Getting Ready for Spring – Farm Stand Must-Haves

Is your farm ready for the spring growing season? If you’re planning to have a farm stand to sell your produce, read this first. These are the six must-haves for any high-revenue farm stand:

  • Open Sign

Tell people your farm stand is open for the season or open for the day by having an eye-catching open sign. You can either get a sign made or make one yourself. Many people like the aesthetics of a hand-made sign because it feels more natural than a commercially produced one. However, the important part is just that it can be seen from the road.
You may also want to do some local advertising to attract visitors, but many farms simply use roadside signs and rely on word of mouth from past visitors.

  • Produce Stands

Display your produce with stands or racks to get people’s attention. The better you make your produce look, the more likely people are to buy. It’s worth it to invest in merchandising if it can help you sell more of what you’ve grown to reduce waste.

Shoppers tend to get tunnel vision, which can blind them to additional purchase opprtunities if the other options aren’t overtly offered to them. By displaying your produce in a way that’s visually appealing, you may also convince some visitors to buy produce that they wouldn’t have otherwise considered simply because they can see that you have it for sale.

  • Convenience Goods

Another way to upsell shoppers is to offer convenience goods that utilize your produce. Selling baked goods and complementary products provides higher margin items for sale that can boost revenue. For instance, if you’re a fruit grower, selling pies, pastries, juice/cider, ice cream, etc. increases order value with products that you can charge more for because shoppers won’t have to make them themselves.

  • A Way to Accept Credit Cards

Working to convince shoppers to spend more money isn’t going to be effective if they can’t feasibly spend more. Fewer people are carrying cash these days, which means that cash-only operations are limiting their sales potential by only accepting what shoppers happen to have on them when they stop by.

Retail businesses that accept credit cards make more money, and the same is true for farms. Offering non-cash options increases the average purchase because shoppers don’t need to have the funds physically on them to make a purchase.
With all the convenient credit card processing options available these days, you can easily find something to fit your needs that doesn’t cost much on a per transaction basis. Some farm stands even offer credit cards as a payment option to patrons for a small fee that covers their costs for using it. (Just be sure you read your credit card processing agreement to ensure that this practice is within the terms and conditions before doing it.)

  • Portable Toilet

Not offering a restroom limits the amount of time people will spend at your farm stand. It may also deter visitors from stopping in on a whim while running other errands or traveling to/from their regular destinations.

Having access to a portable restroom is a must-have for families with kids and anyone who may have other stops to make before returning home. Depending on the location of your farm, it may also convince travelers passing by to stop and visit.

  • Kids’ Activities

Farms with kids’ activities become a destination for families, play groups, schools, birthday parties, and other kid-friendly gatherings. Some farms offer free activities (like play grounds and iconic photo opportunities) while other charge for access to fun activities (like tours, hay rides, and corn mazes). Either way, the adults accompanying kids are likely to spend substantially more if there are activities for their children to take part in during the visit because visits are going to be more frequent and longer.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

Agricultural Portable Toilets – Essential or Luxury?

It’s no secret that farmers are frugal people, which means that before they invest in something, they tend to do their

 

research. After studying their options, they typically only spend money where it’ll be a sound investment for the farm.

So, are portable toilets really necessary for agricultural operations?

Simply put – yes!

Agricultural portable toilets are a must-have for any farm operations for two very important reasons:

GAP Compliance

Compliance with the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program requires growers and packers maintain sanitary conditions on the job. This means having easy access to restrooms and hand washing stations is absolutely essential! Agricultural portable toilets have the added benefits of containing service records and being on trailers for easy movement. This makes them trackable and portable, checking boxes for both GAP requirements and farm practicality.
While GAP is not required by the state or federal government, voluntarily participating is highly encouraged and sometimes even incentivized. Farms abiding by GAP principles have a higher likelihood of producing safe and healthy crops as well as earning public confidence.

If you want to find out more about how agricultural portable toilets aid in GAP compliance, read our other helpful articles:
GAP Explained
GAP and Our Farms
How are GAP Portable Restrooms Different than Regular Porta Potties?”

