New England Frag Farmer's Market 3/11/17

Fitch4

Teacher
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Storrs CT
Here is my FFM FAQ- these are the questions that I have fielded via email, PM and text.
Why go to the FFM?
It is the single biggest aggregation of coral sellers you will ever see. The FFM has added a significant number of "dry goods" vendors as well but that is not included in the 60+ sellers, ALL selling corals. If you are looking for frags, or just want to hang out and talk reefs with some of the best growers in the area, you want the FFM. You will find everything from the basic ?weed? species to the coral that you have never heard of, or only seen on the internet. You can shop at anything from the Jason Fox to a hobbyist from NY who grows in his sump. NONE of the other area shows can offer even close to the sheer number of vendors or corals that the FFM can. This is the ultimate frag shopping experience.
How do I get tickets?
There are no advanced ticket sales for the FFM. Admission is $5 at the door and no one will be turned away. Spouses get in free. Children under 12 get in free. Bring the crew along. I think it is important to promote the hobby in terms of something you can do with your spouse, and even more so, with your kids. $5 isn't much to get into something like the FFM anyway, but free is even better! Doors open to the public at 11am and close at 5pm.
What should I bring?
Most people will bring along a cooler of some sort to hold their corals in for the day. Other than that, you don?t need much. I always recommend bringing about 2-3X the money that you think you will spend. I have never heard of anyone who said ?I brought too much money.? I usually hear quite the opposite. The FFM only happens once a year and it brings together the best coral vendors and hobbyists from all over the country. You will find what you are looking for and then three other things you can?t leave without!
I heard parking is bad there, what can I do?
Parking is not as bad as people think, if you know where the lots are. There is a small lot in front of the school, which fills up quickly. There is also a lot on the left side of the school (if you are facing the front) with more spots in it. Those are the two school lots. Across the street there is a parking garage, which quite a bit of parking in it. Lastly, UConn has a big lot if you go down the road just to the right of the school and past the school just a touch- still a short walk, but you start out behind the school. With the number of restaurants and businesses that have set-up shop across the street, the parking has gotten better and better, if you know where to look! I think people just try the lot in the front of the school and that is small and fills up quick.
Can I sell coral at the FFM?
There are 60+ vendors at the FFM, all of whom signed up far in advance, and made a donation to the school project to reserve a space. In fairness to them, there will not be spaces provided for attendees to sell. If you are interested in selling next year, please get in touch with me at swansonjl@hotmail.com, ASAP, and I will add you to the contact list.
Where does all the money go?
The FFM is the main fundraiser for the E.O. Smith Coral project, which has been up and running for almost 15+ years now. I house 800+ gallons of coral growing systems at the school and involve students in the project in a number of ways. The admissions, and raffle proceeds, all go to help run the project. It gives me the ability to buy corals that students want to work with, and equipment that they need to carry out their experiments. With the success of the FFM over the past few years, I have also started giving out scholarships to graduating students who have shown interest in marine/conservation related fields. In the last two years I have given $2000 to graduating seniors and will be giving even more this year. The project, and the FFM, have become so successful that I have been able to help other teachers get the equipment that they need to start reef tanks in their classrooms and plan to continue to do so. In the end, all of the money goes into education. I am not a reef club, I am a teacher, and the FFM run by me as a part of the school.
How does the raffle work?
This year's raffle is the biggest one I have ever seen at the FFM, with some things in it that have never been in before. It is HUGE!
The main raffle will be pulled at 4pm, just before the market closes. Raffle tickets are available from a few people walking around during the day with the red FFM shirts on, or from me in room 107. The tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5 or 25 for $20. I do not sell tickets ahead of time, only at the show.
I have also started an ?Easy Raffle List? for people to sign up for on the computer in my room, or on the laptops by the entrance. You put in your information and get a number. Rather than write all of your info on all of your tickets (which is a PAIN!), you just put your number. If you are not there when you win, no worries, I can get it touch with you!
Do I have to be present to win?
For most items, no. I will ship any item that it is feasible to ship. Items that cannot be shipped, will be labeled with a ?No Ship? tag. If I can?t ship it and you live ?close? we can work something out to get the item to you. If you are not sure, stop and see me and we can figure something out. The week after the FFM, I spend a fair amount of time packing and mailing things to people. As an attendee to other shows, I there have been a ton of raffles that I didn?t enter because I wasn?t going to be there to win. If you find something you really want, buy some tickets, throw them in and I will do my best to get it to you.
If you have any other questions, just shoot me a PM, or an email and I will do what I can to help you out!
Thanks-
Jon
 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Location
Storrs CT
I just put together $500 in Frag Farmer's gift certificates to give away during the day at the FFM. Part of the FFM has always been the gift certificates that I put together that are good at ANY vendor at the FFM. Most of them will be given away at random to people coming in!
 

Reef Trends

www.reeftrends.com
Manhattan Reefs
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That is SUPER cool. I do recall this but had almost forgot. I have to say Jon puts in so much work and effort on this event and really it is for such a terrific cause. The real winners here are both the students and everyone attending. Can't wait this should be awesome!
 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Storrs CT

Great News!!! David from Reef Trends and I have been working on getting together a "Safety Stop," something I have been trying to get together for the last few years, and are going to make it happen for FFM X! In the interest of not spreading pests among out tanks, I wanted to have small doses of dip for people to be able to bring home, and use for the beautiful frags that they get at the FFM. Mark from ME Corals is going to be hooking the attendees of the FFM up by donating a pile of single dose containers of his "Wash Off" dip! They will be available for people, FREE, at the Reef Trends table in the first hallway. Stop by and grab one on your way in/out of the FFM. Thanks to Mark and ME for helping me make this a part of the FFM!
 

