How to Organize a Farmer's Market

Organize a Farmer's Market
Organize a Farmer's Market

How to Organize a Farmer's Market. Once you secure your site and gain approval from local community leaders to start a Farmer's Market, the real challenges begin. The focus now shifts to attracting and keeping quality vendors while bringing in lots of shoppers. And of course, let's not forget the ultimate goal of making a profit. How well you organize and run the market will be the key to its success or ultimate failure.

Things You'll Need

  • Vendor contract
  • Stakes
  • Hammer

Require all vendors to register ahead of time and sign a contract that explains everyone's responsibilities. Define what can and can't be sold as well as what happens if the contract or local laws are violated. Getting everything out in the open at the start will help reduce the chances of conflicts down the road.

Mark vendor spots with stakes or chalk lines and number them. Their fees should include a specified amount of space and defining those areas will alleviate arguments between vendors who feel others are encroaching on their space.

Assign spaces to vendors as they sign their contracts and give them a diagram showing the layout of the farmer's market and where their space is.

Give vendors an hour prior to the time the market opens to set up their booths. If possible, allow them to sell right out of their trucks so they aren't loading and unloading unnecessarily.

Arrange for a representative from the local senior citizen's council to set up a table promoting their Farmers Market Nutrition Program each week. Most states have food voucher programs for seniors that require them to use the vouchers at local farmer's markets. They can sign seniors up on site for the program or answer questions for existing clients. It will boost foot traffic and increase sales which will keep vendors happy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow non-profit groups like 4-H clubs and Scout troops to hold bake sales at your farmer's market. They will promote their own sale to families and friends which will in turn draw shoppers to the market that might not have otherwise come.

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