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Wea Creek Orchard is a family farm located in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. According to the Company’s website, today’s owners include three families: Kirkham, Thompson, and Peters, the descendants of “the pioneers who purchased the farm” (“Farm History” par. 4). Orchard’s main activities include pick-your-own (also known as U-Pick), the sale of fruits and vegetables, and carrying of weddings. The locally grown apples, peaches, pumpkins, and nectarines are available both via the Wea Creek Orchard’s market and U-Pick (“Wea Creek Orchard” par. 2).
The U-Pick marketing strategy grants the opportunity to harvest fruits, berries, and vegetables directly from the trees or bushes to those who do not have a garden. According to Rick Gush, “today’s city residents and suburbanites, separated from the agricultural activities of their forefathers, find a sort of agricultural nostalgia in picking their own produce” (“U-pick Market Success” par. 8). People come to Wea Creek Orchard, spend 3-4 hours, and do not have to buy a thing.
When it comes to competition in the grocery market, the farm is neutral with all of its competitors. Moreover, Wea Creek even promotes some of the emerging local farms. The competition with the big corporations such as Walmart and Payless is out of the question; Wea Creek Orchard cannot afford to drop its prices since the production prime costs include transportation, labor, and other aspects that cannot be omitted. Although, there is an exception for pumpkins; “if they’re selling pumpkins really cheap, we may lower our price, but that’s the only case when we set down” (“Interview with Perry Kirkham”). The farm also produces honey; there are about 14 hives at Wea Creek.
When setting the price for honey, Wea Creek’s management addresses the local honey producers and tries to market in that range, with the price adjusted to about 50 % of the Big Wea Creek market. As regards apples, there are about 15 varieties, including Dandee Red, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, and others (“Wea Creek Orchard” par. 3). The prices for apples are adjusted on the level with Doud’s Orchard, Wea Creek’s co-marketing partner. Wea Creek used to charge separately for some of the varieties like Honey Crisp but decided to equalize the price. By counting the percentage of pearmains on the farm, Wea Creek reduced the cost of Honey Crisp from $2.50 to $1.70 and raised the rest from $1.50 to $1.70.
Since fall is the most yielding period (most of the crop, such as apples and pumpkins, is harvested in fall), the farm’s strategy includes other activities and methods of income for other seasons. During winter, farm employees are engaged in equipment maintenance and paperwork. Starting in April, the alternative ways of earning include the conduct of weddings and other festive events. According to the Borrowed & Blue website, the minimum price per wedding at Wea Creek makes 2000 dollars (“About Wea Creek Orchard” par. 2). “Everybody’s saying we are way too cheap”, admits the farm owner Kirkham (“Interview with Perry Kirkham”).
The sale of preserves, jams, and jellies also accounts for winter and spring seasons, although Wea Creek does not produce these products itself because it does not have the facilities. Instead, it provides its raw materials to the Dillman farm’s commercial kitchen where the canned goods are produced.
According to Perry Kirkham, Wea Creek’s success stems from the farm’s location, the customer’s loyalty, and the fact that the farm does not aim for big profits. As for advertising, most people learn about Wea Creek through the word of mouth and via Facebook.
“About Wea Creek Orchard.” Borrowed & Blue. Borrowed & Blue, Inc., n.d. Web.
“Farm History.” Wea Creek Orchard. wix. n.d. Web.
“Interview with Perry Kirkham.” Purdue University, n.d. Web.
“U-pick Market Success.” hobbyfarms. I-5 Publishing, LLC, n.d. Web.
“Wea Creek Orchard.” facebook. n.d. Web.
“Wea Creek Orchard.” Orange Pippin. Orange Pippin Ltd., n.d. Web.
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