Direct Marketing through Farmers Markets

There are 45 farmers markets throughout the state of Rhode Island and many considerations to determine the right fit(s).

Which Market is for You?

Strategic Considerations.
A successful stand at a farmers market can be an excellent way to generate income, introduce people to new products, attract community members who may have never seen a ripe tomato the day it was picked, and inspire others to grow their own food. Additionally, it is always good to consider the following when thinking about joining a market:

  • Is a market appropriate for your business?
  • Do you have enough food for a three-hour market?
  • If you can't go to market, who do you want representing you?
  • Do you have the time and energy to travel to a market and set up your stand?
  • Are you planning on expanding your growing capacity in upcoming seasons?
  • If you are applying to many markets, have you thought about the differences between the markets?
  • Do you want to sell to your community or further from home? What matters most to you?

In your considerations, think about what benefits appearing at a market might hold for you, but also keep in mind all that the Farmers Market asks of you and your farm.

Find a Market Manager.
You can talk to the market manager to get a better idea of who is selling and buying at their markets, which may help you make your decision. See our list of farmers markets across the region. The Market Manager contact information is on the left side of the page.

Farm Stand Considerations.
Selling at a Farmers Market is a great experience. You just want to make sure that your original market (whether that be at a Pick-Your-Own operation or a Farm Stand) is not completely phased out with this new endeavor. One suggestion is to make a flier telling your current customers about your new endeavor.

Types of Products Allowed.
You need to know if your product mix is a good fit for the farmers markets where you want to sell. Here are a few examples:

  • Class A or Buying In?
    • "Class A" markets only allow you to sell what you grow.
    • Some markets allow you to "buy-in" a certain percentage of produce from local farms after all vendors have run out of their own crops (for example, people who buy in blueberries can't sell them until all the Class A blueberries are sold).
    • Still other markets allow you to buy-in items, as long as you maintain a certain percentage of your own.
  • RI Farms or Regional?
    • Some markets allow only vendors and food from RI, while others accept foods produced in MA, CT and elsewhere in New England.
  • Food only or Crafts too?
    • There are also markets with no rules like this whatsoever. This last style of market can be challenging and may confuse customers about the concept of a farmers market.

Find a Market.
See our list of farmers markets across RI and the region.

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