Effective immediately, we are changing the way we handle our tours on the farm. Saturday tours, which are conducted by my son Spork, will now be free of charge. This is the same tour that we’ve given for years and charged for. The only change is that we will no longer charge for them. (We always reserve the right to change prices in the future, of course.)
Tours on Wednesdays and Fridays used to be $20 per booking, with sizes up to 20 people max. Now tours will be $20 per booking, up to 7 people. After 7, we will charge $2.50 per person (not counting babies.) This means a 10 person weekday tour will cost $27.50
All tours, regardless of price, require an appointment.
Why the difference in Saturdays and weekdays you might ask?
I give the tours during the weekdays. Spork, my son, gives the tours on Saturdays. We run this farm by and large for the employment of our kids. As I sit here this morning, we have had about 30 minutes without any customers. We were slammed starting at 7:59 and have been till just now, but I want a steady pace for the kids to stay busy all day on Saturday. It keeps them busy, interested, and NOT BORED! Tour groups give me just that, a steady group of people coming through the store. I like tour groups on Saturdays.
Wednesday and Friday, we have tours as well. However the kids are busy home schooling so I do the tours. I enjoy giving tours, having time to meet and talk to our customers and learn about them. However I’m a farmer and I have a lot I need to accomplish each day. Routinely, I need to go pick up a part, go out of town for a day, work cattle, whatever. Invariably when I look at my calendar trying desperately to find a day when I can get X done, I have a tour on the schedule, at 2pm (basically the middle of the day).
As often as not, it’s a mommies group (or school group, or whatever) with 15 kids under 5. I don’t have another tour the rest of the afternoon but because of one tour at 2pm I can’t go where I need to, get done what I need to, get back for this tour, and have enough time for everything. It’s routine that I have to look two weeks or more out to find a weekday where I can schedule an entire day. Work backs up, trips can’t be taken. You get the idea.
So in the best example of capitalism at work I can think of, we are going down on our Saturday tour price to free, and up on our weekday tour prices (if you have a larger group). If folks want to come to the farm, there is a strong incentive to do so on Saturday which is when I have the boy giving tours and the girls working the store. Exactly when I need people here.
If your schedule says it has to be during the week for a family, no problem, it’s our normal $20 fee. If it is a large group, we’ve taken the 20 person maximum limit off and added a per person charge for over 7 people. If you have a 35 person group, bring ’em on. We’ll do one big walking tour with your entire group and you’ll be in and out.
Pushing more folks to visit on Saturday will allow your farmer to farm more, which I think everyone wants.