-SELL YOUR PRODUCE
AT A LOCAL market-
Some of the most popular produce from the garden include beans, squash, Roma tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Many of the seniors at the market enjoyed seeing food they remember eating in their youth, such as pickling cucumbers, butter beans, and okra.
Ahoskie UMC Community Garden
Ahoskie United Methodist Church (UMC) had been growing vegetables at their community garden and donating them to their local food pantry for four years when they ran into a problem: They were growing more food than the pantry could give away. In the same town, the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC) had the opposite problem: They were hosting a market but didn’t have enough produce to sell. Ahoskie UMC partnered with RCCHC and began donating some of their produce to the market, receiving 50% of the profit from anything that was sold. It was a win-win for both groups; Ahoskie’s extra produce did not go to waste, and RCCHC was able to provide a larger variety of vegetables for their patrons.
At first, the idea of growing food for the community and then selling it might seem strange; many people think the point of a community garden is to give food away. Ahoskie UMC didn’t just pocket the money they made from market; funds are used to purchase seeds and supplies to build more raised beds. This enabled them to grow more produce, which meant they had more to give away and to sell. It also gave them an additional revenue source besides donations and grants. This partnership has proved fruitful for both the community garden and the health center by providing healthy produce to people at the food pantry and those who visit the health center.
Selling your produce is a great way to generate income that can be used to purchase needed supplies for your garden. Here are some ideas to consider, whether you are already gardening or just thinking about creating one:
Plan Your Garden: Find out the most popular fruits and vegetables in your community by talking with food producers, sellers, and community members. Be sure to grow produce that you know people are interested in purchasing and that grows well in your area.
Look for Partners: Contact local Farmer’s Markets, food-focused non-profits, and health centers to see if you can partner with them to sell your produce.
Start Your Own Market or Roadside Stand: If you have access to a central location, you can start your own farm stand or pop-up market. Consider reaching out to other farmers or gardeners in the area to see if they would like to sell at the market as well.
Get the Word Out: Make sure people know where to buy your food! Advertise through social media, the newspaper, flyers, and any other resource you can find.
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Baskets of squash.
Fresh fruit and potatoes at store.
Youth gardens with tool.