Farmers’ market stand described…

Stand at the farmers’ market

Setting up a stand at the local farmers’ market reminds me of a traveling circus, at least, the way I imagine one to be. Everything has to be compact, easily packed away in a limited space (in our case, a pick-up truck), quick to set up and tear down, and quite rugged to handle the wear and tear. There are also lots of critical bits and pieces that it simply doesn’t do to forget. Overall, the stand is a bunch of simple pieces, assembled into a functional little veggie selling spot. In this picture, taken from behind the stand, it’s near the end of a fairly busy day, with crates and big leaf bags of greens all empty, and Kikuyo the WWOOFer-for-a-week from Japan helping out.

For the humble details…. This year, we’re using two types of crate, both intended for home storage and pressed into veggie service. They stack well when full, nest when empty, are easy to clean, and generally hold up well. The table is plywood set on collapsible metal sawhorses (new this year, I used to make the table from empty crates!) that’re compact, easy to open and close, and hold lots of weight. Using sawhorses instead of the usual tables with folding legs lets you customize the size, and cut down on weight. The rough cut cedar trays are my own big marketing innovation from Year 1. They’re shallow for easy filling, and propped up at an angle. I think they give a little bit of a display edge over the normal flat-on-the-tabletop market look, so, probably worth the extra bulk. The canopy is a pricey-but-worth-it E-Z Up! (not one of the half-price copies). Extremely durable, it sets up and folds down in literally under 60 seconds (as advertised!), and just doesn’t break! Holding it down at the corners are the infamous concrete blocks. I recently read that tripping and stubbing injuries on these things are the number one farmers’ market injury… If you don’t weight the canopy, a strong wind, even a powerful random gust, will have it sailing off (quite an impressive sight)—I’m gonna switch to cement-filled plastic pipe hung off the frame at the corners with bungee cord.

And there you have it!

(I’ll probably get to all the smaller items, like bags, markers, price cards and push pins, in another post…there’s most of the market season still to go!)

4 thoughts on “Farmers’ market stand described…”

  1. You did say you might address the accessories in a later post, but I’m impatient and dying to know … what kind of produce scale do you have? I am looking for something with that design but am not finding anything that will go past a couple of pounds. Obviously I am not looking in the right places. Yours looks like exactly what I want.

    Enough about me … your stand looks great, and the wooden crates propped up like that are fantastic! Very old world market, and probably very appealing to the shoppers!

  2. Hey Meg: I think I know what you’re looking for, if it’s an old-style (probably, just old), heavy-duty tabletop scale, well, I’m looking too!! The scales here (I have two) are modern stainless steel 2kg (4.4lb) kitchen units, they’re not heavy at all, durable enough but kinda flimsy. The advantage to me is that they’re light, relatively cheap ($30), easy to fix if they drop and something gets loose, and at least look like what I originally had in mind. They’re from a company called Lee Valley. it’s a temp solution that’s hung on for much longer than I’d planned. I’d really like an old-style hanging scale with an analog dial that does 20lbs+, like the kind they have in some supermarkets for test weighing your produce. I found a couple on ebay, but they were out-of-country for me and I didn’t bother following up. The casual search continues…

  3. Hi Mike,
    Just passing by to say “hey” and to let you know that I love the photography on your site. I’m really impressed with what you’ve done over there. Who knew this was in your blood all along? I bet Koko is proud.

    Wishing you an abundant crop,

  4. Hey, just wanted to let you know that i found this blog/site REALLY useful in my research of WWOOF and i plan on doing a lot of travel and work with them as organic farming is what i believe to be my calling.  I have also been journaling my entire process so that i can be of inspiration to others in my footsteps.  thanks for writing! ive also submitted this site to “Stumble-Upon” so that many other people can have easier access to this information.
    Thanks and bless you all


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