Article on what you might expect from planning a small market garden offers up this advice:
People around here often have little road side stands with assorted veggies, and sometimes honey. They sometimes man the stand but usually you find a “self serve, self checkout” with a little jar for the money.
I’m a city girl and just don’t have that kind of trust in people…. but it seems to work fine so far- the region is changing though. I’m thinking that developing the loyal customer base is the key of success in building your own business of this type.
Having been down South on visits, I’d observe that it is tougher to grow things down there is some ways. Ohio has much more fertile soils and more dependable rainfall. But every place benefits from ingenious human husbandry: “where there is a will there is a way” as the saying goes.
Wendell Berry said once in an interview: “Farming is a hard life. It’s a hard life, therefore nobody ought to live it. What a remarkable conclusion! There are several steps that are left out. What causes the difficulty? Does freedom come out of it? Does family pride come with it, family coherence? Does some kind of idea of community come with it? Some kind of idea of stewardship, does that come with it? Do ideas of affection or love or loyalty or fidelity come with it?”
Beauty, respect, freedom, stewardship, fidelity, family, community, all are casualties of a mechanism that selects only for cheapness and a narrowly measured efficiency. Not for a melting bond with the land. Or farmers who farm because they love it. Or farms that have not been reduced to the mechanized, chemicalized production of a single crop as if they were widget factories.
Here’s the good news. A whole new food system, one that uses dollars but is not ruled by them, is growing so fast that no one can keep track of it. You won’t find its produce at your big-chain supermarket. You’ll find it at your local farmers market, consumer coop, or CSA farm. Here a new economics is being practiced, economics, as if, as E.F. Schumacher once said, people mattered. As if the land mattered. As if food were more than a commodity. –Sustainability Institute