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Heads up. This is a LONG post. And if you are just here for cute animal pictures and recipes and aren’t interested in farming as a business, a pretty boring one. But this stuff IS important. If you make it through to the end, thanks for reading!

It’s funny how things just chug along in life, and then the collective unconsciousness bubbles up and you start hearing similar ideas from multiple directions.

Last year, I went to the Balancing Profitability and Access in Local Food Systems conference in Boise. During one of the talks, this graphic appeared on the screen.

It hit a chord with me, I photographed it from the Power Point screen, and tracked it down later. A friend with a masters in marketing taught me years ago that consumers choose to purchase for one of three reasons; price, quality or status. Competing with big box store prices is simply a race to the bottom (and how we ended up with things like Confined Animal Feeding Operations – CAFO’s – a disaster for the animals, the environment and our health). But just marketing to the tip of that preference pyramid isn’t enough either.

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fallleavesrockYears ago, I helped train volunteers to guide kids on outdoor educational nature walks. It was an intense 17 hour, three day training. Accompanying this hands-on information overload was a large three ringed binder. Volunteers were expected to understand and be able to replicate the information it contained. To lessen the pressure, interspersed throughout were funny or inspiring quotes and sayings. Things like “first you pee, then you see” to remind volunteers that if their charges hadn’t had their basic needs met, they were not going to pay much attention on the trail. Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomed just in time for my birthday. Zone 6 baby. Just sayin’.
FirstDaffodills
Getting LOTS more eggs now. I have 15 laying hens, and with the exception of the Buttercup, who has likely got a stash somewhere that I haven’t found, and the crazy Red Star who roosts in and lays under the blue spruce (despite my repeated objections), all are laying IN THE NEST BOXES.

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Fancy

I’ve got a few things to tell you, so you had better listen up. (We farmers market vendors tend to be an independent somewhat bossy lot.)

When I did my first farmers market on June 1st of this year, I as so excited and so so nervous. There was so much I couldn’t plan for. When I was researching becoming a vendor, I had a lot of questions that I don’t know how to answer.

As the season winds down, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned over the last 4 months.  So here are the top 10 things I learned as a newbie vendor at a farmers market. Hopefully it will help some other farmers market vendor hopeful. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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