plowboy
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sweet corn sales

Was thinking about trying to sale sweet corn at a roadside stand but I have know idea how much to plan on selling each day which I know there are a lot of variables but does anyone have any ideas of average daily sales at an average stand?

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jal_ut
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Re: sweet corn sales

No way to tell. I sell sweet corn, both at a Gardener's Market and from the patch. One never knows how much will sell in a day, too many variables, but it is a good sale item. It does need to be tender and fresh. The trick is to plant 3 rows, wait a week and plant 3 more rows etc, so that you have a succession of fresh sweet corn for the summer. It only holds for a few days on the stalk once it is just right, so you pick what is ready and go sell. If any is not sold, you put it in your deep freezer, using proper preparation steps of course.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

Just guessing, I would hope for 30-40 dozen a day worth of sales and a few tomatoes and melons and peppers and such. Maybe some pumpkins and gourds in the fall. Speaking of sweet corn, might have to pull a bag out of the freezer tonight. Lol

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Re: sweet corn sales

When you say 3 rows you talking like 100 ft rows?

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jal_ut
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Re: sweet corn sales

A roadside stand on my city street would only see 6 cars a day go by.
On the other hand over in the Willard area along state highway 95 there is a lot of traffic and there are a lot of fruit stands and they seem to do a good biz.
I reckon it will depend a lot on the type of street you are on and how much traffic is on it. If it is just your immediate neighbors using the street, don't bother.
Any farmers markets around?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: sweet corn sales

"When you say 3 rows you talking like 100 ft rows?"

I say three rows so that you will get good pollination. The length of the row was not the point here. Three or more rows, make them as long as you wish. My experience tells me that I will get two ears per foot of row with the corn I grow.

The trouble with a single row of corn is that it often does not get good pollination and you will have ears with only a third or so of the kernels filled out.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

We have few farmers markets here and there big one in des Moines but I would be setting up my stand south of des Moines about a half hr were two state Highways intercept in a fairly good size town.

imafan26
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Re: sweet corn sales

Corn is usually a good seller here, but it takes a lot of land and the yield per plant is low. If land is not a problem then it is worth while. Otherwise, here the better crop is fruit. It is only once a year but fruit has a higher price and yield for the space it takes. Cooking bananas $2.50 lb, avocado $1 each, mango $0.75-$1.50 each, Lychee $5.00 a lb. Corn here sells for $5.00 a bag or about 50 cents per ear. Most of our yards are small 3200-12,000 sq ft (including the buildings) and farmland leases for $200 per month per acre raw land. Most truck farmers here have leased 5 acre plots. Agricultural lots (2 acres) sold for over a million dollars and most were bought by wealthy gentlemen farmers and they only have grass and fruit trees. Some of the available ag land is the old sugar and pineapple plantation properties and they want to sell it off to a single buyer not small parcels to small farmers. If there are a lot of other corn vendors you could only get the going rate. If however, you have a high value crop, you could earn more for the space and time. Do some market research in your area, find out what people want and how much competition you will have. I could never sell corn, I would end up eating all the profits. My space for growing corn is 10x10 or 8x4, so I can only grow enough for me to last a week and it ties up the space in my garden for 90-100 days.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

I plowed about an acer and half up this last fall half of which being new dirt. I grow lot of tomatoes and peppers, melons, green beans and your veggy garden basics but I don't wanna go crazy with the sweet corn and have to much or go the other way and wish I had planted more lol suppose I'm just going to have to wing it and see. I've only seen 2 more stands in the town I'm thinking of working and usually just 1 and it's at the other end of town so I don't know. I'm kinda on the fence lol

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digitS'
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Re: sweet corn sales

plowboy wrote: ... 30-40 dozen a day worth of sales ...
That would be a huge amount for you to nibble away the profits, Imafan ;).

It would also be a huge amount for us to sell at the farmers' market. (I'll blame the customers ;).)

We can sell about 1/4th of that on a good day. Maybe we could do 1/2 but I'm not sure if we have taken that much. Maybe. That's a twice/week market and the better sales day.

You would probably do better at the roadside where people would stop in their cars. It would not necessarily mean more $. They would be looking for a good price not just to take 2 ears home for dinner. More variety would encourage more people to stop. They might want a salad with tomatoes and bell peppers with that corn.

Of course, having some lettuce in the veggie salad would be a good idea. But now, I'm talking about lots of messing around and you aren't just tossing sweet corn into the bed of the pickup and heading off to park beside a busy roadway! You are, perhaps, catching those consumers before they show up in the produce aisle at the supermarket.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

Yeah don't think I'm going to do the farmers market, just the roadside stand but yeah definitely some tomatoes and peppers maybe some green beans and cucumbers. Then melons and pumpkins later on. It's a very high traffic area were I will be setting up. I will probably go ahead and plant a bunch of corn and either sale it or not I guess lol

imafan26
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Re: sweet corn sales

I can only get a max of 39-67 ears from my plantings. I can finish that off in less than a week by myself. I would probably have some left over if I had an acre of it though. I would be better to diversify. You also have to consider the time you will spend being out there. Established stands usually have regular customers, but in the beginning until you know you have a good location and word gets around, you may be making less than minimum wage. That is why it is so important to know your market and what would be in demand and your best price. Until you find the right product mix, it would be a gamble so it's wise to have a backup plan as well as take into account the fickleness of business.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Taiji
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Re: sweet corn sales

