Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Farm Stand Business

When I stop at a roadside farm stand, my first assumption is that they are selling home-grown fruits and vegetables from their own fields. But when a New York farm stand has mangos and lemons? And sells t-shirts too? That's a totally different experience.

This recent Treehugger blog post, Farm Stand Produce Not Always Local , refers to a Newsday article, Farm Stands on Long Island Undergoing an Evolution , and discusses that while Long Island is known for its local produce, many farm stands are importing their products from as far away as Florida and Mexico, and are not limited to selling only fruits and vegetables.

Whether or not this is a good thing for local agriculture, retailers, or consumers, farm stands are an evolving business.

With that in mind, here are some helpful resources for the farm stand owner or agricultural businessperson:


Farmers' Market Federation of New York
Planning the Farm Retail Market
Cornell Cooperative Extension: Agriculture Business Resources
Virginia Cooperative Extension:Farm Business Management and Marketing

2 comments:

Roger Green said...

YUCK! Part of the idea of local produce, besides the obvious freshness factor, is the lessening environmental impact of NOT transporting products from all over the country, or the world.

Well, maybe the T-shirts are made locally, one can hope.

Leslie, Stony Brook SBDC said...

I read that Newsday article with a great deal of interest, since I was raised in Riverhead (on the East End of LI), back during the time when it was generationally-agricultural (potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, corn, strawberries, clams, oysters, lobsters, Long Is. duckling.) OF COURSE it was locally grown: most of us had summer jobs harvesting it! :-) But, EVERYTHING looks different out there, now: there are wineries and stables and big-box shopping centers (NO duck farms AT ALL!, and the aqua-culture is in a bad way!), and I guess to keep the tourists interested, you've GOT TO do a 'Maize Maze', because Betty's Beach Plum Jam just isn't a big enough reason to stop in, on the way to/from Montauk/Orient Point! :-)