Sell Plants at the Farmers Market

Hey again, it's Jason from Fraser Valley Rose Farm. Well, I've just finished loading out plants for the farmers market

I've been working on them all spring so I'm pretty excited about getting them out to market and sell them. If you have considered

selling plants at the farmers market or running a backyard nursery on a small scale trying to sell plants

then what I'd like to do today is bring you along with me and

Show you what it's like to sell plants at the farmers market and take you through

Some of the considerations so I will pack up the camera and take you with me and with the plants

But first I wanted to have a quick conversation

About some of just the basics of selling at the farmers market and some things you might not know if you haven't sold there before

number one at a farmers market

They usually do require that you are the grower of the plant


If you're selling baked goods that you are the baker or if you are selling crafts that you're the maker of those goods

That's what the farmers market is all about. So you have to be prepared to show them that you've

Made these plants yourself that you've grown the plants yourself. For me that's no problem

I usually propagate all the plants from cuttings myself or grow them from seed. If you do buy in plugs

Or if you do buy in starter plants

You may have to check with the policies of your local farmers market to see if that's acceptable to them

The second thing that you may need to know is that they want you to declare

Upfront all the things that you'll be selling at the farmers market for the season

so when you make that application

Just be sure to include all the things like I include all of my roses and all of my plants

but I also include cut flowers if I happen to cut those throughout the season I include tomatoes because I do a

Harvest of tomatoes later on I include my squash

So just put all those on your application so you don't run afoul of the market later on

When choosing a market you have to be a little selective and in my area here in the Fraser Valley

There's probably 15 or 16

Farmers markets that I could actually drive to and attend if I wanted to sell my plants there

So what it's paid for me to do is to try out a number of the different farmers markets and see what they're like

They can vary a lot each farmers market as their own independent board. They have all their own policies

Usually a policy manual they expect you to know and some of them are a little relaxed

Some of them are a little more, you know interested in your success

Some of them - some of them

You're just a number that you're just a vendor and they want you to

Jump through the hoops and make applications and pay fees and that's all you are to them

To know which kind of farmers market you're dealing with

you may have to try a few different farmers markets and just see how the fit is for you and your style of business and

Also how many customers are coming there to buy plants. Ok

That's my quick bit on how to select a farmers market and some of the basic things you need to know

Let me pack you up now

we'll go down to the farmers market and I'll show you how I set up how I tag my plants and

How I do for sales. All right. I'm at the farmers market now and I brought a bunch of plants

How many plants you bring to market depends a little bit on the week. This week It's sunny. It's Mother's Day (soon)

It's the first farmers market of the season. So I've loaded heavy

I might consider carrying a little bit less on weeks

Where I'm unsure about how much I'll sell because remember if you pack it up you may have to bring it home also

Just in terms of equipment you could sort of zoom in over there and see that we bring tents

We bring tables we bring our tablecloths our signage and so on one thing I don't bring is

a chair and that's a personal preference thing, but they don't like to bring a chair because if I bring a chair

I might consider sitting down and for me

Engagement with the customer is better when I stand up and your mileage may vary on that piece of advice

Some people do a great job either due to physical limitations. I can't stand all market

So they sit down and they do a great job of engaging with their customers

But for me standing up talking to my customers is is the right way to engage

All right. Let me get the tent set up

I'll put down some plants and I'll show you how I price them and how I merchandise them

Okay Wow my I've been picked over I've been shopped

And I have been run off my feet this morning

all the way through but I did want to get a chance to show you how I set up here is the inside of my

tent here with the signage and

One important step I think is to have good picture signage and see here that I've put down

the vital statistics of the plant the name

Both in common and Latin and some information about how to buy it that makes it really easy for your customers to know

what they're getting also really important to have

clear signage on pricing

And that helps out a lot

This market lets me spread out a little bit

Which isn't policy that most of them do but this this morning they didn't have a vendor beside me

So they just let me take up this space for my roses which, again

I've sold through a ton of my roses already for the day. So that is most excellent

And one thing I do is as I sell

plants out

I just leave the tags out so that people can see sort of what they missed and that makes it easy for the next

For the next week that people come back looking for that plant

Or at least they can tell me to bring some plants back for them. But yeah, that's my set up at the farmers market and

Maybe I will stick in a section here and you don't have to stick around for it on how to make the tags like this

one here

Okay, this is the software I use for making my photo tags

it's Libre Office draw over here and I use that because it's

free and open source software and so I do like that about it, but you can use any kind of

