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Questions for Farmer's Market Participants

This entry will contain an evolving list of questions to be asked of buyers and sellers at Farmer's Markets. By the time I visit the Fairfield Market (July 22), I hope to have a satisfactory list--though my experiences at the Fairfield Market will surely influence the questions to be asked in the future.

To be asked of buyers:

  • How do you value locally produced foods compared to goods produced elsewhere?
  • How important is the price of the food that you buy?
  • If local grocery stores sold locally produced food, would you buy it?

To be asked of sellers:

  • Does the idea of selling your food to local insitutions (cafeterias and dining halls, for example) interest you?

To be asked of both buyers and sellers:

  • What do you see as the main advantages of locally produced foods?
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Comments

I think you need to back away from making up questions to ask and think more of what kind of information you want from talking with buyers and sellers at the market. We are not conducting surveys at this point - if we were, you would do some background research on how to develop good survey/interview questions - that is a whole field of study in itself.

For now think about how much information people are often willing to share when you are interested in them and what they see as positives/negatives of what they are doing -- and not just focused on a research agenda of which they know nothing and in fact may be a little suspicious.

Chatting with buyers and sellers in a much more informal approach will probably get you the kind of information we need you to get for this project. We need kind of "use case" background data. If you are not familiar with "use cases" do some research to find out what that is and how it might apply to your chatting up the folks at the farmer's market.

Remember, they do not see any utility in spending time answering your questions no matter how well crafted they might be, even if they seem to understand what you are about and why you are distracting them from the task at hand.............. be conversational.... listen well, ask questions in a coversational style. Share with them that we are working on a project to figure out better ways to promote local consumption and local distribution of food and such that they produce. Before you go --- decide what information you are seeking ------ change your style in how you try to get it.