Starting a Farmer's Market Starting a farmer's market may seem like a daunting task but if you follow a few basic steps, you will be on your way to supplying your community with the local foods from your area as well as providing an outlet for the local growers.
To begin you must do some research to see if there is already a farmer's market in your area and if there isn't, find out if there was one and if it was successful. Your local Chamber of Commerce will be able to provide you with that information. Local businesses and government agencies may be willing to assist with finding a location and advertising. Attend a local city council meeting. Offer to lease a space for a small fee or to donate a portion of proceeds to a local charity.
Location is essential for any market to succeed. They are ideally situated on town squares or main streets. Components to consider are parking for both the customers and the farmers trucks, public transportation, visibility, public restrooms, cover or shade in case of inclement weather and the area should be large enough for the market to grow. You must also consider the insurance for the area and whether or not the site will meet health and safety regulations. Markets also sell prepared food so it is very important to contact the health department to make sure all regulations are being met.
Of course a market will not survive if it does not have a variety of farmers, craftspeople and other small businesses. Recruiting vendors may be the most difficult task of all. You will have to find them and convince them that spending a few hours a week at the market will be worth their time. Visit other markets and discreetly hand out flyers to vendors there. Visit local farms. Advertise in local newspapers and on local radio. Take the time to carefully select your vendors.
Have an attorney draw up a contract containing by-laws and market rules. Include restrictions on what can be sold, fees and penalties for not following the rules.
If you are not a farmer, apply for non-profit status at your local Department of Revenue.
And finally, determine who the market operator will be. They will be responsible for all aspects of running the market. Be sure to obtain the necessary training if you choose to take on this position yourself or be prepared to hire an experienced market manager.
Now that you have accomplished all the above, it is time to advertise. Of course, free advertising is best when you can get it. Food and Gardening sections of your local paper may be willing to run a story on you. Announcements can often be run in neighborhood or school newsletters. Invite entertainers such as musicians, clowns and face painters and church and educational groups to contribute to the variety and sense of liveliness of the market as well as word of mouth advertising.
Before taking on this challenge it is important to realize a certified farmer's market is a not for profit making enterprise. It may take a couple of years to just break even.
Source: Buy Local Think Global
Attorney General Coakley Joins 12 States in Suing the EPA to Control Global Warming Pollution From Oil Refineries BOSTON - Today, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office joined a lawsuit brought by New York against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to adopt regulations that control emissions of global warming pollution from oil refineries. Massachusetts joins the Attorneys ....
McGuinty Government's Long-Term Energy Plan Turns On Clean Power, Turns Off Dirty Coal Ontario's updated Long-Term Energy Plan sets the course for a clean energy revolution that is creating thousands of new, good jobs in Ontario, and cleaning up the air we breathe.
The government's 20-year energy plan, Building Our Clean Energy Future, makes the essential ....