So it was finally time.
We bought a box truck.
We’ve been doing farmers markets for 3 years now with our trusty farmers market trailer which is dutifully pulled around by the farm pickup truck. The truck/trailer combo served us well, but now we’re trying to reorganize our market days and we decided that a box truck would be a better solution.
After a whole winter of shopping around, we landed on this 2003 Isuzu NPR box truck. Now we just have to change it from a plain-ol’ box truck into a farmers market truck.
First up on the list of must-haves is electricity. Freezers don’t stay freezy on their own, so we needed a way of getting all that 120 volt goodness inside the box.
We learned from experience with the farmers market trailer that a plug-in style outlet on the box isn’t really the best solution, when you inevitably forget to unplug before you drive away there’s a good chance of breaking something.
Inside, again learning from our experience with the trailer, we put an outlet strip on the wall up a good 3-4 feet off the floor. Freezers need to be unplugged and plugged back in a lot and having the outlet strip easily accessible helps a lot.
The one outlet we put in the trailer ended up behind a big freezer down at floor level. Over the years much cursing resulted from the contortionist ritual that was unplugging the freezers.
All the farmers market fixtures get the same treatment: tie-out rings, a bumper board so nothing important rubs against the wall, and a couple of boards on the floor so that it can’t go rolling around everywhere every time you hit the brakes. We put a lot of work into having nice-looking fixtures and freezers, so we like to make sure they don’t get too banged up in transit. The display freezer gets the same treatment, but with one of the coveted spots nearest the electricity.
For all it’s shortcomings, we’re still going to be using the trailer this year. We’re hoping to make our farmers market outings a bit more efficient this year, attending two markets per day on Saturday and Sunday. That’ll leave us more time to get things done on the farm during the week, while keeping us at 4 markets per week.
The plan is to drop our trailer off at one market, take the box truck to the second market, and pickup the trailer on the way back home.