New Farmers Market



We recently received a question about starting a new farmers market in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.

I have a very large parking lot that might be a good location for a small farmer's market during the season. Besides contacting the suppliers listed on your site, can you offer any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated. Aileen, Gouldsboro, PA

The first place to start would be your township zoning officer to make sure you meet the requirements for a market. Most of Gouldsboro is in Lehigh Township, Wayne County. So check the Wayne County Planning Commission’s page. It lists the zoning officers’ and township secretaries’ office phone numbers. You may need to apply for a vendor permit, obtain insurance and that sort of thing.

Your local Chambers of Commerce, Southern Wayne Regional COC for example, and the Cooperative Extension office in Wayne County or the Northeast Regional office can help you to get in touch with local growers, artisans and suppliers.

Depending on where in the Gouldsboro zipcode you are located, you may actually be in Lackawanna County. In that case try the Lackawanna County Co Op office and the Greater Scranton Area Chamber of Commerce.

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You should also visit other area farmers markets to inquire about sellers who may want to participate in your market also. Make sure the markets you attend are held on a different day of the week that you plan to hold yours. You do not want to start out attracting resentment from other market operators.

Next, check out GrowingforMarket.com, you can download a free sample issue that addresses topics like market growth, things to consider when establishing a new market, setting prices and more.

The USDA website has huge amounts of information for farmers market operators. They have an Agricultural Marketing Service {AMS} that is a clearinghouse for information on market funding, organizing, setting up to be participant in the Women Infants and Children {WIC} and Farmers Market Nutrition Programs {FMNP and SFMNP} and lots more. Check out the Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing page.

Also inform your local food pantries and food banks. They may want to let their clients know about it. It is also nice to encourage your vendors to donate to the food pantries. They are always happy to receive fresh produce.

Once you are ready to open, do not forget to send out an email announcement to absolutely everyone you know and post a notice on Facebook or another social networking site.

You can list your market here on PoconoGardening.com, as well as register on FarmersMarket.com {they charge a fee} and the USDA site. Call your local television stations and newspapers and ask if they would be interested in doing a story on your market opening.

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Keep us posted on your progress, we would love to come out and lend a hand or just visit!

Are you a local grower interested in vending at this new market? If so, submit your information at Vendor Contact and we will pass it along to Aileen.

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