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Managing In The Wind

The single best way to handle strong wind its a farmers market is to be well prepared before it happens — and unless you are in a place with very predictable wind patterns you will find it wise to take some precautions every day. To illustrate the problem — in strong winds I have seen ten foot by ten foot tents, weighing perhaps 60 pounds, be lifted into the air to the height of a three story building. I’ve seen tents lift tables, flip over on top of the vehicle they are tied to, rise and then crash down breaking two legs (tent legs). All worth avoiding.

Best tents are those with a wind vent . . . this is a centrally-located opening in the top of the tent that allows air to leave the tent without the tent lifting or tilting — in turn this opening is covered with a fabric cover that can blow up and out with the air and falls back into place. Hardly perfect but a great improvement in tent safety. Tying the tent down securely is perhaps the next best method of avoiding flying tents.

Tie them to weights (concrete or sandbags or water containers with handles or hooks to tie to), to vehicles, or to neighboring tents —- or a combination of these. Tying to tables can be useful as times, but the weight of tables is often light and lightens during the market day, and the weight of produce on the table (initially heavy perhaps, lessens through the market.) In some markets you can stake down a tent (and may need to). However these can create tripping hazards depending on the visibility of the guylines and the placement of stakes.  And before driving stakes make sure there aren’t any water or gas or electricity lines where you are staking.

Many commercially available tents have a flange at the bottom of each leg with a hole to drive a stake through. Ropes are better than rubber/bungee cords though some stretch can be helpful (nylon rope stretchs but remains strong). Rubberized, stretch cords often break as they get old, can slip off in various ways and present a regular hazard to farmers and customers if sprung loose. In strong winds, be prepared to take the tent cover off and THEN take the tent frame down. Winds can also cause problems with signs, papers, and bags blowing away or being damaged . . . or causing damage too.

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Farmers Market Channel

Collecting a growing number of videos, we intend to bring you useful and fun information for farmers, market managers, and market supporters AND others involved in farmers markets . . . all in one place.

You will find this all on the farmers market channel on youtube and we are just beginning — we also have what youtube calls a playlist of videos that we believe are useful or entertaining from other youtube sites . . . we intend to add more as we find them (or you recommend them).

We are slowly adding more videos — (no they won’t all be red-faced, yellow-suspendered Mark.)

More information on the Sources & Resources page.

 

Shortcuts & Strategies

Farmers — Stretch/Bungee Cords are useful for lots to things at market . . . hang a roll of bags from your canopy, hold down a flapping tent wall, hold down your recipes . . . bring a few along and you will find a use. Though often used, think twice about using stretch cords for attaching weights to your tent — if they snap loose they are dangerous, and that much flexibility is too much in a strong wind.

Cashboxes — One simple way to secure your cashbox is to drill a hole in the bottom of the cashbox AND in the table it sits on, and simply put a wind nut/thumbscrew though that hole to connect them together. That way no one can run off with your cashbox.

Farmers Markets — If you use tokens for EBT or as other sorts of Farmers Market Dollars, and you have them made as 1-1/2 inch round tokens they will fit many poker chip holders.

We are finding, collecting, and sharing the little tricks and tips and hacks that farmers and managers use to make something easier, more fun, faster, simpler. Have a suggestion?     Send it along.

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