Reef Trends

www.reeftrends.com
Manhattan Reefs
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We will also have samples of Safety Stop a new product from Blue Life USA which is billed as ?instant fish quarantine?. The veterinarian-formulated Safety Stop is the first commercial product to offer the benefits of dipping fish in a solution which helps to knock off and kill a broad range of common reef fish parasites.

 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Storrs CT
Cool, thanks for being the safety stop this year! It has been something that I have been trying to make happen for years now and it just never came together.
 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Storrs CT
Exactly one week to go! Anyone in the NE area should give the Frag Farmer's Market a shot. If you have never come out, you will not be disappointed. If you have come out in the past, you are already coming out, so I will see you there!
Here are some more questions that I have gotten on forums, PM's, emails, etc...
"I have to drive 3 hours to get to the Frag Farmers, is it really worth it?"
-I always look at a big show this way; I drive an hour to go to some of the shops I like best. What if I could drive 3 to see all of the fish stores in one place. With almost 70 coral vendors this year, this is the single largest grouping of corals you can find anywhere. No conference, no show, no swap focuses on just corals and has this many vendors. The room after room of corals at the FFM is overwhelming, even to me and I have been at them all!
"Will there be high end SPS at the FFM?"
-Yes, there are a TON of high end SPS at the FFM, sold by many of the vendors.
"Can I find easy to keep corals? I have a new tank and am just looking to fill some space."
-Yes, that is there too. Lots of the hobbyists farm easy stuff, GSP, mushrooms, leathers, xenia, etc...

"What are the typical prices at the FFM?"

-The prices here are better than you will find anywhere for three reasons. One, the shops always stock up to sell at shows and give better pricing than you would see in their store, or online. They often do package deals, 5 for $50, etc... Secondly, the buy-in for shops is so low, they don't feel the pressure to make back their set-up fee. Typical shows this size charge $100's just for the space, mine is still well under $100, and only $30 for hobbyists. People always ask why don't I charge more, and the answer is I'm not in this for the money. I just want to be able to run my coral project with the kids at the school. Lastly, with so many vendors, you can find the same coral at multiple stations. That competition causes better prices. Frags range anywhere from free (yes that happens!) all the way up to $1000 (most expensive I saw last year, and YES, it did sell).
"Do vendors accept credit cards?"
-Some do, some don't. Most of the bigger places do but many of the hobbyists do not. I always suggest cash, its the sure thing. How much is a tricky question. Let me give you a word problem to describe it (sorry it's a teacher thing):
When you leave home, you will say I am going to spend $X. When you get here you will spend that. Then you will see two more things that you need, then two more after that... You will visit the ATM across the street and take out more $. You will come having spent $X + $Y, and wishing you had bought that one piece for $Z that you had never seen before. How much trouble are you in with your wife?
"Where does all the money from the FFM go?"
-ALL of the proceeds go to support the E.O. Smith High School Coral Project. I teach my students about corals, aquaculture and conservation by having them help me run the schools coral farm. The FFM has become so successful that I have been able to start helping other schools get going with similar projects in their classrooms. I have also used the proceeds from the FFM to give out $2000 in scholarships over the last two years.
See you all in a week!
Jon
 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Location
Storrs CT
It is more of a giant coral flea market than a place to trade. Some people do bring corals to trade but it sometimes ends in them just bringing home the cooler filled with their own stuff. Bring an empty cooler. It will fill up fast.
 

ndiscawicz

New member
Manhattan Reefs
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Location
Ashford, CT
Hello,
My name is Nicholas Discawicz and I am a senior at Edwin O. Smith High School. I am currently performing a project on alternative energy sources from chemicals normally used in batteries. A big part of this project is making an effort in publicizing the recycling of all types of batteries. In doing this, I will be attending the Farmer's Market on March 11 to collect all types of batteries that can no longer be used. So if anyone happens to come across these used or dead batteries, which can be any kind from alkaline batteries to car batteries to phone batteries, please bring them along with you so you can contribute to the prolonged usage of the stored chemicals as well as saving money for the town of Mansfield!
 

Fitch4

Teacher
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Location
Storrs CT
Weather report for Storrs, CT for the next couple days. Little bit of snow tomorrow, just a few inches in the morning- no worries. Saturday looks to be cold and fraggy... See you all there!
 

Reef Trends

www.reeftrends.com
Manhattan Reefs
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Insulated Backpacks are Here

For those looking for a cool and warm way to carry their frag/fish selection home from the event Reef Trends will be offering insulated backpacks for $5:


Guess what just arrived and are looking awesome? Plenty big to store all your goodies and keep them warm on a cold day! At only $5 stop by and pick yours up... Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
 

polywise

OLD SCHOOL-ish
Manhattan Reefs
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Location
Somers, NY
I'm going to be there..
ROOM 105

bringing lots of SPS.....
red planet, purple/purple & purple/blue milliepora, blue tipped tenuis, powder blue granulosa, yellow aussie stag, pink birdsnest, pink/green birds of paradise, green slimer
tricolor valiada, orange & purple digitatas, hot green hydnophora, purple & green stylophoras, pink lemonade

including Oregon Blue Tort Purple Monster Cali Tort

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQOX9yXOWXQ
 
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