Hobby Farming: Setting Up A Roadside Farmer's Market

Posted on: 6 June 2016

If you have a farmette because you enjoy growing plants and raising chickens and other small farm animals, you may have a lot of extra goodies on your hands that other people want to buy, such as vegetables and eggs. Many consumers find farmer's markets ideal for purchasing fresh, farm-grown products. If you are planning to sell your overage, consider using a utility trailer as a concession stand. Here's what you need to know. 

Legal Requirements

Before you set up your farmer's market on the roadside, you may need to have various credentials and documentation, such as a business license, vendor's license, federal tax ID, and state tax ID. There are also local zoning ordinances to consider.

Even though you may consider your farming as a hobby, the government authorities may not. Since each location has a different set of regulations and ordinances to follow, it's a good idea to speak with a local business lawyer about the requirements you'll need to meet to keep your concession stand business legal. 

Your Concession Stand 

A utility trailer as a concession stand works great for a farmer's market, especially if your market will be located directly on your property at the edge of the road. That way, all you need to do is hitch the trailer up to your tractor or truck and tow it back to the barn when it's time to restock your goods.

If you plan on selling flowers and/or plants, consider using a utility trailer that has steel grate flooring with a rust-prevention protective coating instead of wood planks. The reason for this is because you'll be able to easily water the flowers and plants without needing to be concerned about damaging the trailer. 

If your farmer's market stand will be at a location other than your property, you'll need to cover the contents of the trailer during transportation. A trailer distributor will have trailer tarps available for purchase. If not, they will gladly place an order for you when you purchase the trailer. 

Canopy & Roadside Signs

To protect yourself and your goods from the harsh summer sun and the occasional downpour, set up a large canopy over the utility trailer. Get a canopy that is large enough for you to easily back the trailer into. Choose a bright color that will be easily noticeable to motorists as they approach your roadside farmer's market. 

Place signs in each direction ahead of the farmer's market to let oncoming traffic know that they are approaching your market. Keep the signs simple, such as a picture of a piece of fruit and the distance to your location. This will give them to time slow down and find a place to park so they can shop. Signs also give drivers warning that the area ahead may—hopefully—be bustling with activity.


Also, put signs directly on the trailer and/or the towing vehicle as a form of mobile marketing, especially if your roadside stand will be located somewhere else. In addition to roadside signs, it's a good idea to do some marketing so you can spread interest in your goods. One of the best marketing techniques around is word-of-mouth.

To achieve this, ask your customers to tell their friends and family about your market. To help them remember, give your customers coupons to give out in exchange for giving them a discount on their purchase. 

Another way to market your business is to provide free samples of products that your customers did not purchase as a way to entice them to return again to purchase more items. For example, if your eggs are not selling, give a sample egg or two to customers. 


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