We have been selling regularly at the Big Rapids Friday Farmer's Market. After bad experiences in flushing we were slow to join the market here, but it has been well worth it. We retail Beef, Lamb, Eggs, and a little honey and baked goods. In just a month we have built up a number of regular clients, and have now sent additional animals to the butcher to replenish our inventory
Direct sales; from the farmer to the consumer is key to the future alternative farming. To compete with the industrial farming model, I the farmer need to sell product to you, the consumer with few or no middlemen.
This insures accountability, or at least an opportunity for it. This creates connections between people, food, and food producers. And it makes small scale farming more viable. Small scale farming is not necessary for every farm in alternative agriculture, but it needs to be viable part of it.
I'm not yet sure whether farmers markets, as they exist can really serve people's food needs. They are seen as (a) a place to get a deal on bulk fresh produce or (b) a place to do auxiliary shopping with a superior moral flavor to walmart.
For this farming to continue, it needs to be worthwhile to the consumer. I hope that farmers' markets, as they continue, will evolve into more of one stop shopping for customers.
We will be adding fresh ground grains such as wheat and spelt flour to our household and farmers market. This plus seasonal vegetables, baked goods, seasonal fruit, and meat and eggs is a big step closer to actual shopping.
Raw milk retail policy would really round things out, and you might be able to do all your regular shopping at the farmers market.