2022 Farmers Market Recap

Greetings Kiel Market. I'd like to write some items here to recap the market from my point of view. 

Overall, I feel I failed the community and the vendors despite bringing in new tools and life to the market overall. Some of the issues were unavoidable, some were not. Going forward, I'm not sure I can lead the efforts to keep building this market. Between being held on the weekday and not having enough vendors to attract enough people, the situation is not looking good. I'd be willing to help run the website and some of the admin stuff, but we need some leaders in the community to run the market itself each week. I also feel we'd do a lot better if we could workout a weekend schedule vs just a Wednesday deal. Opening up the market to the afternoon saw a great deal more people attend the market, but it's still not enough if we're serious about making this a major market that farmers will vend at.

2022 was a transition year for the Kiel Farmers' Market. With a host of vendors coming and going and myself getting new clients outside of farm life which limited my participation, the market was all over the place this year. 

This all played key roles in how the market was lead each week, what efforts were given, and how much promotion was done. Sadly, few want to lead the farmers market and I failed to provide enough to keep attendance and vendors coming back week after week. 

I'd like to thank Katie from Sunset Apiaries (and others) for donating the signs and banners. Between what their farm put up and ours from Harden Farms, we had some pretty nice signs and banners that were promoted throughout the year. Most people also didn't realize that our farm donated advertising dollars and the website to help promote this thing. Those items work well, until you stop selling at the market because of a shift in careers. Our farm is still covering the website updates, hosting, etc. and we'll continue to do so until something else happens with the market. 

I've spent as much time as possible to help this community with this project. I still consider Rosie, Joe and Gary the main market go-to's and one's that continue to hold the market together. I think we're all in this together to help continue the market no matter who is involved or helping out. It's not about control or leadership or profit, it's simply about having this resource so people can work directly with growers, bakers, etc. Especially if we see food shortages along with hyperinflation. This food source is so valuable as our nation continues to struggle, it would be a shame if we can't keep this going and growing. 

We appreciate everyone who joined us and for the farmers who dedicated so much time to provide quality produce for our community. I hope God can lead us to better things for 2023 and I am willing to help, but can't do it alone. If you'd like to help with this market, please send me an email (hardenfarm at pm dot me spelled out to avoid spam). Sorry this blog post is kinda short and all over the place. 

Have a Merry Christmas, 

Ryan Harden

Harden Farms

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