Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage. They are businesses that contribute to local economic development, support sustainable businesses, offer a tourism attraction, and provide the local population with farm fresh foods. Farmers markets have risen in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. The number of farmers markets in the United States has grown dramatically.
Laws Relating to Farmers Markets
- RCW 36.71.090 - Farmers, gardeners, etc., peddling own produce exempt from license requirements — Exception — Valid direct retail endorsement
- Health Regulations - See individual county health regulations
- Music at Farmers Markets may require licensing for use - There are three performing rights organizations, each of which administers a separate catalog of musical works. The American Society Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), BMI and SESAC have substantial rosters of composers, authors, and publishers. In 2002 the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) developed a joint license agreement with ASCAP and BMI to cover public performances of copyrighted music by local governments.
- Farmers Market Authorization/Endorsement, Washington State Liquor Control Board - Sale of Washington Produced Wine at Farmers Markets
Operation of Local Farmers Markets
The operation of Farmers Markets vary. Some are operated by the city, a few have city advisory boards, and some cities provide the facilities, but the markets are operated by nonprofits. The examples below illustrate some of the variations.
- Auburn International Farmers Market (Auburn, Algona, Pacific)
- Auburn Municipal Code Ch. 2.96 - Auburn International Farmers Market Advisory Board
- Bellingham Farmers Market - Nonprofit using city facility
- Burlington Municipal Code Ch. 2.30 - Burlington Farmers Market Department
- Duvall Farmers Market - Nonprofit using city right-of-way - Website includes policies and vendor Application
- Edmonds Municipal Code Ch. 4.90 - Community Oriented Open Air Markets (Licensing of Market Site)
- Kirkland Juanita Friday Market - The Juanita Friday Market (JFM) is operated by the City of Kirkland, Parks and Community Services Department
- Lakewood Farmers Market - Lakewood Parks and Recreation Department
- Farmers Market of Olympia
- Pasco Public Market - Project of Downtown Development Authority - Pasco Farmers Market is run by the Market Manager, a DPDA employee. Market staff also includes a Market Assistant and Marketing Specialist. A PFM Advisory Committee comprised of market vendors, DPDA Executive Director, and downtown business owners work with the Market Manager to make strategic and operational decisions on an as-needed basis.
- Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance - Nonprofit - Operates seven markets in Seattle neighborhoods using city right-of-way
- Seattle Ordinance No. 123090 - Adopts and authorizes the establishment of a program regarding farmers markets, 09/21/2009
- Si View Metropolitan Park District North Bend Farmers Market - The North Bend Farmers Market (NBFM) is sponsored by Si View Metro Parks.
- Snoqualmie - Service agreement for farmers market, 1998
- Steilacoom Farmers Market The Steilacoom Farmers’ Market (the Market) is facilitated, coordinated, and managed by the Town of Steilacoom
- Tacoma Farmers Market - Nonprofit - Receives some funding from the city
- Vancouver Farmers Market - Nonprofit
- Vancouver Staff Report No. 098-13 Memorandum of Agreement with the Vancouver Farmers Market, 10/28/013 - includes Agreement Vancouver Farmers Market
Temporary Use Permits that Include Produce Stands
- Oak Harbor Municipal Code Ch. 19.35 - Temporary Use Permits
- Puyallup Municipal Code Sec. 20.70.016 - Temporary Uses
- Redmond Zoning Code Ch. 21.46 - Temporary Uses (see Sec. 21.46.030(B)(8))
- Vancouver Municipal Code Ch. 20.885 - Temporary Uses
Handbooks and Guides
Marketing and Tourist Promotions
Farmers Markets and Food Security
- Establishing and Operating a Community Farmers Market, University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension, AEC 77
- Farmers Market Coalition - A nonprofit membership organization dedicated to strengthening farmers markets across the United States so that they can serve as community assets while providing real income opportunities for farmers. See About FMC.
- Farmers Market Coalition Resource Library
- Puget Sound Farmers Markets, King County Agriculture
- King County Farmers Market Report, King County Agriculture - Summary and Supplemental Information
- King County Farmers Market Managers Resources
- Market Resources, Oregon Farmers' Markets Association
- Planting a Seed: Urban Farmers Markets, by Lory Pendergraph, PAS Memo, American Planning Association, 12/2003 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
- Washington State Farmers Market Association - Includes directory of farmers markets
- Zoning for Public Markets and Street Vendors, Zoning Practice, February 2009 - APA Member Log In (Available also through MRSC Library Loan)