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The below information are basic guidelines for starting a community farmers market in a town.  The New Jersey Department of Agriculture does not regulate or oversee the state's community farmers markets.  Market developers should check with the County Health Officer and County Weights and Measure Officer prior to starting a market.

Photo of the Teaneck Farmers Market

  • Criteria for a Successful Community Farmers Market

    • Determine the community's interest in a farmers market and its needs.
    • Find interested farmers who will set up for display and sale the farm products which they produce.
    • The New Jersey Department of Agriculture and Rutgers Cooperative Extension could be helpful in locating farmers.
    • Select a site:
      • Centrally located
      • Easily accessible by both farmers and consumers
      • Ample parking within a short walking distance
      • Sufficient room to accomodate farmers's trucks
      • Highly visible location on well-traveled, well-known street
    • Possible site locations:
      • Urban renewal areas
      • Streets
      • Parking lots
      • Parks
      • Open, airy area
    • Potential consumers encompass the total population of the community, county, and surrounding area.
    • Adequate publicity is needed to inform potential customers about the market in order to generate sufficient traffic and support the farmers.

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  • Establishing Procedures for the Market

    • New Jersey produce is seasonal, so determine the number of months the market will be open.
    • Decide on a weekly sale day and hours of operation, keeping in mind that the day you choose should be flexible according to farmers' availability.
    • Decide on what farm products will be allowed in the market.
    • Establish a fee schedule for the rental of space at the market, i.e. a set stall fee, per day, per month fee, per season fee.
    • Appoint a market manager who will be responsible for: the smooth operation of the market, both the day of the market and organizing it; answering questions from the public and farmers; ensure the market regulations are being adhered to.
    • All produce must be of excellent or high quality and priced competitively. Discourage backyard gardeners from bring surplus items to the market at give-away prices to the detriment of the farmer/vendors.
    • Establish an active season-long promotional and information program to alert the community about the existence of the market and benefits to be derived.

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  • For Farmers Seeking to Sell at a Community Farmers Market

    Click here for a list of community farmers markets in New Jersey.
    Contact market managers, listed on the site.

    If interested in participating in the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, call 609-292-5536 or email Joe Atchison at 

    If interested in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), contact USDA Food and Nutrition Service at 609-259-5150.

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  • Contact

    Joe Atchison III
    New Jersey Department of Agriculture
    Division of Marketing and Development


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