Evaluating an On-Campus Farmers Market at AASHE
This week I was at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference, presenting a session on evaluating on-campus farmers markets. It was based on a survey that I formulated during a Program Evaluation class at Tufts and conducted at Berklee.
Some of the results I found from researching other markets’ evaluations that were borne out in my survey:
- Convenience—location and timing—is the deciding factor in whether someone shops at a farmers market. Most people won’t go out of their way, even if they know about it ahead of time.
- Clear, prominent signage the day of is more important than advertising beforehand, since most of those who shop at farmers markets don’t plan to; they spontaneously decide to stop after seeing some sort of signage advertising it.
- Quality of the produce is the most important thing to shoppers, more important than that produce being organic or local, meeting the farmers, or feeling a sense of community.