Steps for Getting a Local Farmers’ Market Set Up

Farmers’ markets are great for supporting local farmers, entrepreneurs, and others. It often happens that farmers struggle to get their products sold because there is no place to do so. Not only is this a problem for them, but it also makes it difficult for the locals to get good quality fresh produce. One solution to this problem is to start a local farmers’ market. If you think that your community could benefit from such a market, we have the way to do that.
1. Find out whether there is a need for such a market. If you are reading this, you have most likely already identified a problem and decided it is necessary.

2. Get the community involved. The market is for the locals, so they get them involved and make them aware of the market. Approach people who might like to be vendors. Get schools, local newspapers, etc. to spread the word and become involved.
3. Choose the right vendors. Your vendors should include a variety of people and products that will create healthy competition but won’t prevent anyone from selling their goods. People who visit the market need to have a choice of products.
4. Involve the right organizations. Starting a farmers’ market is not a small task. Luckily, there are organizations in Illinois that can help you. You can approach the Illinois Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the Farmers Market Coalition, Local Harvest, and the National Association of Produce Market Managers.

5. Choose your location. The best place to have your market is somewhere where there is naturally a lot of people. Parks, plazas, parking lots, museums, etc. are all places where you could have the market.
6. Get the necessary paperwork. You can’t just start a market. You need permits, licenses, and other paperwork. You need to find out what the regulations are for starting a market and what permissions you need.
7. Work out your finances. There are many ways to finance a farmers’ market and keep it going. Do some research, speak to the local farmers market support organizations and get your things in place.
Setting up a farmers’ market will be hard work and it will cost money. However, if you know this will help your community, it is worth it.

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