On-Farm Store versus Farmers Market: What's Your Preference?

Early Morning Frost

Early Morning Frost

Oh, the challenges of farming!   Working with living systems every day we learn to humbly admit that we are a small part in the big picture of life on this wonderful planet.  For those of you who have children or work with nature, I am sure you will know what I am talking about. Predictability is a word that is foreign to us.  We learn to live with and even embrace the ever changing nature of our occupations.   

Today I can say good morning from sunny northern Alberta, Canada.  We call this the land of extremes, for good reason.  Two weeks ago we were experiencing 31C days, now we have highs of 15C with frost the last three nights. 

When tender plants are damaged by frost or an animal birthing goes wrong we ask ourselves if we could have done something to change the outcome or if it is just the way life goes sometimes. 

Farmer’s markets can be a good way to connect consumers with farmers conveniently.  This can sometimes be the only way for some of you to connect with the people who grow your food.   

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Just about seven years ago now we left our local Farmers Market, after ten years of serving our community there.  Our goal was to pursue a path that would be better for our growing family and the overall health of the farm.  It was a difficult decision to make.  We enjoyed meeting such a multitude of diverse people.   

Sadly it also took many hours away from the farm that we loved.  Our absence caused parts of the farm to not function as they were designed to. 

Since leaving the market our labor of love is being directed back to where it should be; the farm and family.  We now feel that the farm is back on track.  Our focus has returned and the health of the farm is improving daily.  This is allowing us to produce food that we are proud to supply your family with. 

The question now is “how do we connect with the people of our community who are searching for locally grown, healthy food”?  How can we serve you in a way that is beneficial to both of us? 

   Many of you have told us that you find it difficult to attend the local farmers market; that the hours don’t work for you, that parking may be hard to find around the downtown market, and that it can be very noisy and crowded (especially if you are pushing a stroller around). 

We have been asking ourselves if the farmer’s market may now be an option, but will it put us back into the same situation we were in before.  Or should we open an “on-farm” store to serve our community?  What about pre-ordering and picking up at a drop-site in town? 

At this time we still feel that we can’t commit to attending the Farmer’s Market as vendors again.  It is a commitment that takes us away from the farm for two days a week year round plus another day per week in the summer.  From past experience we know that this means that each market day is a full day away from the farm even though the market is only open four to five hours.   

We believe that for those of you who want a real connection with your food and the farmer who lovingly produces it, an on-farm store could fill that need.  By traveling to the farm you and your family would be able to escape the noise and chaos of the city for a time and enjoy the peace and serenity that the farm can offer.   

Not our farm store, but really quaint.

Not our farm store, but really quaint.

In addition to the on-farm store an in-town drop-site program has been implemented. The drop site program offers you a simple way to order from our web store.  Once your order is processed you will be notified as to the drop location and time.  Right now we have a customer who has graciously offered us the use of her driveway as a drop-site location.  

Our mission is to nourish our community one family at a time.  How can we serve you better?  We would love to hear from you.