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Observing the Farmers' 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





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?