Attracting Visitors

Farms that admit the public to farm stands, u-pick areas, hay rides, and other attractions will always benefit substantially from providing restrooms. Offering bathrooms encourages more families to visit and allows people to prolong their visits. This is especially important for farms that want to establish themselves as local destinations for fun activities. Cutting corners when providing restroom options leaves people with no other choice than to leave or quickly duck behind a tree when they need to do their business.

Another consideration is whether to offer handicapped accessible bathrooms. ADA compliant restrooms are wheelchair accessible and allow more space for families with young children. Typically, it’s a good idea to provide one of these in an area where guests will park or near a visitor’s center to make your public farm areas more welcoming to guests at all ability levels.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

Agricultural Portable Toilets – Finding Affordable Options for Your Farm

Farms of all sizes need portable restrooms, but not all portable restroom suppliers can deal with the unique needs of farms. Finding a portable restroom service from a reputable company that specializes in agricultural applications is essential!

Agricultural portable toilets themselves vary from standard porta potties to ensure G.A.P compliance. They come equipped with sinks and service records, are mounted on trailers for easy maneuvering, have bi-lingual signs, and contain spill response plans. These elements work together to achieve G.A.P compliance for farming operations that need to maintain safe food certifications or want to demonstrate their commitment to product quality. Some portable toilet companies claim that they serve farms, but they don’t carry this specialized equipment. Instead, they just deliver regular portable toilets to area farms and leave it up to the farms to supplement them with necessary modifications. This is why it’s so important to choose a turnkey provider.

While farms typically only need portable toilet solutions during the spring/summer or summer/fall busy seasons, doing research in the off-season is a great way to save money. Looking for portable bathrooms while suppliers are less busy can help your farm secure better rates by booking toilets in advance. Additionally, it gives you the time to do thorough research into companies so that you can find a reliable provider.

When researching providers, be sure to consider the needs of your farm staff as well as customers that visit your farm for u-pick or your farm stand. Find a portable toilet supplier that can cater to both needs.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

GAP and Our Farms

Want to know what’s keeping the food that our farmers grow safe for your family? One of the main initiatives is called GAP, and it stands for Good Agricultural Practices. Find out more and learn about what Kerkstra is doing to help with this program!

The Details

GAP is a voluntary agricultural program aimed at minimizing the risk of contamination to fruit/vegetables by food growers and packers. While GAP includes farm-wide protocols, some states have practices that are crop-specific as well to supplement those broader regulations.

Protecting our Communities

Foodborne illnesses are bad for everyone involved! Consumers get sick, farmers face reduced demand after an outbreak, and grocery stores suffer from wavering confidence in available products. GAP was implemented to keep people safe and support the agricultural industry as a whole. But GAP policies don’t just provide for safe consumption, they also aim to improve the use of resources on farms, ensure crop quality, and improve working conditions for pickers.

The main idea behind GAP is to prevent outbreak before it happens so that costly contamination removal isn’t necessary down the line.

How it Affects Farms

Getting pickers and other produce handlers to wash their hands regularly (especially after eating and using the restroom) is the first step in achieving GAP compliance. GAP regulations lay out specific protocols around employee sanitation and employer documentation that must be followed to ensure compliance. Kerkstra services farms with GAP compliant portable restrooms to help lay the foundation for this important program.

Want to Learn More?

Find out more about what makes GAP porta potties different!

Learn why farms of all sizes need portable restrooms for workers and visitors!

Kerkstra Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan for agricultural applications. Find out more about our GAP solutions today!

All About Farm Portable Toilets

If you’re looking for information about portable toilets for farms, then look no further! We’ll tell you which types of portable restrooms work best for farms and why you can’t use just any porta potty. You can trust that we know what we’re talking about because we provide agricultural portable restrooms for farms in over 12 counties across West Michigan. Simply put, we know bathrooms and we know the local agricultural community!

