The Oconee Farmers Market is operated by and for its members, who are the original producers of the items sold at the market. The market is designed to support local and regional farmers and gardeners by providing a direct marketing opportunity for their produce and value-added products. No produce or other items of any kind may be purchased from another source, except if that source is a local producer or farmer offering items for sale, but that cannot, for practical reasons, sell the item him/herself. All items will be sold “as is”, and any item sold must contain at least one ingredient that was grown or produced by the vendor. The producer, farmer, or their representative must be present at the market to sell their items. Items to be sold are subject to approval by the Board of Directors.
The Market Manager is defined for the purposes of these regulations as the Oconee Farmers Market Manager.
The market is operated on Saturday mornings, April – November (specific dates set annually by the Board), from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Harris Shoals Park, Watkinsville.
Displaying and Selling Goods:
Enforcement of Rules:
Vendors and occupants of the market must conform to the Market rules at all times. The Market Manager has full authority to enforce all rules. Any occupant failing to comply may have their space declared vacant and be prohibited from selling at the market.
Who May Sell:
Only Georgia growers or producers within an approximate 100-mile radius of Oconee County may sell goods at the Oconee Farmers Market A grower or producer is any person who produces items such as fruits, vegetables, edible grains, nuts, berries, plants, flowers or value-added agricultural products.
Non-producers if approved by the Board.
Non-Profits, Civic Groups, Clubs, etc. if approved by the Board. The weekly farmer’s market will not apply. All other rules of market apply accordingly.
What May Be Sold:
Upon application and approval by the Board:
Fresh agricultural produce and products. Produce should be mature but not overripe, void of decay, have good external appearance, and must be clean and free of contamination. Organic produce advertised as such must be USDA certified organic with certification displayed. Quality standards will be enforced on all products.
Value-added products such as home-roasted coffee, jams and jellies, blankets woven from sheep wool that were produced on a local [Georgia] farm, leather goods produced from cattle on local farms, etc. will be sold upon approval of the Board and where any applicable federal, state and local requirements for such items are obtained. Examples of value-added products that can be sold include:
Imported coffee beans that are roasted, processed and sold by a local vendor as part of a locally owned and operated business.
Sauces, pickles, salsas or similar items that include peppers or tomatoes grown locally (see Ga. Department of Agriculture regulations for farmers markets/acidic products) if applicable.
Muscadines in muscadine jelly.
Fresh farm eggs or prepared meats and other items may be sold only if the producer complies with all state and federal governmental regulations regarding the sale of these items at local markets. State health inspections may be required. Adherence to regulations is the responsibility of the vendor.
Other products include, but are not limited to, baked goods, plants, flowers, arts and crafts, etc. All food items must be packaged and labeled in accordance with state regulations. Each vendor is responsible for regulations pertaining to any and all products offered for sale.
Restrictions on product sales may be imposed at the discretion of the Board.
What May Not Be Sold
Live Animals - Live Animals shall not be sold or given away. Department of Agriculture licensed animal shelters or animal rescue organizations may, upon approval of the Board, show and accept adoption applications for animals in their care.
Agricultural products or produce originating more than 100 miles from Oconee County unless approved by the Board.
Arts and crafts that are not produced from agricultural products, i.e. agriculturally-based product, cannot be sold unless approved by the Board.
Any items not adhering to all state and federal regulations regarding sale of agricultural products, or that are deemed unacceptable by the Board.
The Board reserves the right to visit any member’s farm or place of production, for the primary purpose of determining whether the member is producing all products sold at the market as claimed in their application, and as indicted by booth signs.
How Produce May Be Sold:
Produce may be sold by volume or count only. Selling by weight is discouraged unless scales are inspected and conform to the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s, Division of Weights and Measures regulations. If an estimate of weight is used, a scale must be labeled “For Estimate Only”.
Producers have the responsibility of setting their own prices. This includes setting prices at a fair market value that reflects the high quality, yet fair and reasonable value of the product. Consultation with fellow vendors is encouraged. A “no dumping” policy is enforced. Dumping is defined as selling significantly below reasonable market prices or fair, competitive prices that other vendors, selling the same type of item, are charging that day. If there is a complaint, you will be asked by the Market Manager to adjust the price to market value or immediately leave the market.
All vendors must provide new bags/containers for consumer purchases. Used bags/containers are not permitted except as permitted by law (egg cartons, etc). Compostable bags and containers are encouraged. Compostable bags and containers are made from plant-based materials only and are available as shopping bags, zip-lock bags, clear clam shells, plates, cups, and eating utensils.
