Direct-farm marketing, a steep learning curve with big rewards

Forging one-on-one connections with customers has helped Dick and Sue Pearson create Seeds to Greens, a successful community-supported agriculture program.
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It’s a phenomenon that has swept across the continent — farmers selling direct to consumers.

Some are seeking a bigger share of the food dollar or a way to grow without expanding their land base. Others love dealing with people or are energized by the entrepreneurial challenge.

And for every farmer who opts to sell directly, there are likely many others who have toyed with the idea. How do you go about it? How steep is the learning curve? Are you pretty much on your own or is there help along the way? Is it worth it?

Those were some of the questions posed by Alberta Farmer during a recent visit to four direct-marketing operations in southern Alberta.

Each of their stories is unique, but the seven producers share the two key traits of all direct marketers — a willingness to take a leap into the unknown and a faith that every challenge can be successfully overcome.

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