Pinwheel Farm has focused on marketing directly to local customers, with some restaurant sales. At one time, Pinwheel sold salad greens and other vegetables to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital food service for cafeteria use.
QuickShade Commercial 10 x 10 canopy; home made leg weights
2 6’ folding plastic tables
2 4’ folding plastic tables
“Market box” portable office
Trailer with ramp gate, 4’ x 8’
Various display racks
Pinwheel Farm has a permanent double booth space at the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market. This booth is currently shared (2015 season) with Bimi Bakery; a transition out of the booth sharing arrangement would need to be planned well before the time that applications are being accepted for the following season. Challenge: “Doing market” just on Saturdays realistically takes 8-10 hours per week, not including harvest. Competes “on the calendar” with many continuing education and off-farm employment opportunities.
Pinwheel Farm has several long-term lamb customers who order sides or whole every year. These customers would go with the sheep flock.
Pinwheel Farm has several regular vegetable and egg customers outside of Farmer’s Market. Challenge: With just one person involved in the farm operation, it’s impossible to juggle many small accounts and off-farm deliveries, and the return on time invested is sometimes minimal.
The “Pinwheel Farm” name is well recognized in the community and even beyond, and has become essentially a “brand” that stands for sustainable production of quality products with a minimum of purchased inputs. “Sunshine, sheep manure and good North Lawrence soil” and “Handspun, hand knit wool from the sheep that I raise, dyed with natural dyes”. Challenge: Keeping up production on value-added products, and marketing them beyond Farmer’s Market. Due to the time demands of hand labor, most products can’t sustain a retail markup.