Direct Sales

Direct sales and earning money for the farm

Farms and farmers often find it difficult to generate revenue for the work and inputs required to make the fresh produce. We’re currently working out the best methods of selling produce to make sure we’re a sustainable farm in the future. Direct sales is one of those options.

As mentioned in a recent previous blog post about selling small quantities of produce, it’s often relatively difficult to get optimum money back for our produce. This blog post covers a similar topic, but Rach and I both feel that it’s important enough for us to share everything we learn about farm sales.

We’re currently producing small quantities of vegetables (and no duck eggs!) which means that our direct sales options are somewhat limited.

In the last few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to sell to some local shops/farm gates. Prices vary at these places (buying our produce and then on-selling) from $3 per kg to $10 per kg. That’s a pretty big difference of over 300%!

Keep in mind that tomatoes (often shipped from far and wide, and certainly not organic) fetch $3-4 for 250g at the supermarket, and therefore $12-$16 per kg. We would of course argue that our cherry tomatoes are far superior!

Obviously the stores and farm-gates need to make some profit off the produce, so the prices they receive will be higher than what we get. Let’s be clear though, we’re not complaining about prices, we’re simply stating that we need to do what’s best for Heritage Farm – and at this stage that means trying to sell directly to the public when possible.

We’ve put some food out on a table outside our place in Frankston, and that has worked reasonably well. The shop at Vidamour Farm is hopefully to be completed in the near(ish) future, and this will give us another option to for direct sales.

All in all though, we will need to try a range of options in order to sell our produce fresh and for a reasonable price.


4 Comments

Bernie Peeler

Hi Matt and Rach,
ECOSS, our local organic collective farm had a process of delivering an assortment of seasonal fruit and vegies to a set of subscribers. Set price and the farm filled a small box with produce in season. We loved it because it both supplied organic fruit and vegies but also introduced us to different varieties etc. of produce. Ultimately, the farm changed management and the service discontinued, but there might be some ideas to grab from it – perhaps advertised as a service within a few k’s of farm and/or home.

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Matt Taylor

Hey Bernie – my apologies for not responding sooner!

It’s a really cool concept don’t you think? We get some veggies each week in a veggie box from Transition Farm (where @rach did an internship). Filled with great stuff and only what’s actually available at that time of year. We’re certainly interested in doing something like that when we have a bit more produce coming along because like you said, we can sell to regular locals and makes selling connecting much easier!

Bernie Peeler

I wonder if it would be possible to piggy back on to Transition Farm’s distribution? Just a thought. In the meantime, keep harvesting! Have you planned your autumn / winter crops yet?

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Matt Taylor

I’ll let @rach update you with far greater accuracy on our autumn / winter crops, I’m afraid!

We have to pick up the veggie box from Transition Farm, so it would probably be easier to have our boxes at Vidamour Farm. I think Transition might be moving away from boxes as well (focusing more on markets perhaps?).


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