Observing at the Farmer's Market

What to Observe, Photograph, and Ask

Fieldtrip to Dane County Farmers’ Market

  • What to observe . . .
    • items for sale
    • variety of items at each stand
    • what sells most often?
    • variety of cost for same items at different stands
    • produce specific to time of year?
    • connection between ethnic background and items for sale
    • do the web descriptions fit?
    • how foods and flowers are preserved
    • how vendors attract customers
    • who seem to be the customers? 
      • where do they come from? why do they come?
    • performers, information stands
    • how the market affects car and pedestrian traffic
    • how vendors are dressed
  • What to draw and photograph . . .
    • whole booth 
    • people in the stands selling products
    • unique items for sale
    • customers
    • preparation/process
    • signs
  • What to ask . . .
    • why come to the Farmers’ Market to sell your items?
    • how far did you come?
    • how did your business start?
    • how many people work at your _____ (farm, greenhouse, bakery)?
    • how did you learn to grow or make _____?
    • what do you do in the winter to get ready for the Farmers’ Market in the spring?
    • how is the Wednesday market different from the Saturday market?
    • where did you get or grow the items you sell?
    • how do you prepare the products you sell? what are the ingredients?
    • what is the most difficult product to make or grow?
    • what is a ________? (scone, empenada, etc.)
    • what is the best time of year to make cheese or any dairy product? why?
    • what's a favorite story you have about selling at the market?
    • do you have regular customers?  If so, why do they keep coming back to your booth? Do you become friends with them?
    • is this a full time job?
    • why do you do this kind of work? what do you like about your job?
    • for a shopper:
      • why do you come? 
      • What do you like to buy here? 
      • Do you have a favorite booth to shop at?
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This page last updated on October 23, 2002