Frequently Asked Questions

for New or Prospective Farmers Market Vendors

When do farmers market applications become available?

Applications for Hood River Farmers Market’s regular season (held May – November) are published in February.

Applications for other Gorge Grown Farmers Markets are published in March.

We accept applications year round, even after the priority deadline.

Application information can be found here.

What types of products are a good fit for the farmers market?

We allow a wide variety of products at the farmers market, including:

Farm products: fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, eggs, herbs, meat and dairy products.

Fish and seafood products legally caught (not farmed) in OR or WA.

Foraged products: mushrooms, herbs, plants or wild berries legally gathered from public or private land in the Gorge.

Nursery products grown or cared for by the farmer

Beverages: using locally sourced ingredients

Alcohol made in the Gorge with locally sourced ingredients. Only closed bottle sales and tastings of alcoholic beverages (pending approval from OLCC) will be permitted

Processed farm products/ value-added products: cheese, dairy, dried fruits and vegetables, jams, etc.

Prepared food items/ concessions: ready-to-eat foods prepared on site with locally sourced ingredients. There is high demand for vendors that can offer breakfast or lunch options at the market

Processed non-food agricultural products: wool, beeswax etc.

Craft products/ art that meet at least two of the following requirements: 1)use local materials; 2) are unique or fill a niche in the market; preferably in the realm of food, farm or agriculture; 3) a substantial ‘hands-on’ contribution to the final product by the vendor. All craft, art, or artisan products will be juried before acceptance into the market)

 

We do not accept applications from distributors of overseas items, commercial resellers, or those who are considered a direct sale/ multi-level marketing company (examples: Mary Kay, doTERRA, LuLaRoe, Herbalife).

Are there geographic limitations for vendors?

Yes, we aim to support producers from the Columbia River Gorge. This includes Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington. Exceptions are sometimes made for vendors who are able to bring quality items that cannot be sourced from the Columbia River Gorge.

How much does a booth fee cost?

A standard 10′ x 10′ booth space is $25 or 5% of total sales, whichever is greater, each week. Double booth (20′ x 10′) spaces may be available for $50 or 5% of gross sales, whichever is greater, each week.

 

Application fees range between $25 – $35, depending on when the application is submitted.

As a vendor, would I need to attend the market every week?

No. Vendors are able to select their own market schedule on the application. Keep in mind: the key to market success is consistency.

What if I can't make it to a market date that I signed up for?

We ask for 1-week notice if you cannot make a market you have committed to. If you cancel after 5pm on Thursday before the market, or do not show up, you will be charged a late cancelation/ no show fee. Hood River Farmer Market late cancellation fee/no show fee is $40. Vendors that fail to attend more than 2 markets they have committed to may have their market placement moved to accommodate the needs of the market or market staff may find an alternative vendor to offer a similar product.

Do you offer options for new vendors to try the market?

The Community Table offers a space community members to use as a low-risk and cost-effective way to try selling at the market. This is also an opportunity for vendors to sell quantities that would not justify a full booth. It’s a good place to learn marketing techniques and get a feel for selling at a farmers market. The community table booth fee is 10% of total sales.

Crafts, arts and most other inedible goods are not permitted at the community table. Full booth spaces may be available upon completion of vendor application.

What are the benefits of selling at the farmers market?

There are so many! Farmers markets provide:

  • A consistent local outlet for your product
    • In 2021, Hood River Farmers Market vendors grossed nearly $950,000 in sales
  • An opportunity to build a customer base:
    • Hood River Farmers Market average weekly customer attendance is 1000, with over 1,300 each week in peak season.
      From customer surveys, we know that 65% of our customers live within 15 miles of the market location. 25% of our customers live 60+ miles from the market location.
  • The ability to connect with customers and get feedback about your product
  • An opportunity to accept food assistance program funds like SNAP EBT (formerly known as food stamps), WIC and Senior Farmers Market Vouchers, Veggie Rx etc. Complete details will be discussed on a case by case basis with all vendors, pending product eligibility.
  • Learning opportunities from a network of other vendors, entrepreneurs and experienced small business owners
  • Amplified promotion across Gorge Grown and Hood River Farmers Market platforms: print, newsletters, social media, radio etc.
What food safety protocols do I need to follow to sell made food items or concessions at the market?

If you are a farmer and use what you grow to make low-risk, value-added products like jams and pickles, you may fall under the Oregon Farm Direct Marketing Law Exemption.

Other vendor (non-farmers) who plan to sell value-added products like jams and pickles, will need to produce their products in a commercial kitchen.

 

If you plan to sell baked goods at the farmers market, you may fall under the Oregon Home Baking Bill Exemption. ). Qualifying baked goods include bread, rolls, cakes, pies, doughnuts, pastries, cookies, biscuits, crackers, confectionary items and all similar goods made for human consumption.

 

Vendors preparing and serving food on-site at the market will need a temporary restaurant license from the local health department.

 

Contact Hannah@gorgegrown.com with other questions regarding food safety and licensing requirements.

Contact Hannah@gorgegrown.com if you still have questions after reviewing the information above.