Successful vegetable production generally requires the grower to make daily decisions regarding pest management, irrigation, and cultural practices. Would-be growers unwilling to make serious investments of time (and money) should not attempt to expand beyond a space at the farmers’ market. It is important for vegetable growers to have a market outlet for their product before they choose to start production. Good marketing plans start with the customer and work backward to production. Potential growers should first determine exactly what buyers want, how they want it, and when they want it. They then must determine how these crops should be grown. Even selecting varieties and determining planting times are basic marketing decisions. Kentucky growers should pay particular attention to comparisons of marketing time required, compatibility with off-farm employment, and compatibility with tobacco production. Individual situations vary, and producers often must learn about their particular markets by starting small and getting a foot in the door.

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