Tri-County Farm Fresh Produce

The crops are in, harvest is winding down, and as we wait for our tree farm members to celebrate their favorite season with customers, we take a moment to reflect on a great year of Tri-County outreach. We reached customers on behalf of member farms through the annual printed Farm Guide (a farm favorite), the TriCountyFarm.org website, through social media, in print media outlets and through a new partnership with Red Tricycle. We’ll tell you more about each.

The Farm Guides are printed every March and include all members in good standing as of January 15th. Each year the 85,000 copies that are printed and distributed across Clackamas and Multnomah counties guide visitors to members to the freshest local produce around.

The Tri-County website provides searchable directories that guide customers seeking specific offerings -- strawberries, eggs, CSAs, beef, you name it -- to member farms. The interactive map helps customers discover nearby member farms and the easiest way to get to them. Over 5,000 customers receive crop update emails through the site that are written and distributed by individual member farms to directly promote their hours, offerings and special events. Access to this message distribution system is a prized feature of Tri-County membership!

Tri-County maintains a Facebook presence with daily posting reaching over 1,400 followers, promoting events, sales and happenings at our member farms. We share and like member farm posts too. Additionally, we conduct paid Facebook campaigns to locally target those who haven’t heard of us but want to find local sources of great foods and family experiences.

Tri-County puts out regular reminders of the products of the season on Craigslist as well. Posts there remind customers, for example, that lavender is in season, and provide a link to the directory of farms offering that specific produce on our website.

In print, Tri-County advertises its member farms to young families in the Portland Metro area and beyond. Publications including PDX Parents, NW Kids, and Green Living Journal circulate our Farm Fresh Family Fun message across our counties and the Greater Portland Area.

In 2017, Tri-County began cooperating with Red Tricycle to expand marketing outreach to an eager market of young, active, outgoing families. This included an online promotional newsletter sent to their following of 25,000 area families, directory listings, and individual articles with different interest-grabbing themes: top pumpkin patches for your family to visit; favorite strawberry u-pick farms; reasons to consider a farm camp for your kids.

As farmers, herders and ranchers, our lives are busy before the sun comes up until long after it sets. Our expertise is the flocks and fields; the markets and groves. The Tri-County Farm Association handles the promotion and builds the customer and future-customer awareness we don’t have time to do ourselves in our farm-days. And, with Tri-County’s economy of scale, the combined dollars of members accomplish more than any one farm could on its own. Tri-County is your bang for the buck.

To all our members, we thank you and we are proud to reflect on a year of serving you very well.

If you are not a member but operate a farm in Washington, Clackamas or Multnomah County, and you sell from your farm as a stand or u-pick with at least 50% of sales coming from items produced on your farm, you should join us! When you consider the total promotion value for your new-farm membership of just $350, it’s easy to understand why a Tri-County Farm membership could be your most valuable promotion expense for 2018.

To join or to discuss more details, contact Cheryl Boden at 503-645-1592 or at wu.gardens@gmail.com.

20th November 2017