Ward House

Farmers Market

The closest farmer’s market to where I live is about 40 minutes away, on the ‘other side’ of Warm Springs Mountain. Not many on this side make is over there, especially when gas prices are high. There is now talk to have a market for those on this side, however a few items need to be ironed out/defined first. These include:

  • hours of operation
  • what do we want it to ‘look like’
  • vendor rules
  • vendor fees?
  • advertising

The Dairy would be the perfect place and the executive director said the Dairy could provide tables as long as someone comes to set up, break down, etc. They may even have a little money to donate for advertising. My questions are:

  1. How many of you have vended at a farmer’s market?
  2. What were some of the rules you had to agree to?
  3. What about fees? Did you have to pay to vend? If so, what amount?
  4. What were the hours of operation?
  5. Was there a certain ‘look’ you needed to maintain?

The Dairy’s director has too much on her plate, atm, to set this up so I am going to try my hand at it and hopefully the others that expressed a desire to be involved will share in the work.

What would you suggest? Right now, since gardens are beginning to come in, produce should not be a problem – what types of prices are considered ‘normal’? What about other items? It has been so long since I’ve been to a large farmer’s market that I am unsure of what to include.


July 21, 2009 - Posted by | Gardening


  1. I've vended at a couple. I like the ones in the evening downtown better than the one on Saturdays at the edge of town – but you might not have that option.Rules: Keep it clean, pack out your own trash. No selling before the bell – meaning everyone had to wait until the bell was rung at starting time to sell.You can't leave before the end of market, unless you sell everything or it becomes dangerous weatherwise.I've had to pay in different ways: some use a set fee, some take a percentage of sale or $5 which ever is greater.Hours vary, I love the evening ones like 5:30 to 7:30 but our Saturday market goes from 9am to Noon.No look at the ones I've vended at…As for other items, make sure you know what's legal in your state. For instance in Montana, its ok to sell baked goods from an unlicensed kitchen at a farmer's market but its not in Pennsylvania… Good luck!

    Comment by Kathie | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Oh, I had not thought about the laws, other than raw milk. Thank you for the heads up!

    Comment by Annette | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for brining this up, I have been wanting to do one on my end of the world for the past year. There is not a single one in my county 😦 Guess I better get to looking into it for next year 🙂

    Comment by Janelle | July 23, 2009 | Reply

  4. Kathie made good points. Also, from a vendor POV -point of view:Make sure to pay sales tax, have person in charge collect.No fees at the markets around here. Get all the free advertising you can – press releases sent to radio stations, local newspapers, signs at feed stores, markets, convenience stores, announcements made in churches, at local meetings and gatherings, library. Keep It Simple, Sweetie! Do NOT complicate things or no one will be back – vendors OR customers. No bickering in public…no one wants to hear dirty laundry. Yes, I have heard vendors bickering in public and it sounds bad for everyone.From a customer POV – It's pretty hard to not sell before the "bell" as folks are wandering around. If I'm there as a customer and need to get to work or elsewhere, I want to buy NOW and don't much care for a "bell" -grin-.PLEASE allow crafters and musicians! They bring a different customer market in and broadens the horizons of the farmers' market. You'll need everyone – people who grow food, flowers, fiber; people who craft from their farm; musicians who add a note of gaiety to the event. Bring everything you need and take away everything you don't sell. Make sure all trash is picked up. Make sure there's an information table. Establish a newsletter and have sign up sheets for folks. Send out the newsletter weekly…doesn't have to be anything fancy, can just be an e-mail letting people know what's going to be available and who is going to be there. Also, give contact information in case someone wants to be a new vendor.Probably other stuff but my mind is strained -smile-. Best of success!

    Comment by Thistle Cove Farm | July 28, 2009 | Reply

  5. fantastic information/ideas – exactly what we are looking for!thank you thank you thank you!

    Comment by Annette | July 28, 2009 | Reply

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