“Making Dough with Artisan Breads” Farmer’s Market ebook available!

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Farmer’s Markets are hot!

In the past six years, the number of farmer’s markets in the U.S. has doubled–from just over 4,000 in 2008 to way over 8,000 in 2014. Yep, farmer’s markets are officially a thing, which is a great development not only for the consumers who flock to them in large numbers every week, but also for the farmers and bakers and candy-makers and bread-makers and knitters and flower growers who set up their tables and sell at them.

There are so many excellent reasons to seek out farmer’s markets in your area to visit. First, of course, you can find locally-grown food that was probably just harvested hours ago–you don’t get much fresher than that, unless you have your own kitchen garden close to your house. Another excellent reason is that you’ll more than likely find locally-made treasures. At our market, you can buy beautifully crocheted kitchen items right next to the best almond toffee you’ll ever eat, next to locally-produced honey, across from my mom’s raised donuts and pies, next to locally-grown and cured meats, next to beautiful fresh veg grown just a few minutes away from farmers who’ll share the best way to prepare what they grow, too.

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Carol’s pumpkins from a fall market last year.

It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Throw in the fact that you’ll likely run into friends that you might not see during the week, otherwise, and you’ve got a highlight to your week that gives you a lot of bang for your buck!

Sometimes you’ll get to take in some free live music, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that. Is it any wonder that farmer’s markets are so popular? I personally believe that they are the “front porch” culture that we miss in our busy suburban lives.

Sometimes my friend Jamie lets me work at her farmer's market flower stand.

Sometimes my friend Jamie condescends to let me work at her farmer’s market flower stand.

My mom and my daughters and I have kept a farmer’s market business going for the past five years. We started when my garden got so big that I needed to go someplace with the excess veg, and we were looking forward to a trip to New Zealand and needing to earn some spending money. My mom is an extraordinary baker and donut-maker, and she jumped in with us, delighting our customers (and us) with her goodies.

Where else can you buy homemade donuts, still warm and dripping with icing, after all?

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My mom made this special, gigantic donut for little Mack one week.

I sold fresh herbs and garden veg, but primarily my business was centered around fresh, crusty artisan breads. The girls made muffins and quick breads. Mom made cookies, angel food cake, and pies, and sold honey from Dad’s hives. Our business grew every year, entirely from word of mouth.

I got a lot of folks hooked on crusty loaves of fresh bread and heirloom tomatoes. It’s a fun thing, you know, to be part of such a healthy movement! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last summer, while in the throes of our farmer’s market season, I wrote a post or two about our adventures at the Seward Farmer’s Market. Afterwards, I received several emails from readers who were interested in starting a farmer’s market business with their bread-making skills, and they were looking for tips on how I had done it. After about the sixth person sent me an email with a long list of questions, I decided that this was my cue to write an ebook about everything I’d learned in the past five years. Well, nearly everything . . . to include everything I’ve learned would have been a very thick book, indeed.

Here's my mom: wouldn't you buy donuts from this sweet little lady?

Here’s my mom: wouldn’t you buy donuts from this sweet little lady?

In running a successful farmer’s market business, as in so many other ventures, you learn the most in the doing. While artisan bread is my primary product (and it sells very well), because of popular request, I also make several kinds of “traditional” yeast breads. I’ve also delighted in growing extra vegetables and taking them to market. Since I don’t use chemicals or poisons in my garden, but garden naturally, the customers who care about such things seek me out.

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A couple of years ago when we built our hoop house, I started growing flowers and taking fresh bouquets to market, too, which made our table look extra-pretty, and was fun for me. I love growing flowers. And heirloom tomatoes. And herbs. All in great abundance. ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, across the board nationally, the two most popular things for customers at farmer’s markets to purchase are locally-grown vegetables and baked goods. It’s pretty awesome to be able to offer both.

yes, they are purdy.

Heirloom tomatoes: yes, they are pretty. And even more delicious than they are pretty! My mouth is watering.

