"Are you selling produce this year?" is a question we often receive.  The answer has been a resounding "YES!" for years.  After an incredible year in 2016 where we went mobile and sold exclusively from downtown Verona, we scaled back to doing very little in sales in 2017.  There were multiple factors involved in our decision to down size our produce operation.  The biggest factor in our sudden decline was the fact that we have always grown the majority of the produce that we sell.  As the demand for fresh produce has increased and farm stands have become very popular, most of those venues buy and sell produce from other sources to supplement what they can grow.  You might be surprised to learn how little of the food you are buying at a farm stand is actually grown right on that farm.  Having almost always exclusively grown what we sell, we found that we could not meet the demand and began outsourcing from other local farmer in 2016 to supply our customers.  In 2017, our garden, over all, was the worst we have ever had. Even our potato crop was poor, and those who have been with us a long time know we always have plenty of potatoes.  We didn't want to be "one of those" venues that simply buys and resells produce.  That's not what we are about and not where we find joy.  We took a clue from Mother Nature that 2017 was not our year and we just sold what we had extra to a few folks who bought in bulk.  

Will we return to making produce sales a full time summer venture?  Probably  not but we most likely will always "dabble" in produce sales to some degree.  Currently at our new farm in Laurel Fork, we have an "honor system"  produce cart where we put out a few items most days for the 2018 growing season.  Our friends and neighbors stop by to pick up some tomatoes, a dozen eggs, a jar of jelly, or whatever else we might have on the stand. We love to see the smiles on the faces of those who stop by and while we remember with fondness  all our sweet and loyal customers in the Staunton/Verona area and miss them, we will probably keep things relatively simple from here on out. never know.....

No comments: