If you’re a fellow Iowan you know that the summer months are good for one thing and one thing only: sweet corn. You may have noticed that while driving around the Cedar Valley area, or pretty much anywhere in Iowa, that local farmers have created roadside stands to sell their produce. This is a great business move because let’s be honest, if there’s one product that will appeal to all walks of life, it’s food.

These stands sell all kinds of home grown produce like sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, herbs, and so much more. The producer gets to meet the consumer face to face and, while the producer gets to have full control over their rates and prices, the consumer is met with inarguably better prices than those at a grocery store; everybody wins!

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A lot more work goes into roadside marketing than you may think. Here are some of the factors that farmers consider most important when it comes to peddling their produce:

1. Location

You aren’t going to find a corn field in urban Waterloo, and most people don’t want to drive out of their way to visit stands which is why finding a good location is key. Many vendors partner with businesses to use their parking lots, that way they both draw in business for each other. Easy access is a must!

2. Appeal

Most produce stands are so charismatic because of the simplicity of them! From selling corn out of the back of a pickup truck to hand painting signs to promote business, customers are drawn in by the endearing characteristics that radiate the concept of family.

3. Product

There are some stands that only sell sweet corn while others have a whole plethora of produce and both are equally effective as long as the product is high quality. Locally grown crops from family farms give off a much stronger Iowan charm than chemically altered vegetables from a grocery store. So, as long as the products are good and grown within their correct season, they pretty much sell themselves!

4. Legality 

Finally, vendors should be careful before setting up shop to ensure that they are following all city laws related to selling produce. It varies from state to state so it’s important to recognize and follow zoning and licensing regulations and requirements.

Farming is a lot of work in itself, but adding long hours of transporting and selling the produce increases the effort needed by a lot. That being said, make sure you support these local farms, stop by a stand if you see one and pick up some sweet corn for you and the family!

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