See you at the market


By Stephanie Strothmann

Each week, 20 or so groups of folks arise early on a Saturday morning, load up their vehicles and head to the farmers market lot just off of Walnut Street in Seymour.

Some have already showered and donned their logo wear, while others arrive with the damp dew still on their boots from harvesting right before they left for town. Some are well rested, and others have burned the midnight oil to get their products perfect and ready for sale.

Though there are differences in how each arrived at the market that day, all of these people have the same thought in mind: Hoping for a successful day at the market with pleasant weather.

I didn’t begin my farming journey with the thought of selling at a farmers market. Truthfully, I never thought I would have enough product to merit sitting for four hours, sometimes in sweltering heat and other times in blowing rain and thunder.

I knew, though, that the only way I was going to be able to grow the farm was to get a second job where I could set the hours. Daily farm chores don’t coincide very well with working a usual retail or food establishment job.

The first farmers market I participated in was a winter market located in Columbus for the 2017 season. I had a simple 3-foot table, a purple tablecloth and a few baskets to display my products. I also had signage that had a lot of wording on it.

In case you haven’t already gathered, writing is kind of my thing.

I had secured the tops of the bags of treats with dark purple satin bows and was certain they would sell out quickly.

I brought my items to the location and set everything up. Then I waited… and waited… and waited for a sale. People were curious about a treat that was unique to give to their dogs, but when they started reading the large piece of paper with a flowing description of the treats on it, they would say “huh” and walk away.

The rest of that market season was similar. I would sell three, maybe four, bags of treats at each market and then that would be it. It was barely enough to cover the cost of the ingredients and certainly didn’t allow for the cost of gas to travel to the market or getting lunch following.

As that season came to a close, I had a decision to make. Was I going to try selling again in the summer or was I just going to gently bow out of the treat business and save money on licenses, materials, etc.?

You all know now what happened next.

I signed up for the summer farmers market in Seymour for the 2018 season, and as more time passed, I had more sales, more customers, more happy puppers. I changed the look of my little setup to radiate the purple I had put into the farm’s name and shortened the description of the treats to one sentence.

This has been my fourth market season, and I know I made the right choice in continuing with what I thought was going to be a total failure.

All of the vendors at the Seymour Area Farmers Market most likely have similar, if not identical, stories. I can’t mention how many times I get so excited when a reader of this column comes up to the purple tent to say they stopped by because they read about the antics on the farm for that particular week. It is so heartening, and I’m so pleased so many choose to come support our local farmers and artisans.

I know I speak for all of us in saying how much we appreciate you.

We’ll see you at the market.

Until next time…

No posts to display