All prices must be clearly marked on or near each item or group of items for sale.
All sales are the responsibility of the vendor. Exchange of produce and/or refunds will be left to the discretion of the vendor; however, customer satisfaction should be the goal of all vendors at the market.
Sanitation and Heath Requirements:
All items for sale must be stored and displayed at a reasonable distance above the ground to prevent contamination.
All unpackaged food products offered for sale, excluding fruits and vegetables, must be covered at all times to prevent contact with insects, people, and animals. Packaged foods must include a clear list of ingredients.
Dogs on leashes will be permitted within the Farmers Market as long as they do not interfere with market business or health and safety regulations.
Each vendor is responsible for maintaining his or her sales area in a neat, clean, and sanitary condition. The Market Manager will inspect each area before the vendor leaves for the day. A vendor can be assessed a cleanup fee (of $25.00) if there is any substantial refuse left behind in their vending or the loading area.
Vendors offering samples or selling a product for on-site consumption must provide a trash can at their booth. Individual vendors must remove from the market site all their trash, produce waste, and discarded containers at the close of the market. No trash shall be placed in on-site public trash containers.
At the end of the day, all vendors should work together to police and clean the general area.
Due to COVID guidelines, no samples may be made available to customers.
New vendor space requested will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis by the Market Manager. A vendor’s tent or display area [10’ x 10’] must stay within the assigned space. At times, the Market Manager may need to rearrange spaces for maximum positive impact of the market and to accommodate all vendors in the space provided.
A vendor must be in place no later than 8:30 a.m. on market day or may be subject to loss of space to another vendor that day. If a vendor is going to be later than 8:30 a.m., it is their responsibility to notify the Market Manager or forfeit their vendor space for the day.
All vehicles must be out of vending area no later than 8:45 a.m. and cannot pull back up into the vending area until after Noon. Early departure by a vendor requires all items to be carried out of vending area to the parking lot where vehicle is parked.
Any vendor wishing to participate in the Oconee Farmers Market on Fall Festival Saturday (Third Saturday in October) must be an existing vendor with at least 14 previous market selling days in the current market season. Any vendor who has not participated in at least 14 markets will pay a fee of $75 to sell at Fall Festival.
Vendors must display or have in their possession all applicable licenses (Copy for Market Manager).
All vendors participating in the Oconee Farmers Market are independent operators and not partners or joint ventures and shall be individually and severally liable for any loss, personal injury, deaths, and/or any other damages that may occur as a result of the vendor’s negligence or that of its employees, agents, and associates. All vendors are required to sign the Hold Harmless Clause included in the market application. All vendors agree to indemnify and save the Oconee Farmers Market, the city of Watkinsville, and the Oconee County government harmless from any loss, costs, damages, and other expenses including attorney fees, suffered or incurred by said farmers market by reason of vendors negligence or intentional misconduct or that of its employees, agents, and associates; provided that the vendor shall not be liable for nor required to indemnify Oconee Farmers Market, the city of Watkinsville, or Oconee County for the negligence of any of them or that of their servants, agents, employees or associates.
All vendors needing access to electricity will be placed along the courthouse side of the market.
Space Rental Fees
A vendor must pay either a day-of-market fee or a seasonal market fee.
Day-of-market fee - $10 (Grandfathered members) or $15 (new members) paid prior to departure.
Seasonal market fee - $200 paid in advance of, or, at the end of the first market day . Note that seasonal fee is only applicable to weekly markets. Monthly markets are subject to the day-of-market fee.
If fee is mailed in advance, please send to:
Oconee Farmers Market
P.O. Box 971
Watkinsville, GA 30677
Payments can be in the form of check or money order made payable to the Oconee Farmers Market. Cash will be accepted as day-of-market payment, given to the Market Manager. PayPal on website is the preferred method of payment for seasonal fees and application fees.
All vendors must submit an anonymous weekly sales tally for grant purposes to the Market Manager.
Prohibited items throughout the market site: Firearms, drugs, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages.
If, on the day of the market, the weather prior to market opening is dangerous, the market will be closed and vendors will be notified via email.
High winds and lightening will result in immediate closing of OFM.
In deteriorating conditions, everyone is asked to pack up as fast as possible.
In extreme conditions, vendors must lower and secure tents and immediately take cover in a secure location (your car is probably your best bet).