Around here the first really good available corn comes from Olathe, CO. When it is in season, you can get it for 5 ears for a buck, 6 ears for a buck. I have even seen it for 8 ears for a dollar. Hard to compete with that. I'm sure the stores don't make much on it, but it draws the customers to the store where there is a diversity of other stuff! Seems like diversity is the key like Imafan and Steve say.

imafan26
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Re: sweet corn sales

That is really cheap. Here fresh corn is 50 cents each. Sometimes at the market they are 3 or 4 for $1, it is not really fresh when it has been sitting on the shelf for a week. The ones that are sold on the roadside in summer usually come from the farms on the other side of the island( over 20 miles away) and some from Aloun farm about 8 miles away. They usually are ones that have been picked the day before. The vendor sells the corn on the side of the road out of the back of the car. They sometimes have to spend 6 hours there to sell it all. In the peak season they are out there every weekend. Aloun sets up a stand accross from Costco on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the peak melon season. They sell different kinds of melons and cantaloupes, onions, eggplant, squash, peppers, garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes, corn in season, and Asian greens so they have a good variety that changes as the season progresses. There are also weekly people's open markets here that travel from park to park on different days of the week. They only stay for one hour in one location then move on to the next. The city sponsors the program to help the small farmers market their produce. There are other markets that are run by other organizations that set up for a longer time 2-4 hours in different locations but they do charge the vendors a booth fee and they need to have their GET and vendor insurance.

Some people do direct marketing selling flowers directly to flower shops and fruit and herbs directly to restaurants. That way they don't have to spend so much time waiting for the customer and as long as they can provide a steady supply of quality product they can just deliver it directly to the buyer. Some people even buy a homeowner's fruit harvest. They pay for all the fruit from a tree and they come and harvest it as well. Mango, avocado, and lychee are the trees that are usually in demand. When I needed a new kaffir lime tree, I had to order it from the guy I buy it from because he sells the leaves to the restaurants so a lot of his trees are bald.

When we first started selling regularly at the garden, there were times when we did not make enough to pay the paid workers. It took a while to build up a steady clientele to make it worth all the time it takes to prep for a sale. Our sales are only for 4 hours once a month but it takes a couple of days to prep, price and move it all out to the selling area. After the sale we have to move it back to the nursery. Because attendance drops off at this time of the year and the volunteers go on vacation for the holidays, we don't have any sales in December and January.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Taiji
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Re: sweet corn sales

Actually, the Olathe corn is pretty good. They grow both bi color and yellow. Fast shipping probably helps, it's not that far from here.

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

The plan is to pick in the early morning and get up there and set up by 10 a.m to catch people on their way home from the ball fields,walking trails and winery that's all right there plus the steady stream of commuters heading home from work. I think fresh is the key. It should be a good location. Just wanna be sure I don't run out for the people coming home from work. It would be super easy and convenient to whip in there on your way home and grab some fresh produce for your dinner that night.

imafan26
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Re: sweet corn sales

I don't know about folks there, but I hardly keep any cash on me these days. If you get the iphone app that allows you to take credit and debit cards on your phone, you can greatly enhance your sales. People will buy more when they are not limited to the cash in their wallet.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ACW
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Re: sweet corn sales

imafan26 wrote:I don't know about folks there, but I hardly keep any cash on me these days. If you get the iphone app that allows you to take credit and debit cards on your phone, you can greatly enhance your sales. People will buy more when they are not limited to the cash in their wallet.
Cant really help but I am sure stateside you will have Izzettle,which with a smart phone and an inexpesive terminal allows you and street food traders to take cards.
We use these for our small food business and the bank type charges beat the big banks.

A happy and prosperous New year to all the nice people here!
A gardener with a small shady back garden and a balcony with containers ,
biggest problem not enough sunshine !

plowboy
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Re: sweet corn sales

Hmm. Didn't think of that. That's some very helpful info. Now if I could figure out how much sweet corn to expect to sale daily for planed planting and picking reasons I would feel better. I just have no idea. Lol

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digitS'
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Re: sweet corn sales

I used to have a little to do with market management. Most successful vendors, the ones back year after year, seem to subscribe to the adage: "pile it high, kiss it goodbye!"

I'll talk about one guy who I haven't seen in years who tried direct marketing of produce for a couple of years and, I'm sure by his own admission, failed. He might have other ideas on the reason but he would tell me something like, "if I can't make $400 on a Saturday, I shouldn't show up!"

Now, I would look at him and nod my head but all the while thinking, "what are you talking about?! You haven't brought more than $150 of product!"

You are doing the right thing trying to reason it out during the right season. Putting a pencil to the paper and doing some number work is the way to go. You cannot account for everything but don't think that you have to make X and then not have sufficient product to make it happen.

Doing a Google search for sweetcorn yield from site:edu will give you the Cooperative Extension's ideas on that crop or many others. Stagger your sowing to have some supply consistency. Satisfied customers are important and they aren't satisfied if they show up an hour after you get there and 15 minutes after you sell out. It may do your ego good to know that there is a demand but satisfied customers are loyal customers and they will be happy to see you show up, season after season. Consistent sales are what you are looking for.

Otherwise, talk to a produce company. Have them tell you what they will pay you, for how much, when, and how they decide for themselves on standards. Shoot, just turn it all over to them and a farm manager. Move to a nice home with an ocean view and forget about the logistics and hard work of it all. ... Sound like I have some biases? Heck, I've known "farmers" who can't even tell you what crop is growing on their land.

There is not likely to be any crop insurance for you, in any way, shape or form. Well, now that I think about it ... the payday loan guys might have something. Stay free of them.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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