Desktop publishing software I used to use Microsoft Publisher and that was fine

This will do fine the kind of printing I'm doing here

This tag is formatted for 4x6 photo printing

So I eventually export it to a jpg file and I'll show you how to do that. But basically

first thing you have to do is you have to make sure in your

Format that the page properties say that it's 4x6 or the equivalent with no margins and

That was the equivalent in centimeters the way I actually format the

tag here is really really simple just the name across the top in one text box and then the next text box down I have

The description of the plant and then a big picture just so that customers will know what it's going to look like

That's the most important thing right now

Easy way to use this to make a new tag is to just hit this

replace button here and that

Will take me through to a file with my pictures in it

and let's say I wanted to change this tag over to Betty Will and all my tags here are pretty much formatted for

Square anyway because I probably posted them on Instagram previously. So they fit right into this spot that I have

Here you go across the top you change the name

over to Betty



Then change the specs down below here and you've got a new picture card and once you've reformatted the picture card fully

Then I'll have to put in a description on that one afterwards. Then you go down here and

instead of hitting save you say

export and

export you change it to jpg and

Hit save and I'm not going to save it as William lob won't you save it as


Hit save

And then

What it will do is it will ask you what resolution you'd like it in now if you do it about 96 pixels per inch

that'll be fairly low resolution I pump that up to 400 and

width of 6 which brings it back into proportion keep the quality up high and say

Okay, and that saves it then you can just move that file that you just saved

Into a directory see to take that to the regular Photo Store

You know any place you get your photos developed and that will give you a nice durable inexpensive

Picture card so you can sell your plans

Alright back at the farm here

I had a really good day of sales run off my feet all day and I can tell it was a good day because I

Have a lot less plants coming home

Then I took to the market probably about 20 or 25

Percent of what I loaded in the morning has come back with me today, which to my standard is really good

What I'll do is I'll take up to you upstairs in a minute. I'll count down the money

I'll give you some idea of what a good day at the farmers market looks like for me

Just so you can have some assessment of whether it's worth doing for you on the topic of things

I did well and things I did not so well at this market

One of the things I made a mistake on is somebody came to me

In the morning and actually almost first thing I said I want this rose and I agreed to hold it for her

I didn't get her to pay for it right away

More customers came throughout the day. They all wanted that rose

I said no probably three or four times and then the customer never came back for it. So

Bad on me I shouldn't be holding things for people without having them pay for it first

So lesson learned I won't be doing that again

One more thing on the topic of coming home with an empty van, which is you know

My preference it comes down to pricing strategy and there are a couple of different viewpoints on this

I know some other people who sell plants in the farmers market and their goal is to

maximize the amount of money or the profit on each individual plant

So they don't mind bringing the plant to market two three four times as long as they get the price

They'll be asking a good price or a high price for the for the plant and in the end

Maybe they'll get it but it will take them a bit more time to do so for me

My preference is I price a little bit lower

I price sort of on par with what you'd see in the local garden centers or what you'd see in the local mass merchant stores

Just for the point of view of I have other plants on the way

I don't want to be loading stuff up bringing it home having to water it having to

Deadhead it feed it for the rest of the season

I'd really prefer to just take it to the market

One time price it reasonably and sell it through so that's my point of view on pricing

Certainly, we can talk about it in the comments if you have a different point of view

All right, let's go up and count the money

All right time for the countdown here. I have my float here

I routinely keep a hundred dollars in this so I have some fives and tens

Here and some coins for the next market all of that funny Canadian money here

On this side here. This is what I put pulled out as my earnings and I have a hundred

I have a bunch of 20s and I counted that off-camera it totals eight hundred and forty dollars

Plus a $2.00 coin a toonie and a one dollar coin the loonies

So our total is eight hundred and forty-three dollars

So I could be some idea of what you could do selling plants at the farmers market or at least what I'm able to do

Selling plants at the farmers market at stage in my business. I will say that this is a good day for me

I mean, this is a

Better-than-average. It's right at the beginning of the season when plant demand is very high and it's also I have lots of plants to sell


that's a good day and

Now that I've aired it on YouTube. I'm sure revenue Canada is just waiting for me to enter it into my accounting software

So I can pay some taxes on it. So I'm going to go do that now if you have any questions about how to

Sell plants at the farmers market or anything to do with selling plants

Please drop those below the video and I'll do my best to answer them. Thanks