoy from the N.C. Arboretum on how to make a voucher, by Sarah Schober on what the Bionetwork Natural Products Laboratory has to offer you, and by Jennifer Flynn on the Blue Ridge Naturally Brand (something Mountain Rose is very interested in). 

Space is limited, so register now on EventBrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/selling-locally-grown-and-wild-harvested-herbs-with-the-buyer-from-mountain-rose-herbs-tickets-10631048753. The event will be held at the Haynes Conference Center on the AB-Tech Enka Campus near Asheville.

Boat Building at the Mill Spring Ag Center

Check out this fantastic video done by Kirk Gollwitzer about the boat building classes at the Mill Spring Ag Center




Are you a farmer or a gardener?

Slate.com has an interesting article on the farm vs. garden debate. Our take – grow and sell – you’re a farmer! Grow anything at all? You’re awesome!



Great Resources from Botanical Interests!

Former AmeriCorps member Laura Brookshire forwarded us this great email with lots of interesting and useful information, check it out below and thanks Laura!