Applications due Friday for farmers market
The application deadline for vendors to participate in this year’s Tuesday night farmers market is fast approaching. Applications are being accepted through this Friday, March 1.
Local farmers, food purveyors, craftspeople and service providers are encouraged to apply. “We have many wonderful local vendors and farmers who have participated for years and will undoubtedly be reapplying for this year’s Market,” said Bill Dardon, board president for the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market (VOMCFM), the nonprofit organization that runs and manages the weekly market. “But there is always some turnover, too, and we continually hope to expand and improve on what we offer the community.”
Applications for the market are available at vomcfm.com. Prospective applicants can navigate to the “Vendor” page, and then select the application that pertains to their type of business.
“We try to make the application process simple,” said Emily Fitzpatrick, VOMCFM executive administrator. “Our website has documents that describe our application process, our vendor rates, and our rules and regulations.”
Three different applications are available in the categories of “food,” “farm” and “arts and crafts,” with vendors to be selected in each category for a well-rounded market. There is a separate application for nonprofit organizations that wish to distribute information in the lawn area. A $35 application processing fee is required with all applications, except for nonprofits, which are exempt.
Applicants can mail in their applications or drop them off at the Real Estate Company, 34 W. Spain Street, which is Dardon’s office where he also offers free space to the VOMCFM.
The vendor selection sub-committee of the VOMCFM board of directors will hold several meetings in March to review and select this year’s vendors, a task that will be completed by early April. Fitzpatrick stressed that it’s important that all applications are as complete and detailed as possible, to make a positive impression and convey the uniqueness and appropriateness of the vendor’s product or service. VOMCFM has an objective and unbiased evaluation system that assigns points to each application based on how local the business is, participation in prior years’ markets, suitability and uniqueness of the product or service, locally sourced ingredients and other factors.
Dardon adds that, “We try to remove any politics and be fair to all parties. That’s how the city wanted us to run this market, and they seem to think we’re doing a pretty good job.”
He based that observation on the City Council’s recent renewal of the VOMCFM contract for another two years, along with glowing praise from all council members.
The Tuesday farmers market has been in existence for more than 20 years, with the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market assuming management responsibilities in 2011. The Tuesday night market will open for the season at 5:30 p.m. on May 7, and continues every week through Oct. 29.