How to run a farmer’s market booth, Volunteer Coordinator Intern Sam

July 18, 2011

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News Stories from the Garden

Since it was my first time EVER being in charge of a booth this past Saturday at the Mt. Pleasant farmer’s market, I thought it might be helpful to share with future booth masters some tips, advice, things to do and things not to do!

First, I could not have done this alone; thank you Courtney for helping me operate the booth! Along with Courtney, I asked plenty of near by booth masters for help, which brings me to…

Tip # 1: Don’t be afraid to ask for some assistance, especially since it’s nearly impossible to set up a canopy tent by yourself.

Tip # 2: Set up the tent first; the sun’s heat quickly creeps up on you.

Tip # 3: Bring with you the following: tape, scissors, tape, empty baskets and containers for produce and herbs, tape and….tape!

Tip # 4: Ask someone who is predominantly right-brained, (i.e. creative and arty), to arrange and decorate your booth. Courtney hung two Rooting D.C. t-shirts on the tent, which not only looked groovy, but we sold a t-shirt, YES!

Tip # 5: Don’t forget to eat breakfast

We had a lot of people shuffle over to our Field to Fork booth; it was a blast to converse with people about growing food, community gardens and the local food scene in D.C. Getting back to my shoddy advice…

Tip # 6: Every time someone expresses interest in your booth, have them sign up for the NFI online monthly newsletter. I don’t know what it is, but everyone loves signing their names on clipboards!

Tip # 7: Do walk around the farmer’s market and chit chat with other booth masters. The longer you talk to them, the more likely they will feed you.

Tip # 8: Remember who you borrowed tape from and give it back to them.

Tip # 9: Don’t solicit….it’s illegal for a reason. Courtney tried walking around the farmer’s market to promote NFI, but our general consensus was that people don’t want to be disturbed while they are shopping; it was best for people to come up to the booth for information about F2F, NFI, etc.

Last thought on my farmer’s market booth experience: closing down shop is MUCH easier than setting it up!

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