GAP and Portable Toilets

First thing’s first, let’s discuss why farms need portable toilets anyways. For campers and outdoor lovers, a farm may look like it has plenty of opportunities to duck behind a tree or tall crop and do your business, but the reality is that farms have to be incredibly clean to avoid contaminated crops. This is where the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) program comes into play. In order to reduce the risk of produce contamination, clean practices were established that farms have to follow to prove state and national compliance. GAP focuses on keeping farms clean so that their produce is clean as well. The ultimate goal with GAP is to keep people safe and ensure confidence in the national agricultural industry, which is something that benefits both growers and also consumers. For more in-depth information on GAP, visit our article GAP Explained.

To keep workers (and therefore crops) clean, farms need to have the right sanitary facilities in place. This is where portable toilets come into play. Having readily accessible restrooms gives workers a place to go to the bathroom, wash up, and return to work clean enough to do their job safely. So what exactly sets GAP compliant portable toilets apart from your average porta john?

Farm Porta Potty Features

Agricultural portable restrooms have a variety of farm-specific features. First of all, units are housed on small portable trailers to allow them to be easily moved from one area of the property to another. This is important because larger farms may have workers picking and processing produce in different locations from day to day. Farm portable bathrooms are easy to move and get into spaces that a tractor can get to but a portable toilet delivery truck wouldn’t be able to access.

Additionally, they are outfitted with special features like sinks with running water and soap dispensers. This ensures that workers are given the resources needed to adequately wash their hands before eating lunch, after using the restroom, etc. Frequently they also have special bilingual signage that instructs workers on proper hand washing protocols.
The units, like any other portable toilet, are serviced regularly by a reputable portable toilet supplier to ensure cleanliness. Service records are diligently kept in each unit, which is important because that’s required for GAP compliance.
Now that you know why agricultural portable toilets are so important, we bet you’ll look at that form porta potty differently the next time you pass by one!

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!

How are G.A.P. Portable Restrooms Different than Regular Porta Potties?

The risk of food contamination by growers and packers is high, which is the reason why the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) program was implemented. The goal of GAP is to ensure the quality and safety of produce by preventing the opportunity for food contamination to occur before it ever happens to keep consumers safe. For more information, please visit G.A.P. Explained.

One aspect of GAP is regulating the sanitary use of restrooms and handwashing protocols by growers, pickers, and processors. We provide GAP compliant portable restroom service for this very application. But if you are wondering what sets GAP solutions apart from traditional portable toilets, here are the four main differences:

Access

While regular porta potties just sit on the ground directly, GAP-specific toilets are available in either ground units or trailer units. The GAP trailer units allow for easy movement between locations and into tight spaces. This is crucial for farmers that need to move them around their land as different crops are planted and picked. Without this mobility, growers and pickers would have to walk a long way to use the bathroom and would be less likely to keep up with sanitary regulations.

Sinks

GAP restrooms are not just toilet units, they also include sinks on the exterior. These sinks allow for more thorough handwashing than just using hand sanitizer. Additionally, their standalone location outside the toilet area keeps them cleaner and allows for public usage, encouraging people to wash their hands after using the bathroom or eating.

Maintenance

Like any other unit, GAP bathrooms are regularly serviced by a professional portable portable toilet supplier. However, unlike other porta potties, these units have service records to provide documentation for compliance. During servicing, units are pumped and cleaned and the supplies like paper towels and soap are restocked.

Instructions

GAP toilet units have special signage directing people on how to follow specific protocols properly. These signs are also bilingual (in English and Spanish) to allow for greater understanding.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service for construction sites, agricultural applications, events, and much more!

Where Will You Find Kerkstra Portable Restrooms?

Kerkstra is Michigan’s go-to portable toilet supplier. Our portable restroom service is perfect for any outdoor application and events of all sizes. Whether you’re looking for porta potties, luxury restroom trailers or a combination of the two, we’ve got you covered! Our professional service combined with our well-maintained units is the perfect solution for your needs. Take a look at some of the most common places to find Kerkstra portable restrooms:

Parks and Trails

If you’ve explored some of West Michigan’s best parks and walking/biking trails, you’ve likely seen Kerkstra porta potties along the way. We provide ongoing service to these public favorites to give you a clean place to go when nature calls and you’re out in nature. When we service any of our units, we pump, clean, and restock them with hand sanitizer and paper. Your comfort and cleanliness is our top priority!

