By Madison Fisler Lewis
Jan. 6, 2015. The beginning of a new year means brand new vendors present at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this summer, and the market is currently accepting vendor applications for the 2015 Farmers’ Market season.
Eligible parties are producers who reside and produce in Watauga County and the adjacent counties. New craft vendor applications are also being accepted this year. Applications for consideration for vendorship at this year’s farmers’ market, along with the $25 application fee, are due no later than Jan. 31. Applications and rules for the application process are available here.
Since 2015 is an odd numbered year, applications will also be accepted for potential craft vendors.
“Last year we had about 70 vendors, but the number of vendors varies each year because of the number of floaters we have along with the permanent vendors,” said Tori Cox, market manager of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market.
“We will likely have the same amount of vendors this year.”
Though the number of applications also varies from year to year, Cox said that an average of 90 applications come through for each season, with about 70 of the applications accepted.
Craft vendor applications go through a juried review process.
“We have some people, local artists, and people who are familiar with the craft world that come and look at the quality of the crafts that are submitted,” said Cox.
“They are looking for consistent quality, craftsmanship that you can see, material quality, unique materials, things that are unusual. Once it has been juried, the craft vendors are given a numerical ranking and the board goes back and looks at rankings and determines how many can fill available spots.
“Vendors that are not craft vendors aren’t looked at in a juried process. They are looked at as a group, and then the board decides yay or nay for most of them. With stuff like vegetables and produce, you can’t really rank them, so they are just voted on a yes or no basis.”
Applicants will be notified by Feb. 21 whether they have been selected as a vendor for the Watauga County Farmers’ Market’s 2015 season.
“I think that anyone who wants to apply should visit our website and check out the availability, Cox said. “We are pretty stringent on who we accept into the market and the products that can be sold. Anyone who is interested should definitely do their homework and read the ‘Become a Vendor’ page on our website to educate themselves in terms of regulations and documentation.”
The first day of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market 2015 season is scheduled for May 2.
The Watauga County Farmers’ Market runs from May through November on Saturday mornings. The market has been called “Boone’s Town Square” since it first started in 1974. Located at Horn in the West beside the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, the Farmers’ Market offers local fare at competitive prices to the community.
For more information about the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, click here.