How to Get Accepted Into Farmers Markets

| 5/22/2015 12:45:00 PM

Tags: farmers markets, Forrest Pritchard, local food, Virginia,

It seems as though everyone has at least a passing dream of selling at a farmers’ market. From backyard tomatoes, to foraged wild morels, to grandma’s incredible pound cake recipe, the possibilities often appear endless. My own journey started in 1990, when at age 16 I shuttled eggs each weekend to my local market in Shepherdstown, WV from our family’s flock. More than twenty years later, I’ve filled out nearly every application known to man, received dozens of different health department permits, and attended perhaps twenty different markets over my career. Each and every experience has been different, which makes the following question almost impossible to answer:

“Excuse me,” a bright-eyed young woman politely asked a few weeks back, stopping by my market stand. “I make banana bread, and I want to sell at this market. Do I just bring a table and set up or… umm, well… how do farmers’ markets work, exactly?”

Great question. How does it work, exactly?



Learn When the Annual Meeting Takes Place, Get Your Application In Well Ahead of Time

Once spring arrives, everyone gets excited about farmers’ markets. But the real planning starts far earlier, back in December and January. This is when the market meetings usually take place, months in advance of the start of market. Applications are reviewed then, too, so if you’d like to attend your local market, get your ducks (or potatoes) in a row by January, not June.

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