I’ve learned a lot about baking bread and selling it at the farmer’s market, and I’ve written an ebook about it.ย  Included is:

  1. A short history of why we started our business, and why we’ve kept it going.
  2. Why the “bucket dough” method is superior to many other ways of making bread in big quantities.
  3. Money-saving tips that I’ve learned: how to maximize your profits, and minimize waste.
  4. My favorite recipes, and the tools and products I couldn’t do my business without.
  5. An hour-by-hour schedule of my typical marketing day, i.e. how I get so much done in such a short amount of time. (Hint: it takes real focus, and even taking the ‘phone off the hook. Figuratively speaking.)
  6. A few tricks that helped me double my daily bread output.
  7. Guidelines on how to pick which market you’ll want to belong to, and why.
  8. How to attract business and then–once you’ve got it–how to keep it!
  9. Pros and cons of the farmer’s market lifestyle (and there are plenty of both!).
  10. Interviews with two other successful farmer’s market bakers.

. . . and lots of fun and informative photos!

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Hand pies made from whatever fruit is available at our place at the time–peaches, apples, cherries, and/or rhubarb–always good sellers!

So, are you interested in learning more? I’m offering my 80-page ebook for the first couple of weeks in the same “Pay-What-You-Want” format that Amalia and I sold our Halfling cookbook at first. So snatch it up today, for as much–or as little–as you’d like to pay!

Check it out by clicking on the image below. Is it not pretty? ๐Ÿ™‚

Just click here to check out my new ebook!

Just click here to check out my new ebook!

Thanks for checking in, Gentle Reader. Have a happy day and I hope you will be enjoying your farmer’s market someday soon!

*hugs*

And one more picture, because you know that I can’t help myself . . .

Amalia caught Mack last summer, horsing around in the petunias at farmer's market.

Amalia caught Mack last summer, horsing around in the petunias at farmer’s market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on ““Making Dough with Artisan Breads” Farmer’s Market ebook available!

  1. Angela Holland

    I really enjoyed reading your post today. I am a fan of farmer’s markets and artisan breads. My husband and I are in the process of starting our own business which is an aquaponics business and we want to get to the point that we can sell our organic fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets. You get such great taking foods from farmer’s markets and they are all organic which is an added bonus. Thank you for sharing your post.

  2. Jennifer

    I love farmer’s markets. Everywhere we live and travel I seek them out and always get the best vegetables there and unexpected local treats. We found some truffle spiked cured sausage last weekend that was fantastic in a market outside of Rome. Congratulations to you in your success and I wish I could taste your bread.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks Jennifer. I’d love to hear about farmer’s markets around the world–Rome! My goodness! I’ll bet it was fantastic!

  3. K. Lee Banks

    LOVE this one and all the pictures! My oldest daughter has run farmer’s markets before, related to her job as a field scientist for a natural/organic research company. We have many local farms and farm stands, and our Hannaford supermarket features local farms and their produce in the summer.

    Congrats on the ebook! Do you have any gluten-free recipes in there?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Karen,
      Unfortunately, though I’ve experimented and tweaked lots of recipes, I’ve never come up with a gluten-free bread recipe that I liked. And the ingredients in gluten-free bread are usually a bit difficult to find and too expensive to make for market. Sorry!

  4. Kimberly

    I want to be your next door neighbor!! You are my people. What a wonderful idea for an e-book, congrats! To say I love farmers markets would be an understatement. They are THE BEST place to get your food — after your own garden, of course. Thank you for a wonderful website and a great post.
    Kimberly
    FiftyJewels.com

  5. Joan Harrington

    Hi Amy,

    What a great post and congrats on your ebook on how to make dough with artisan breads ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not a baker, but this is awesome for those that are and your ebook will definately be an asset ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do like farmers markets but have not been to one in such a long time, I will have to make a point of going to one this summer….thanks for the reminder on how much fun they really are ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Nathana Clay

    That donut looks SO good! Yum! I really liked what you said about the “front porch” culture. I think it is so true. I hope our culture and society continues to move back in that direction. I look forward to checking out your book–it will be a great resource for many people on a topic that is hard to find! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the idea and will have to read your book to see how on earth you get it all done!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Nathana–it’s community. We are lacking it in our modern screen-dependent culture, and I think people are starving for it. Farmer’s markets are one place that we can build community consistently.

  7. Robin Follette

    I sold artisan bread at farmers market and a local mom ‘n pop store. I loved it! Bread kept me at farmers market after our growing season ended. If I were going to open another business it would be bread. I’ll be buying the ebook and promoting it on my social media.

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