Marketing is a very important part of your market farm business.

Yes, farming is a business.

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” -Peter Drucker

No business can make a profit without garnering some income. That income comes from new and repeat customers. 

No customers, no business.

So, how do you attract customers to your market garden?

Effective marketing.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The marketing circle

The Marketing Circle

The marketing circle asks four questions to help you serve your marketplace.

Brainstorm answers to each of the following questions.

  1. How will the market know I have what it needs?
  2. To whom will I market?
  3. Why will the market want my produce?
  4. What will I market?

If you have completed The Marketing Chart from this article, you can use the one-page picture of your market farm business when asking and answering these 4 questions.

Take your time to consider any and all possibilities. Answering these questions should be kinda fun.

Brand ID

You may think that you don’t need a logo as a market gardener, but you do.

Symbols are shortcuts that convey meaning or a message. Why not use this advantage to promote your own farm business?

A unified look makes it easier for anyone (new and old customers) to readily identify you.

Use your logo on social media pages, farm cheques, business cards, farmer’s market signage, farm stand signage, produce bags, case labels, CSA boxes, t-shirts, hats, stickers, letterheads, and the list goes on and on.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to make a logo, you can a great logo cheaply made from Fiverr. 

We are in the process of getting one made by this logo designer right now for under $40. You can get a logo made for under $10 if you wanted to. 

You really just want to make it easier for your customers to find you. They see your logo at the farmer’s market or grocery store and beeline it over to purchase your products because they are awesome and trust you as a grower. 

This brings me to my next point.

Act Professional

Even when you don’t consider yourself a professional, act like you are.

Like it or not, you are a business person and need to interact with the public and act professionally while doing so.

Here’s what you have to do to at least appear professional:

Stick to your commitments: Deliver in full and on time, or better yet over-deliver.

Be Punctual: Being on time for meetings, appointments, work with employees, and get-togethers show that you care about and have respect for other people involved.

Consistency: Calling in orders at the same time of the week is helpful to buyers-  they can count on you like clockwork.

Be Considerate: Ask your buyers what works best for them, and try to accommodate their wishes.

Some negotiation may be necessary but your willingness to work out an answer that suits both parties only strengthens a relationship.

Truly sustainable business happens when every player on the food chain is content. That includes you and them.

Responding to Others: If someone calls you, call them back in a timely manner, no matter what the issue is. People don’t forget the time they called and never got a return phone call. The same goes for email and any other forms of communication you have with clients.


Growing high-quality produce is the lynchpin of a small-scale grower’s business.

Once consumers realize that certain producers care, that you care, are sincere, and your produce is dependable, they will be your faithful customers.

Once you establish a reputation for ‘real’ food, there is no better advertising or marketing program. 


AAAHHH! I know that’s a scary word.


Market farmers (among others) are not always the best salespeople. I know I’m not. To be honest, talking to people face-to-face is not something I enjoy doing at the best of times, let alone trying to sell something.

But alas, time to kick that fear to the curb if you want to be successful.

Selling products is an integral part of being in business.

For example, what happens when you are swimming in a sea of beautiful red, ripe tomatoes that you need to unload in a hurry?

You may need to venture out of your normal marketing channels and actually have to talk to people that don’t know you or your product.

Well, you get out your phone and start looking up potential tomato buyers to call.

The truth is, out of 10 people you call, you might get one yes. That’s right, nine rejections for every yes. 

Sounds deflating, but it’s not.

What’s the big deal if people say no?

You have to understand that those other nine potential buyers already have a supplier with enough product. It’s not personal, they just don’t need any tomatoes at that time.

It’s hard not to take it personally, but put yourself in their shoes. If they called you up at that time asking if you wanted to buy their tomatoes, you would say no as well because you have more than enough to sell of your own product. 

Easier said than done, I know, but with practice, rejections will not seem so personal. 

Bottom Line

Treat people how you want to be treated.

This adage rings true again and again.

Yes, a logo is important for instant recognizability, but your product should speak for itself.

Nothing beats high-quality produce from a grower who is personable, likable, and considerate.

Your consistent excellent produce will generate customers for life. 

Consumers will soon realize that the best way to be assured of food quality is to know the first name of the grower.

Time to get out of your comfort zone, talk to actual people, and sell your produce!

What’s your #1 tip for marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay Local,

Kathy & Jon

your friendly neighbourhood growers




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