By Justin Aufdermauer
These last few weeks we’ve made some great strides in prepping for the Tillamook Farmers Market Season. By the time you are reading this, applications for vendors should be available online at www.tillamookfarmersmarket.com, along with the 2018 Vendor Handbook.
If you are a past vendor, or have always wanted to try vending at a Farmers Market, I would encourage you to read over the Vendor Handbook and consider joining us for the summer.
Applications will be available until May 1 so you have a little over a month to submit your application, and any necessary license or certifications.
So what’s different this year? For one, the application is a form you fill out directly on the website. No more printing out and mailing a piece of paper. (However, if you prefer to do it this way or don’t have access to internet, we will have copies available at our office or we can send you a paper application.)
Secondly, we are opening up the capacity for secondary farm vendors – these are vendors who didn’t actually grow or make their product, but purchased it directly from a farmer who did. In previous years, the Tillamook Farmers Market only allowed fruits and vegetables as secondary farm products, but in order to add some diversity to the Market we are opening that up to all farm products.
What’s a farm product? Fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs (in pots, dried or cut), flowers and plant starts, nursery trees, shrubs and other plants, cheeses, dairy-based foods, seafood, meat, poultry, honey, eggs and grower- or artisan-made value-added/preserved foods and dry or baked goods.
Of course, priority will be given to those vendors who grew or made the product themselves, with even more priority to those grown or made in Tillamook County, but we understand that not all farmers have the ability to spend every Saturday at a booth, so if someone else is able to take on the vending aspect and work out that arrangement with the farmer, we are happy to offer them a booth. All the official guidelines, requirements, and priorities are available online in the Vendor Handbook.
We’ve also updated the sponsorship opportunities for businesses and individuals who like to support the Market through financial donations. There are some fun new ways to get involved and keep the Market vital and inviting for locals and visitors. You can find more about that on the Farmers Market website, or just contact Sayde at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can answer your questions about being a sponsor.
And don’t forget, we are having a Farmers Market Kick-Off party on May 5 at Pacific Restaurant. Chef Nelia will be creating a fantastic Mexican-style buffet, the bar will be serving up their delicious cocktails, and there will be live music to round out the evening. Tickets will go on sale April 1 for $20 a piece, and all proceeds will support the Farmers Market. We may even have some cool Farmers Market Swag to give away to a few lucky raffle winners. Whatever happens, it will be a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and support our downtown Farmers Market. Hope you can make it!