All Things Gardening forum: Neighborhood-run produce stand?

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Name: Dave Cannon
Parkville, Mo (Zone 6b)
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FoodForestDweller
Mar 13, 2018 4:19 PM CST
We're starting up a grassroots produce exchange just for the neighborhood and I could use your input.

I have an unused garage building on our property that is cute enough to turn into a little produce market. It will be pretty basic - a refrigerator and some shelves, with a whiteboard to list our inventory. Anyone in the neighborhood can drop off produce, list the price on the whiteboard, and people use Venmo to pay each other, so I won't be handling any money.

We are still fleshing out the model. Any suggestions? Ideas?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 14, 2018 5:36 PM CST
I don't know what Venmo is ?
But, it sounds like an honor system.

GREAT IDEAL 👍!!!
And, hey ! Just, Remember ?... If ? People steal food !
They must need it more than y'all do !!! 👍😀
Philip 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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NJBob
Mar 21, 2018 3:18 PM CST
I would check with your homeowners insurance, you are inviting strangers on your property and I would think responsible if anyone were to get hurt. Also check with your town for what permits would be required.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Mar 22, 2018 5:20 PM CST
You'll need to monitor to prevent spoiled produce hanging around.

Maybe provide sheets of mailing labels , and pens, so people dropping off can easily label their items.

Hope it works, nice concept. I had way too many jalapenos last year, and couldn't think of a way to share with neighbors.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Mar 22, 2018 6:45 PM CST
What a lovely idea, I hope it works out for you. Great way to meet neighbors and establish community rapport. I'd start out simple and see how it evolves.

A random thought - if/when produce is getting close to spoilage, please consider donating to your local food bank.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 23, 2018 8:40 PM CST
well I don't see it as an 'exchange'. I see it as a sale because Venmo is money. When you start using real money and involving banks, devices, internet ect, it becomes a business even if you don't make money. At that point you run into lots of issues. Since it involves food and storage of food-the health dpt. Inspections, meeting codes and paying fees for a license ect. Needing a business license and paying tax unless you are non profit and tax exempt. And so forth. And absolutely, your home owners insurance may not cover one dime if someone is injured on your property. That insurance is for a home owner, not for a business. Now, what I would do is, I would put out a can, and ask ea person to pay what they want to, in cash, and then divide it up among whoever is providing produce. You could weigh ea persons produce they bring, record it, and then divide the money according to lbs donated. Something like that. Or you could get rid of pay altogether and ea person can take home an equal # of lbs to what they donated. So Mr. A would donate 10 lbs of potatoes, and go home with 5 lbs of onions, and 5 lbs of apples. You could even go further and include canned goods. One jar of salsa for one jar of pickles.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Mar 23, 2018 8:47 PM CST
What if it's just a big garage sale...of food? Garage sales don't go through all that red tape (I don't think). I love the idea, and hope you are able to pull it off.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 24, 2018 9:16 AM CST
Like meet every sat at 9am.

But then that sounds a little like a 'farmers market'. Boy do they go through the red tape here. Such a pain. Most people have just given up. I think someone finally offered use of a spot to do it outside city limits to avoid some of the mess.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Mar 24, 2018 11:10 AM CST
How about a Facebook group, you can limit who sees it, and people can just post what they have and see who wants at that time. Then the grower leaves it by the mail box, or in front yard somewhere, the eater can do their payment.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Mar 30, 2018 2:03 PM CST
You have to market more broadly. What's your business model? Because everyone in driving distance who grows things will have the same things ripe at the same time of year...

Where are the big office buildings where full time workers don't have gardens?
In the NY suburbs we had co-ops where you would pay a fee each month then every Friday go collect what was ripe-
It was FABULOUS-
The benefit to the consumer was they got ripe produce picked off the vine that day. It was fabulous for the farmers who had a defined steady income and an outlet for excess. They would provide one or to recopies for each veg,

Cheap, trendy, ripe, organic, supporting local farmers and user friendly (w/recipes) Total hit!


[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Mar 30, 2018 2:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Mar 30, 2018 2:40 PM CST
In our younger years, we tried a co-op garden of sorts. Several families (7 or 8) got together in the fall for a planning meeting. Each family chose one crop to grow in bulk. We ordered bulk seed (we used Territorial Seed in Oregon) and split that cost by the # of families. We also bought bulk seed to split of things everyone wanted to grow themselves (tomatoes and such). The idea was when each family's assigned crop was ready, they would notify the others and arrange for a group harvest. It was a semi-success. I don't remember how many crops we split, I do remember that we were absolutely over-run with hubbard squash, the spuds did well, the people with raspberries already had an established thicket so that was good. The bean people did a poor job weeding. I think the onions failed. It was a fun venture, and we learned a lot, but let it fizzle out after the first season. We were all young parents at the time, building houses (DIY cash basis), plus working, so had a lot on our plates. Fond memories of some of the harvests - potluck BBQs or just hanging around sipping beers after the work was done. Naked toddlers running amok.

I hope you are able to put something together and enjoy knitting your community together. Keep us posted how this project evolves.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Mar 30, 2018 2:59 PM CST
That's so interesting, Deb. I think one of the drawbacks of many home gardens is that we are all generalists and lose any efficiency of scale. But I can imagine it would take a special group of people and a somewhat laidback attitude to work long term.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Mar 30, 2018 4:12 PM CST
I think some of us are taking this "idea" way tooooooooooooooooooooooooooo seriously, in fact, absurdly serious! I haven't looked up the population of Parkville, Montana, and I am not going to bother to do so, but the bottom line is this as I see it: If you think you can make a nickel from it, just try it! To start with, you have a poor marketing plan, in that all or most of your expected growers/sellers are going to have their own roadside stalls anyway, or customer monthly contracts where they deliver produce 12 months of the year, for a set yearly fee or are already selling at farm markets, and/or to local grocery stores. Hard uphill sell to make a nickel under your idea? BUT, worrying about insurance, business permits, etc. for an idea which may not make you a cent, is absurd! If your idea starts to come into fruition, and you are really making serious money, and perhaps negatively impacting upon local taxpaying businesses, then and only then, may someone try to bring down "The Law" on you! "Dare to be a Daniel!!"

Couple quick "idea" stories from my past: When I was 8 years old, my pal and I got a Plaster of Paris rubber mould somewhere-from a magazine, it was a wall hanging plaque with a basket of fruit. We made them, and painted same, sold hundreds of them around the neighbourhood! A little later in life, while already "Professionally" employed, me and a pal of mine went to a glass auction, and bought a 8' x 8' case of plate glass, with the idea to make aquariums out of same. We noticed that major brands used silicone seal to put the glass together, so in our spare time, we learned how to cut glass, and silicone them together. Hundreds of people came to my house on evenings and weekends, to buy aquariums. Then they wanted to buy fish, heaters, thermometers, every thing! Took the "idea" out of my basement, and opened a small pet shop in a small garage, and called it "Pet Stuff". Instantly, a home run "idea"! And there are several others, however the point being not my part time achievements, but your "idea!" If you have reasoned it out, start small, invest as little money as you have to, and give it a go! Don't concern yourself unduly about local regulations, until you start to get serious 'traffic"!
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Mar 30, 2018 4:40 PM CST
I rather think we may have lost FoodForest, he hasn't posted anything other than his initial query a couple weeks ago. Maybe he was checking into several garden related sites, or perhaps they've just moved forward with their project in whatever fashion they've decided on. We may never know...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Mar 30, 2018 7:52 PM CST
Could be Parkville, Missouri. Sounds fairly prosperous/progressive
https://parkvillemo.gov/downlo...
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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