Lutton Park portable toilet 2

Events

We provide portable toilets in Grand Rapids, MI and all over the state for social events like community runs, festivals, concerts, street/block parties, and seasonal celebrations. You may see long banks of porta potties or luxury portable restrooms conveniently located at some of your favorite events. Chances are, you’ve used our restrooms and may not have even realized it!

Over the last year we have provided bathrooms for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, Blessing of the Bikes, Electric Forest, Michigan State student fundraisers, The B-93 Birthday Bash and many more great events. We can provide daily rentals, weekend rentals or even week-long rentals depending on the length of the event – give us a call for a quote!

Event portable toilet trailer

Weddings

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding this summer or fall and need rental bathrooms, look no further! We provide luxury restrooms that are fitting for happy couples on their big day. Our restroom trailers come complete with climate control, flushing toilets, running hot/cold water to wash your hands, and even special details that make bathrooms look elegant (wooden cabinetry, hanging artwork, large mirrors, and more). Dazzle your guests with our fancy portable restrooms for weddings!

Wedding portable toilet trailer

Construction Sites

Whether it’s commercial construction or residential construction, we can provide the portable toilets to fit your needs. Our construction porta potties come equipped with crane racks for lifting onto higher floors or as roller units to move via elevators. Having toilets on site ensures cleaner working conditions and less time spent away from the job. Improve your productivity with portable toilets and urinals for workers. Contact us for pricing!

Construction portable toilet 1

Farms

Our G.A.P. compliant solutions are specific to the agricultural community – aiming to improve sanitation during food handling on farms and in packaging. Our porta potty trailer units have hand washing stations, bilingual instructions, and service record paperwork that you’ll need during an inspection. We will deliver and service these units regularly so that you can remain in compliance with G.A.P. standards. Our agricultural porta potties help keep Michigan-grown food safe and residents healthy!

Agriculture portable toilet
Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. We provide portable restroom service for construction sites, agricultural applications, events, weddings and much more!

G.A.P Explained

The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Program is a voluntary agricultural program designed to reduce the risk of contamination to fruits and vegetables by food growers and packers. Some states also have commodity-specific GAPs for certain agricultural products like blueberries, citrus, mushrooms and more.

Foodborne illnesses are bad for business because tainted food causes bad publicity and decreases consumer confidence in agricultural products overall, which harms the whole industry. Avoiding this is the driving force behind GAP.

The standards and regulations imposed as a part of GAP also aim to improve the use of natural resources, ensure the quality of produce, improve working conditions and create new market opportunities for growers and exporters alike. GAP procedures and protocols are also in keeping with other national and international regulations, which means that a strong emphasis on GAP helps avoid non-compliance issues in these areas as well.

The reason why GAP has become so widely accepted is because preventing contamination is much simpler than removing contamination after it has happened. By simply getting workers to wash their hands properly before touching fruits and vegetables, it eliminates the need to eliminate pathogens later on. This is why having a firm program in place that lays out expectations for worker sanitation when it comes to soil, water, hands and surfaces is so critical. But just following the proper procedures is not enough, documentation needs to be in place to prove that all health protocols are being followed during an inspection.

As a portable toilet supplier, our turnkey GAP solutions include ground units with sinks and trailer units with hand washing stations. We provide signage in English and Spanish, spill charts, service records and routine maintenance of the units to ensure clean operation. You do not have to worry about adapting someone else’s products to your GAP-specific uses because our portable toilets in Grand Rapids, MI are meant for agricultural GAP usage. We’re happy to serve both sides of the state – just give us a call!

Kerkstra Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan for agricultural applications. Find out more about our GAP compliant solutions today!